Monday, August 4, 2014

Good on paper, bad on celluloid

Because of the rising costs of marketing and distributing a movie worldwide, Hollywood studios rarely take a chance on an unproven property. Sequels, reboots, and novel adaptations are the safe bet to recoup the costs of production and bringing a film to theatergoers.

Little surprise, then, that much of Hollywood’s creativity is wasted on ruining good ideas from the past. The rubbernecker in me wants to see this happen:

According to Variety, Bridesmaids director Paul Feig has had conversations with the studio about directing a Ghostbusters reboot—not a sequel—that would likely feature an all-female cast. Given Feig’s history of collaborating with Melissa McCarthy, it seems inevitable that she’d have a leading role in such a film—which raises a new possibility altogether.

Feig’s Ghostbusters has the potential to be a stealth Bridesmaids followup—an irony of sorts, since, like Murray, Bridesmaids star Kristen Wiig sniffed at the opportunity to parlay her own summer blockbuster into a quick sequel. But think about it: McCarthy is as bankable a female comedienne as there is right now. Rose Byrne proved she was more than just a pretty face in Bridesmaids and again in this summer’s Neighbors. Maya Rudolph has perfect comedic chemistry with the other women, especially Wiig. Bringing all of them back for a new take on Ghostbusters seems simple enough on paper.

Everything looks good on paper. It’s on celluloid where things fall apart.

This is like Marvel’s reimagining of Thor as a woman. It shatters the concept of the character. A different set of assumptions, emotions, expressions, responsibilities, and motivations inform female characters.

You can’t recast women in a male buddy comedy without completely altering the substance and appeal of the content. A gender-inverted reincarnation of Ghostbusters will have as much in common with the original as Star Wars. It’s not a “reboot” if it’s completely different, right down to the gender of the main characters and their motivations.

How about a Bridesmaids reboot with male leads: Groomsmen? If it sounds stupid, that’s because groomsmen aren’t like bridesmaids. Don’t take reality for granted in Hollywood.

Related: Data learns humor isn't gender-neutral.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent points! I'm very much enjoying your writing!


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