I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghost

I’m nostalgic about a lot of things, but typically not movies.  When I first heard they were rebooting Ghostbusters, I had no interest.  When I found out it would star Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Kristen Wiig, that was a different story.

There is one glaring problem I want to address first: I’m still bothered that Patty Tolan (Jones) is the only black woman in the film.  She is a great character-strong, smart, and funny-but as women gain better media representation, we’ve GOT to do better about including women of color.

That aside, I’d definitely see this movie again.

There were two ways I worried it would go sideways.  First, as a reboot, they could have relied on nostalgia and old jokes to get by.  But Katie Dippold and Paul Feig have written a new story that can stand on its own merit.  There’s a creepy Big-Bad, a meddling government, and an actual plotline.  The references to the original are obvious enough that even someone like me (who only saw it once and has an awful memory) can recognize them, but they’re not overused.  Each one is well-placed, clever, AND fun.  It’s the perfect balance between old and new.

I was also worried it would be a “fake feminist” movie, calling itself progressive because it had cast women without actually bothering to develop them as characters.  But each of the women is unique, lovable, and still flawed.  They’re strong characters without being the same type of Strong Female Character™, which would have been easy to do in a movie about women kicking ass.  They each bring something to the story, and their friendship is important to them and the narrative which gives it an emotional depth I was not expecting.

But overall, it’s just a lot of fun.

My main concern was that they wouldn’t put any effort into it, but they did and it shows.  There were a lot of women working to create this story; it shows in how well-developed the characters are and how non-degrading and accessible the humor is (which shouldn’t be that big an accomplishment, but here we are).  It was also made with a lot of love for the original while still being open to telling new stories.  Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd both got to join in the fun without overpowering the stars.

If you loved Ghostbusters growing up, go see the new one because it’s for you.  If you never saw Ghostbusters but want more women’s stories in your life, go see the new one because it’s for you.

At the very least, see it to make the fuckboys angry.  I know that always makes my day.

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