My Ghostbuster Confession

As many of you probably know, there’s a large number of disgruntled guys on the internet who have their panties in a bunch about the new Ghostbusters movie, due to its female cast.

These guys seem convinced that letting women play ghostbusters would mean nothing is left in the masculine toolbox: Open your eyes to the Feminazi conspiracy, folks! If people start thinking pretend women can defeat pretend ghosts as well as any pretend man, this place will be ripe for Ovarian takeover! 

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How renegade paranormal vigilantes are supposed to look

At first, I couldn’t help wondering if a huge publicity stunt was behind all this drama. It’s just so over-the-top ridiculous.

But checking out the comment section following  this news article talking about the controversy  (and others like it) shows how ticked off some people really are. Not only are Social Justice Warriors devastating male identities everywhere, they’re ruining everyone’s childhood too! Oh, the humanity…

Whether or not it’s a bunch of made-up media hype, it worked on me. My husband was shocked when I told him I wanted to see it, especially after he’d suggested an artsy Indie flick.

But I was more in the mood for a light, fun movie. Plus, I was dying to see these women be hilarious, proving once and for all how we could all be Ghostbusters too.

And after we’d watched it, my husband asked me what I’d thought of it.

My brain scrambled to think up some cinematic saving grace. But I just couldn’t.

Well…

It wasn’t very good. 

I hated having to say that. I really, really wanted it to be good.

And my bar was pretty low. I wasn’t expecting creative genius. The original Ghostbusters wasn’t exactly life-changing itself, just a quirky original film mixed with heaping doses of nostalgia.

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McCarthy, actually being funny

No, I just wanted something that would make me laugh and expected this cast to deliver. I love Kirstin Wiig and Melissa McCarthy can be hysterical (like in Bridesmaids), but this film was boring and dumb. I only chuckled a few times, mostly when Leslie Jones was talking.

Everything felt artificial, yet the more I thought about it, the more I realized how common many of its silly elements are. Maybe changing the formula just made said silliness more obvious?

I’m talking about stuff like:

  • The renegade member of “the system” who ticks off the boss by thinking outside the box (Kirstin Wiig’s character) but is ultimately right all along
  • Scientists who constantly bring unnecessarily-complicated scientific explanations into normal conversations
  • Regular people, with no athletic or weapons training, who are suddenly capable of incredible marksmanship and acts of superhuman physical prowess when faced with an outside threat

When you think about it, this crap happens in action movies all the time, but we’re so used to seeing it that we’re blind to it. Maybe changing up the script by using female characters only reveals the ridiculousness that was always there.  We suddenly notice the vast suspension of disbelief we normally offer up without question.

Either way, I don’t think the new Ghostbusters was dumb because the ghostbusters were women. I just think it was a bad movie: a blockbuster designed to milk our nostalgia dollars without coming up with anything original. Its constant and ultimately pointless cameo appearances should’ve maybe tipped us off.

And I hated having to admit that, but it’s true.

 

 

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