Ghostbusters (2016), rated PG-13.
The Good: Did I really need to say more, to describe the movie? It's a remake of the original film, and a remake in every sense of the word. Not just that the four main ghostbusters are now women, not men; but, also, who the characters are, the plot, the jokes, etc.
It's action, it's adventure, it's funny; it's four people discovering not only that ghosts are real, but also how to successfully find and trap them.
Seriously, the plot and the reviews you can get anywhere; I'm just going to share the reasons I loved this movie, and want more like it. Not meaning, a sequel, but that would be terrific; but, meaning, more films centering on women. And even that is too simplistic.
Ghostbusters features four women. Which shouldn't be so revolutionary, in 2016, but it's in how they are featured, how they are presented, how they are shown, how they interact that is so amazing.
This may be scattered, but here goes.
They dress the way they like; they fight ghosts in practical, comfortable clothes. They do not wear super tight clothes to show their body, or tops to emphasize cleavage, or high heels as they run and fight. (One character starts in suits and heels, and at one point is wearing heels during an initial action scene, but it's clearly established she's dressing to try to get a potential job. It's not her preference, and it's not how she keeps dressing once she's busting ghosts.)
There are no fat jokes, or jokes about their body. There is nothing, actually, that treats them and their bodies as objects. One person is slimed, repeatedly, by ghosts. In almost any other film, this would have been an excuse to show her strip down to her underwear, to show her in the shower -- not here. The only body jokes are about the handsome yet dim male receptionist, and even then? He remains fully clothed during the entire movie.
There are some "music is on so we're dancing" scenes, but it's not "and for some reason, we're all in our underwear as we dance."
There is no makeover/dress up role to show that someone is now "pretty."
No one is fighting for a man's attention. In point of fact, there is no romance at all.
Part of the movie is the forming of the ghostbusters; so there's some tension as they come together. But even when there is some conflict there, as this happens, it's fun and funny -- it's not mean.
There is no slut-shaming or slut jokes.
They don't have to be rescued by anyone. They take care of themselves. They're the scientists, the researchers, the historians, the engineers, the people who make things and use things and get the job done.
They are individuals.
And I almost cried. Because it was so amazing. To just have a movie about a bunch of girlfriends who are themselves, who get along, who have some laughs and jokes, and who act. Who are successful. Who are a team.
I want more films like this. And I'm so happy for the girls and teens who will watch this, and have this, as part of their reality.
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© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
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