There’s been a lot of unnecessary backlash against the new Ghostbusters movie. This isn’t news. But still, some level-headed, mutual-friended people don’t seem to understand why some of us take this backlash so seriously. Or why it’s hard to believe that it isn’t at least a little sexist. So I will explain.
If you still find yourself grappling with the idea of this movie for some intangible reason, perhaps it can be perfectly explained by that guy at Cinemassacre in his anti-review. This review states no real reason for not wanting to see the film, saying “so, it looks bad. Fine. I watch a lot of bad movies.” And continues with no real reason to critique the film. Because after all, if you want to masquerade on the internet as a film critique, don’t you have to see films? Don’t you have to articulate what they achieve and what they fail to? Instead of doing any of that this film perfectly articulates a vendetta against this film in one clause.
“the Ghostbusters movie that nobody wanted.”
I’m sure tons of early 30s white dudes grew up watching Ghostbusters (1984). But guess what? I did too. I was a little girl in the 90s/early 2000s enraptured by this timeless classic too. I grew up watching all of those 80s adventure films, Blade Runner, Back to the Future, even Indiana Jones, Star Wars, E.T., films that are touted as classics. I wanted to be a ghostbuster. I wanted to go on adventures. I wanted to lead all my friends into a cave in search of treasure. I wanted to learn Karate to prove everyone at school wrong. I wanted to be brave and boisterous and robust and fight ghosts. But we didn’t have movies like that. Hell, we didn’t even have movies where girls were funny.
If you’re mad that “people who didn’t see the original” (i.e., kids who weren’t born or whose parents weren’t born when the original came out) might see this movie with no context, then what’s your real issue? Because as an adult person who grew up with this movie just as much as anyone else, I can’t WAIT to see some ladies save the day. And not in some new-agey way by fighting gender roles or by just being in comedy or by not getting married at the end, but the same way that the boys did, sucking up some god damn ghosts! Girls are saving the day and being funny? Within the universe of one of my favorite movies? Sign me up!
If this movie turns out to be bad? Then that’s a real shame. Because it has so much potential to be good. Not even because of the aforementioned reasons, but just as a piece of comedy. Paul Feig and the ladies of the cast are such talented, hilarious people. Even if they weren’t, a mediocre trailer is rarely a reason to assume a movie gonna be so bad that it will ruin the original. Vowing to never even give the film a chance under the guise of love for the original is disrespectful to the 1984 classic. You’re aligning yourself against the original story. Instead, your loyalty lies somewhere much uglier.
Maybe if you truly feel that this film is some kind of heinous crime, what it actually might ruin for you is the comforting, fraternal banter and empowerment the first movie gave you. Maybe the first movie, with the witty banter between the guys, and Venkman’s sexual prowess, and the sheer coolness of the guys beating ghosts and saving Manhattan made you feel some kind of brotherly bond and affirmation in your manhood. Believe me, I’ve felt that energy my whole life watching movies like this. I’ve wanted to be let in on it my whole life. It’s finally happening for us, a movie where women are cool and powerful and goofy and hilarious. And it’s riding off the back of a movie we all love. And we’ll all get to share in adventure and hilarity together, both those who love the original, and kids who have never seen it. This isn’t the Ghostbusters movie nobody wanted, it’s the Ghostbusters movie women like me have been wanting our whole lives without even realizing it.
If that really grinds your gears, dude, then maybe what you’re upset about is that Ghostbusters isn’t just for you anymore. Sorry.