I am completely and totally THERE for the new Ghostbusters movie.
ALL WOMEN? No more Bill Murray? (Well, apparently, except for some cameo bullshit?) I’M THERE.
Yeah, I tried rewatching the old one a few months ago, and we got so bored about half an hour in that we turned it off. (I might have been shouting at Bill Murray to shut the fuck up too, I can’t remember.) I remember loving it when it came out while I was in high school. I saw it with my best friend, and we adored it. We went to see the sequel together too. I was sad. This was clearly not one of the movies of my adolescence that has held up. (Don’t get me started on my sadness about The Princess Bride.)
Also, okay, hot tall black woman, check, hot fat white woman, check, hot goofy geeky probably queer white woman, check!*
So OF COURSE I jumped on the new trailer.
Okay, it’s GREAT. I’m SO FREAKING HAPPY.
But why, why, why, why whywhywhyWHY is Leslie Jones’ character NOT A GODDAMN SCIENTIST LIKE THE WHITE WOMEN? Why is it all street cred and sassy black friend?
I would LOVE to see an African-American woman in a genre movie that was more in the mold of, say, Clarice or Ginger from Dykes to Watch Out For: ferociously smart, viciously sarcastic, and otherwise fully-rounded human beings that refuse to play into cliches.
[Art by Alison Bechdel, from http://dykestowatchoutfor.com/cast-biographies]
I’m desperately hoping that Leslie Jones has chosen to play her character this way and that there’s moments of redemption from cliches (something like finding out that she does, in fact, have an advanced degree that she worked her ass off to get, but couldn’t get a job, so she ended up working for the transit authority for the union, decent wages, and decent bennies; something that plays up code-switching and whatnot). ETA: I note that I had not, in fact, seen that Nora Jemisin had suggested this as headcanon when I wrote this. She suggested it first, though!
That said, I like the little I’ve seen of Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon’s characters (heeeey, rock it, fellow Micks! I hadn’t even noticed that before). I’m wondering if Kristen Wiig’s character is purposely a bit of an homage to Jane Fonda’s character in 9 to 5 or if it’s just that she, too, is playing a cliche. There was just something in the character’s mannerisms that struck me. (Or maybe it’s that 9 to 5 is the last good all-female caper comedy I remember seeing.)
Part of me deeply desires the ubiquitous and unidentifiable Chris** manly-man who is apparently in this movie to turn out to be a gay man.
TL;DR: I will go see this movie because GODDAMMIT MORE WOMEN-LED MOVIES DAMMIT and also I like many of these actresses (seriously, have you seen Leslie Jones’ standup?). But I really hope there will be cliche-breaking lampshades all through this movie.
*Okay, yes, I’m sorry, I AM shallow, especially about things that poke my sparkly shallow teenager gland, but it’s SO UNUSUAL for there to be a movie that STARS WOMEN THAT I FIND ATTRACTIVE. All the other women in Hollywood that other people find hot generally make me go “Meh.” Even women as beautiful as, say, Brigitte Lin or Michelle Pfeiffer, I find beautiful in a, “Well, what a lovely work of art,” kind of way, not a, “Let’s have a shag, shall we?” kind of way.
**I can’t tell any of the Hollywood boy-men named Chris apart when they aren’t wearing their particularly iconic costumes. (And sometimes even when they are.) They’re all straight and white and vaguely blondish and look the same to me.