The new Ghostbusters is disgusting, obnoxious, revolting.
Wait, now, please, before you call me a SEXIST. Let me assure you that my contempt for this terrible, horrible movie has nothing to do with the sex of the film’s cast and everything with the new level of shallowness, tastelessness, brainlessness and superficiality the film, drilling down like there’s no tomorrow, baby, reaches quickly and with disquieting efficiency.
Yes, a lot of the humor is based on the protagonists’ femininity. And yes, a lot of the humor fails, falls terribly flat, makes you want to gouge your eyes out and swallow your own ears.
But the fact that it so epically fails at humor of course doesn’t mean that there can’t be good female comedies. Of course not. What a thought. I’m just saying this to make it as clear as possible for anyone intending to willfully mis-interpret this review. In this case, however, I’m not sure if this film does the cause of feminism a great service. In any case, it sends the cause of comedy into a prolonged coma.
It’s not that female humor is bad. No. It’s what Hollywood production companies ASSUME is gender-balanced humor that is terrible. It’s the McCarthy-fication of these – what would be the term? ho-mance? – films that drives me mad. I don’t want to single out McCarthy, though. Instead, I want to discuss her work as an exemplar of current movie making that is more focused on the subversion of what has been not unjustly identified as male-centric tropes. But is it a solution to just copy Adam Sandler – after it looked like we had finally overcome him! – and paste him onto a woman?
How can it be done better? Let’s talk about Gilmore Girls.
(By the way, I’m not even talking about the plot, because it’s obvious that this movie’s reason for existence is to “do Ghostbusters with women”. Thus, it’s axiomatic that intricacies of plot development are to be neglected here. As they obviously were in the writing process.)
Gilmore Girls, McCarthy’s launching pad into stardom, was a show with a decided feminine touch. Its dialogue was witty, pointed, biting, critical and educating. It featured fun, interesting, nuanced characters from all walks of life. Compared to this gem, the new Ghostbusters movie is crass, vulgar and often feels like it’s shouting in your face – in case you didn’t understand the funniness of its nihilistic jokes. Ghostbusters has a loud-mouthed, brazen black woman – meant to showcase a “typical New Yorker”, a nerd of the crazy type (why personality disorder has recently become such a laughing matter is beyond me), a Melissa McCarthy – let’s face it, she always plays Melissa McCarthy – and a wallflower who, through the convention-defying acts of her crayzay girlz embraces her individuality by becoming as unhinged as the rest of them. Oh, and then there’s Chris Hemsworth as the boy toy. I know it’s meant to be ironic, but it just completely blew up in my view. Yes, we get it, women can be sexist and men be subjected to harassment too. Very subtle. Anyway, as a man, I felt offended by the blatant leering at and salivating over him. It’s one example of how ham-fisted over the top the film acts in many of its comic episodes. In the words of a presidential nominee: Really, really bad, okay?
So, what does it all come down to? Basically, I think we can agree that women should have the same right to make apes of themselves in badly written, stereotyped movies as men. But then, the marketing departments shouldn’t be allowed to sell it as such a victory of political correctness and social justice, because what the movie actually does is continuously make fun of and drag down proper discourse.
It’s a family film. What’s with all the sexual innuendo? Seriously. There were eleven-year-old boys sitting behind me. And little girls. The gooey stuff going everywhere, the obvious objectification of a boy toy … I’m not a conservative guy, but I dread the future generations growing up on bile like this.
Fuck this movie, but vote for Hillary Clinton!
Full Disclosure: I’ve only seen half the film before walking out, but if it became any better after that first half, there is nothing keeping Donald Trump from beating Hillary Clinton by 20 points.