This movie would not have changed my life except for the controversy around it. It was an enjoyable summer flick – but because of all the rage (I mean really, it’s just another remake)… I have given it a different kind of attention. I was watching looking for feminism rants and sexist bullshit.
It wasn’t there. It was an amazingly sexless movie.
It is one of the most rare and special things I have seen in a very, very long time – a movie where gender didn’t feel important at all (especially with female protagonists). I read a commentary a few weeks ago about men not relating to female characters – but if they can’t relate to these Ghostbusters it’s because they have mental deficiencies. And I think I’m being nice in phrasing it that way.
There was no time in the movie I thought “only a woman could understand that comment or experience.” There was no wall-breaking time of “no woman would ever do that.” The characters were goofy stereotypes (as they should be!), but believable. And I can’t imagine someone watching that movie and dismissing it simply because they were cast as women. It doesn’t make sense to me.
Who can’t relate to someone a little insecure, nerdy and desperate for approval? The person disappointed because an embarrassment in their past comes back to hurt them in their attempt to move forward? Who can’t relate to being attracted to someone, trying to flirt and being utterly ignored (intentionally ignored or accidentally ignored)? Who can’t relate to wanting to follow your passion? Who wouldn’t be disgusted when they’ve put effort into their appearance and they get dirty?
Even the “romance” angle, which is awesomely minor in the movie, is something that was a nice change of pace from so many movies lately. Most of the inter-gender relationship revolved around friendship rather than attraction.
I also thought the blend of suspenseful build-up, omnipotent observation, and discovery from the protagonists was done immensely well. There are a lot of “party” movies where so much of the movie is the group getting together and finding their chemistry the villain feels forced and tacked on (Guardians of the Galaxy struggled to keep their villain relevant for most of the movie and then suddenly he was really scary – and the “actual” conflict was like 15 minutes of the movie). I thought Ghostbusters (2016) did a good job interconnecting the threat and suspense and even using it to create the chemistry of the cast.
I was entertained. The only reason this movie really broke out of the box for me is because the controversy changed the way I watched it. And I’m glad it created a cast of female protagonists that weren’t defined by their gender. Their gender was irrelevant and I loved it.