Ghostbusters (to be clear, the 2016 reboot) may end up being brilliant, or a hot mess, and usually I would wait and see how the reviews go. However, I think I’m not going to be able to take my time on this one. There’s a simultaneously simple and complex reason why I’m excited about Ghostbusters: gender bending. Specifically, the fact that the mostly female cast has been allowed to embrace the traditional male comedic stereotypes. And the fact that there are FOUR FEMALE LEADS, in a movie that is about ghost fighting and not girl power, family, or romance, just rocks my socks.
Women in comedies (though you may have had a different experience) generally become love interests or sources of wisdom. Sometimes both. While there is nothing wrong with either of these essential roles, one can get tired.
Certainly, other types of female characters exist, and they often full-fill a comedic role. Audrey Ramirez in Atlantis: The Lost Empire and Kaylee Frye of Firefly are two classic can-do mechanic types. Jane Foster of Thor is an absent-minded professor (also a love interest).
What I’m stoked about (at least from the ads for Ghostbusters) is seeing all of these excellent character concepts TOGETHER. And seeing a ridiculous comedy about ghosts treating women not as the exception, but as the normal.
(Am I also delighted to see the hunky Chris Helmsworth playing the classic eye-candy bimbo? Aw, heck yeah! I’d love to tell you it’s just because of the continued gender role reversal, which, yes, that delights my soul. But also: Chris Helmsworth.)
The completeness of the genderbend. This is why I’m excited about Ghostbusters. Here’s crossing my fingers and hoping it does not disappoint.