Get your butt over to the Cineplex and watch Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon beat the hell out of ghosts.
As a kid there damn few comedies starring women. And action movies with a female lead? Forget about it. Geena Davis whomped some serious ass in The Long Kiss Goodnight, and got skewered for it. Critics couldn’t take a woman, let alone a beautiful woman be as crafty, mentally and physically tough as, oh, say, James Bond.
For girls such as myself, our only options were to watch male-centric action movies and daydream that the leads were female. It’s been a really, slow uphill battle in Hollywood and in the minds of the general public that women could beat the hell out of a bad guy and/or be the lead in a comedy flick.
Irony upon irony that it took a male director. Paul Feig, to make Hollywood and the world get the idea that an all-woman cast a super raunchy comedy like Bridesmaids could win the box office. Then came The Heat, a female take on the cop/buddy flick. And hallelujah, neither lead, Melissa McCarthy nor Sandra Bullock were pining for a guy to make them feel complete (gag).
Now we have the Ghostbusters reboot. An action comedy with four very talented, strong women in the lead. What a joy it is to see Melissa McCarthy back sharing screen time with Kristen Wiig. Kate McKinnon’s Dr. Jillian Holtzman character will be joy and inspiration to budding female physicists everywhere. Leslie Jones’ Patty Tolan is often the lone voice of reason and common sense. Hey someone needs to keep these scientists grounded!
Yeah, it’s cool to see the original Ghostbusters doing cameo. Bill Murray does a very fun turn as a ghost debunker, and gets a delicious comeuppance.
The film is unapologetic that these women are smart. They’re resourceful. They are brave. They are funny as hell (yes, I know I said that, but they are), and the kick serious butt.
When faced with things that have decided not to go bump in the night, but rather terrorize the bejesus out of people during the day, these women grab their proton packs and attack.
There’s a great scene when McKinnon’s Holtzman grabs her latest toys and decimates the enemy. Right before she pulls the trigger, she licks the barrels of both guns. This simple act is something you would only see a male action character do, it’s refreshing to see a woman pull it off with equal gusto.
Every review that I read; from The Guardian, to AM New York, to The New York Times all agreed that this reboot was absofuckinglutely hilarious. The cast, the timing, the jokes, the plot, all were dead on. Hell, if you compare the original to the reboot, the reboot is a stronger movie. And unlike Ernie Hudson (poor Ernie, he really is a great actor) in the original flick, Leslie Jones gets equal screen time and killer lines in this one.
What seriously sucks is that on its opening weekend, it came in second in the box office to a freaking animated movie! Hey, I like animated movies, I do, but this movie, this reboot is an historical event. When was the last time you saw an action comedy movie that had all women leads? NEVER. And frankly, if you don’t support it, you won’t see more movies with strong women leads. Because Hollywood is terrified of losing money. And we know how behind times (like 40 years) their thinking is when it comes to making a movie.
Hollywood honchos believe that the only people who go to movies are 14-year-old boys and they slant all their offerings to that mythical beast. We all know that’s not true. But if you don’t support something that is hilarious and smart and goofy and well-written, you can kiss movies with women, funny movies with women lead characters, action movies with lead females good-bye.
Much has been made about the GhostBros. That band of men with micro-penises (penii?) who vociferously tore down the trailer, who have made it very clear for months and months before the movie even opened, that if women, heaven forfend, were the leads in Ghostbusters, it would suck to high heaven, because, oh my freaking god, women were in charge. Wouldn’t it be nice to prove them wrong, by helping this movie crush it at the box office.
Since the movie opened, there’s been an ugly backlash against the cast, specifically Leslie Jones. Twitter trolls and hateful asshats spent a great deal of time and energy sending her tweets filled with hate speech and disgusting memes. Director Paul Feig defended her and started the hashtag #LoveforLeslieJ. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn the tide and Jones has left the Twitterverse.
It’s mindboggling that Twitter didn’t do anything against the hate speech. It’s doubly mindboggling that men who can’t seem to get it that woman are funny and strong went out of their way to destroy Jones’ confidence and self-esteem anyway they can.
In a way, this movie is a microcosm of society. There is a small group of insecure naysayers who feel that they must be in control of a larger group. That, whatever the cost, however underhandedly they play the game, they must keep the other group down. Destroy their credibility. Destroy their confidence and self-esteem. Because, after all, women bleed once a month.
I say, stand up for yourself. Stand up for the Leslie Jones’ of the world. Stand up for smart, funny women everywhere. We are funny. We are smart. We are tough.
Photo Credits 1, 2