“Has any movie in recent memory had so much pressure to succeed? If this female led reboot of a beloved classic failed, it would set women in film back decades. Women’s suffrage was possibly on the line too. Critical reception may have been mixed, but as a woman in technology who loves movies, I walked out of there thinking that I absolutely cannot wait to show this film to my hypothetical one day future daughter.
By the time I’ve finally gotten around to writing this, let alone by the time this posts, most of this conversation has already occurred across the internet. But I still need to add my voice to the chorus, because for me, this is a very important movie.
I’m grateful that I’ve never seen being a girl as a problem when it comes to my interest in science. Being the child of two teachers, my parents were always completely encouraging when it came to my educational endeavors, and while I’ve felt my Daddy’s pride all my life, it was never so strong as when I graduated from MIT. However, the unfortunate this is that all of this support puts me firmly in the minority. There are many girls out there who are told they can’t be scientists. They can’t be comedians. They can’t be ghostbusters. This movie is here to tell them they can be all those things and more. They can be anything they damn well wanna be.
It was partway through the movie when I noticed Kristin Wiig wearing a brass rat. I was so giddy, I couldn’t concentrate on the scene. In case there was any doubt that’s what she bore on her finger, the next scene had her in an MIT sweatshirt. The rat stayed on most of the film. That to me was everything. It’s not hard to find something to identify with with an onscreen character, but to have such a strong connection to such a strong character in such an important franchise is big.
But it was more than just the rat. Our four leading ladies were under extreme scrutiny and pressure to be funny. Not only were they all hilarious (without crying into their ice cream over a boy), they were incredibly smart and incredibly strong. They each had ways to stand out and earn our affection, without being sexualized in any way. In short, they weren’t being specially treated as women, but instead were portrayed as fully three dimensional realistic characters, just like most men in most movies. I’m sure you’ve heard by now about a scene where Kate McKinnon (who ran away with the entire movie, btw) has about 30 seconds of pure bad-assitude. It rivals anything we’ve seen from James Bond, Jason Bourne, or Jack Bauer, and has to be one of the hottest things I’ve ever seen on screen simply by showing off her strength and skills and attitude. Now that is a girl I wanna be like.
Girl power aside, so much of the debate was over whether or not this movie even needed to exist. God knows I’ve called that into question over and over this year on countless other movies. As far as a movie itself (female politics aside), yes, this movie deserves to be here. I found that it very much kept the spirit of the original alive while putting it’s own stamp on things. There were just the right amount of throwbacks and cameos to honor the first without hindering this new incarnation. Simply put, it was some of the most fun I’ve had at the movies all year at least. For the love of movies, and for the love of all the wonderful women in your life, go see Ghostbusters. The world would be a much better place with more movies like this in existence.