I saw the original Ghostbusters for the first time in 1985 on cable…a ‘free’ HBO weekend (remember the brown channel slider box and the A/B flip? Yeah? Ha! You’re old like me!). I loved it. After that, we had it on VHS, and I estimate I watched it a minimum of 100 times *on that VHS tape*. It was my first ‘favorite’ movie. It is still in my top 10 list, and I’m gonna go ahead and boldly venture that it will never be replaced.
After September 11, 2001, I went out with my mom to buy a DVD player for our house and some COMEDY, for goodness’ sake, because tragedy and grief was inescapable on every one of the 80 cable channels we had. Our first DVD choice? Ghostbusters. I probably watched it another 15 times at least on that DVD before I moved out of my parents’ house six months later.
I bet I could recite the entire 1984 film, line for line, from memory. I made J take me to see it at the show when it was out for the 30th anniversary limited re-release. He didn’t watch about half the movie. He was too busy laughing at me lip-synching all the dialog next to him. And still, if it shows up on some streaming service, or even on TV, heavily edited and broken up by commercials, I’ll watch it over again like it’s new, and I still laugh at all the punchlines, even though I know them by heart.
I wrote a love letter to Ghostbusters here already.
So, I think I’ve definitively established that I’m a pretty gigantic fan of the original Ghostbusters. And I’m also kind of an originality snob. I usually hate remakes. Even the *idea* of remakes. I don’t even give most of them a shot (I know…that’s terribly elitist, but c’est la vie). But I don’t have any snide hostility toward the 2016 remake of Ghostbusters, even though it’s a remake of arguably my all time most beloved film EVER.
When I was little, I kinda wanted to be a Ghostbuster, and to my family’s and early childhood educators’ credit, I guess, I never felt it was out of the realm of possibility. At least not because I was a girl…just ’cause ghosts aren’t real (probably ). I did notice that whenever the question, ‘What’s your favorite movie?’ was raised, my answer always seemed to align closer to boys. My girlfriends liked princess movies and musicals and rom/coms and tearjerkers. Guess I never felt much like a princess, and I totally hate crying. I do enough of it involuntarily. I normally don’t enjoy watching a film that promises to make me cry in the trailer. And I like rom/coms and musicals as much as the next gal (or guy)…but they sure aren’t Ghostbusters. I never heard another girl openly offer up ‘Ghostbusters.’ I know we’re all individuals with unique tastes, and Ghostbusters isn’t the only thing that set me apart from other girls when I was young (and now), but it *did* kinda separate me. So I made friends with boys. That’s not a bad thing, obviously. Boys are cool and all. It’s just weird to feel like a lot of the things you like make you an outlier in the group you’re ‘supposed’ to belong in. It’s harder to fit into a group when your frame of reference is totally different than the majority on a lot of levels. Not that I was ostracized because of Ghostbusters, either. There aren’t any ‘mean girls’ in my past or present. But when the other girls are all pretending to be Rainbow Brite, or She-Ra, or Jem from the Holograms, and you’re pretending to be Ray Stantz…well…’one of these things just doesn’t belong here…’
I learned to keep my taste to myself with girls most of the time, and to try and acquire taste for what they liked. It took me a VERY long time to find other women who either shared my tastes or at least accepted them.
But in 2016, this remake of my favorite movie was AIMED RIGHT AT ME. Seven year old girls today won’t have to do their own internal paradigm shifting like I did. ‘Girls could do that too…’ They get to WATCH WOMEN DOING THAT. And they get to watch them do it in coveralls with science and engineering tools and using their brains; not in skimpy, skin tight body suits or bikinis (nothing against the revealing clothes for those of you who feel empowered by that…I just never did, and women shouldn’t have to feel like they need to look a certain way to feel powerful and strong and taken seriously.) When little girls today get to be ten, twelve, sixteen, twenty-two, and someone asks them their favorite movie in a room full of other girls, and they say ‘Ghostbusters,’ I bet they will have an echo or two.
I went to go see the remake with two of my closest women friends. It honestly took me getting to adulthood to MAKE close women friends.
For those of you who don’t like posts filled with unbridled, exaggerated, overly-enthusiastic, nerdtastic buckets of love, you should probably look away now. Just look away. There’s no need to negatively comment on my love fest and be mean about things. Just let me have my dorky joyousness. Also, there will be some language…*because.*
I had some extraordinarily inflated expectations going in, but even so, this movie surpassed them. Best movie I’ve ever seen in a theater. I would have paid three times the amount for a ticket and not felt ripped off. In short, Girl Ghostbusters is the greatest thing ever in the history of time! (Well…not really…J and The Boy are the greatest things ever in the history of time…and I still love the original…but you know…)
I loved the well timed cameos and the subtle nods to the original without trying to ‘copy’ the original. I loved the genuine, supportive camaraderie between the women. I loved the humor, especially the tongue-in-cheek pop culture references (the mayor from Jaws! HA!). I loved the supporting cast (especially Zach Woods from The Office). I loved the smarts and the tools and the weapons. (Btw…Kate McKinnon…BAD. ASS.)
I loved Hemsworth with short hair and glasses (men in glasses…<sigh>). It was all just awesome.
And I’m not ashamed to admit that driving home, I teared up some, because I felt just like Kate McKinnon’s character giving the toast in the bar. I really did. (Post on JUST this…and Melissa McCarthy and Leslie Jones and Kristen Wiig’s character development coming tomorrow).
And maybe the best part for me was, at the end of the film, while we were filing out of the theater, a little boy said to his parents, ‘We are SO buying this on DVD.’ It was all very ‘circle of life’ for me.
And in closing…’It’s the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man…’