Oh, For the Love of Ghostbusters
by Leigh Hope Fountain 6:08 AM 0 comments
I really, desperately wanted to love the new Ghostbusters.
Like so many others though, I groaned when we heard they were doing some sort of remake with women. I had no idea who they were casting. I didn't really want to know. I didn't understand why a remake was necessary, because the original was... perfection.
Ghostbusters was a monumental part of my childhood. If I recall correctly, my dad took my brother and I to see it at the Mann Valley Theaters in Tarzana, when my mother was in the hospital recovering from major surgery. It was a great distraction and it has since been one of my favorite movies of all time.
Anyway, I was casually watching TV - barely paying attention to what was on, because Gypsy is the world's biggest distraction - and there it was: The trailer for the new female reincarnation (more or less) of Ghostbusters. I saw the faces of many comedians I love... and for one brief second, I was intrigued and even had a glimmer of hope that the remake might not be a hacky, horrible, let's-just-do-this-because-well...WOMEN... type-of-deal.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, my hope was dashed.
If their best material was featured in the trailer, (and it usually is), it just wasn't anything special. The jokes were obvious, a lot of what was referenced was just regurgitated/rehashed by women and only slightly updated, and there just wasn't that energy that was practically tangible in the original.
When Chris Rock called into question why men and women still have separate best actor/actress categories at this year's Oscars, I couldn't have agreed more. Why on earth are we still separating men and women when it comes to acting chops? This seems arcane and inappropriate. Yes, I am aware of the ever-present pay-gap between men and women - but it is the continued separation of men and women in instances like the Oscars that help perpetuate this unfortunate reality.
It all the more highlights my point here too. As fantastically funny and wonderful as all of the comedians in the revamped Ghostbusters are, the trailer made it pretty clear that they are nowhere near as good as their predecessors, which I can attribute to two things: Freak-of-nature talent like Bill Murray's which you really can't compete with - and MUCH BETTER WRITING. Wouldn't have mattered what private parts these new Ghostbusters had - they were doomed from the get-go.
But that's okay! It's okay to say something isn't as good as the original. It's okay to say these comedians weren't as brilliant as the first set who inhabited these roles, because they're ALL COMEDIANS. If we hold everyone up to the same exact standards, perhaps people will judge based exclusively on talent and merit and NOT on gender, race and other should-be-irrelevant-by-now nonsense.
Is this pie-in-the-sky thinking? Perhaps... but it's what I desperately want to change so that Gypsy never has to give one unnecessary second of thought to this crap.
Hey look - she's holding a bottle... on her own!