Monday, August 01, 2016

Ghostbusters - the 2016 version

I have now seen "Ghostbusters" twice and enjoyed it both times.  I recognize that there are legit concerns that there is one main character of color and she's the one without an advanced degree. I also warned my metal-head friend that the scene at the metal concert - while delightful in many ways - does not do anything that really represents metal fans well.  (It's not bad, but it is stereotypical and the conflation of metal fans with Satanists even though there are metal fans who are Satanists is just not great.)
But on to the good stuff.  This movie contain four main characters of varying size.  I know this because I saw it. The only comment in the movie about it is when they hand one of the ghost catching tools to one of them because she has the longest arms.  That's it. 
The four main characters are women.  (You may have heard.) They eat regularly in the movie.  There's no discussion of dieting, of one character eating too much or too little.  The fact that they are eating is treated as normal, neither an opportunity for a joke (about food, the movie is still funny) or a sexy come on.  They just eat.  
No one loses their clothes in battle in a way that requires them to finish out the battle in just their underwear.  
They get slimed.  Okay, mostly only one of the characters gets slimed.  She is not unable to continue on because slime is gross.  (They do at one point help her get the slime out of her eyes so she can see.) She doesn't have to leave to get changed before she can continue on.  
So, in many ways, like "Mad Max: Fury Road" the movie was delightful because so many of the things I didn't even realize I had necessarily come to expect from action and comedy where women were involved didn't happen.  I recently went to a comedy show and I spent some time beforehand mentally gearing myself up, reminding myself that there would probably be things that were offensive and not also funny but hopefully there would be enough funny that it would be worth it.  And the opening comic was male, and about two thirds of his schtick was complaining about women and how they want to talk to you and the horror.  The only funny part was the small bit he worked up to about DC parking.  The main comic was female and much funnier in part because her humor was much less about big G Gender and more about specific instances that seem very true.  
And look, "Ghostbusters" isn't great because you won't have to squash your inner feminist to enjoy it, it's also a fun story.  The easter eggs placed for fans of the original are nice without being intrusive.  Also because I saw it once in a fairly empty theater and once in a full and enthusiastic theater, I will say it is also one where the enthusiastic audience enhanced the experience.