All-female cast is a lazy gimmick

Photo by Hopper Stone via Sony Pictures

Photo by Hopper Stone via Sony Pictures

Why the ‘Ghostbusters’ remake may as well just be called ‘Bridesmaids 2’

By Alex Stanton, Staff Writer

When I think of the current climate of over-the-top political correctness in North America, I don’t sit there at my computer and roll my eyes every time someone gets hurt because of something mean or “triggering” said on the Internet. Sure, I’ll snort a laugh once in a while reading about sheltered millennials in academia having nervous breakdowns at the mere mention of ideas they dislike. But a man named Paul Feig came along and made me realize, more than anything, how sad it is that even adults—and not just those millennial kids—use progressive buzzwords and accuse people of bigotry for no other reason than to shut down legitimate dialogue about something they disagree with.

For those of you who haven’t seen a raunchy, R-rated chick flick since 2008, Feig is Hollywood’s apparent go-to-guy for said genre, having directed the wildly successful films Bridesmaids, The Heat, and Spy—all of which feature comedian Melissa McCarthy. Far from finished in the business of chick flicks, 2016 will once again have McCarthy and Kristen Wiig co-starring in a film written and directed by Feig called Ghostbusters.

As big of a film fan as I may be, I still can’t quite put my finger on what it is about rebooting decades-old franchises that appeals so much to contemporary filmmakers. I get that show business is still a business, and nothing gets the lowest common denominator paying for movie tickets quite like familiarity, but it still stinks of writer’s block and stagnant creativity.

Feig, mistakenly believing that a change this drastic was necessary or creative, decided to cast four women in the roles of the four Ghostbusters. In the wake of what I consider to be pretty reasonable criticisms, Feig accused his detractors of spouting, in his words, “vile, misogynist shit.”

If we’re speaking purely technically, then perhaps Feig has a point; there were probably quite a few rude, anonymous kids on Twitter who went overboard, likely resulting in them saying downright sexist things. Some of them probably even said “This movie sucks because it’s all women and women suck,” which is the picture painted by Feig when describing the criticism. Unfortunately, that’s the Internet, and nothing turns people into wanton assholes more than an anonymous, worldwide soap box.

I can’t blame the man for defending his art, but there are plenty of legitimate reasons as to why people are pissed about this. Is a Ghostbusters remake even necessary? If so, why? The 1984 version was a smash hit in part because of its immense originality. Considering the director, the fact that the cast is all-female for no apparent reason strikes me as jarring and gimmicky to the point where I’m inclined to call it anti-feminist. There should be more original films about well-rounded female characters, instead of shoehorning them into old roles under the guide of progressiveness.

Feig is a talented enough filmmaker. I enjoyed the hell out of both Bridesmaids and The Heat, and, like everyone else, I think McCarthy is shit-your-drawers hilarious in just about every role she plays. I can only imagine what could come out of another Feig/McCarthy/Wiig project in which the script isn’t recycled from three decades ago. Now that I’ve finally established myself as a loose fan of his work, I’ll go ahead and establish that I’m going to skip out on Feig’s take on Ghostbusters.

The Other Press

The Other Press, Douglas College's student newspaper since 1976. Articles, insight and updates from the New West and Coquitlam campuses.

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10,200 comments on “All-female cast is a lazy gimmick
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