A Film Review in Dialogue
Between Two Genders
*WARNING THE MOVIE REVIEW BELOW CONTAINS SPOILERS...FOR THE DAN BROWN NOVEL INFERNO*
Sam: Have I told you about the first time I saw Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2?
S: Please stop deleting my words in this Google doc.
J: They were videos “borrowed” from the library.
S: I can’t believe you remember! That makes me so happy. Elaborate for the reader.
J: Dad, drugs, poor, library.
S: My husband--a man of few words. But yes. Dad checked them out from the library and never returned them. OR he rented them from the video store in an Albertson’s and we owe like a million dollars in late charges. Either way, those were two of our first home-owned videos. We watched them over and over and over...what about you? Do you remember watching the movies?
J: I don’t remember exactly when I saw them, but when I did, it was mind blowing. I even had the Nintendo games and toys.
S: I still have a glow-in-the-dark pillow case! I used to Trick or Treat with it . And we had a dinner tray, and do you remember the Saturday morning cartoon?...HEY! STOP TELLING PEOPLE ABOUT IT ON FACEBOOK. We’re supposed to write this review together. How many tabs do you have open?
J: Sorry. My B… I’m focused and ready now.
S: I’m about to come off as a real Nagging Nelly, a real shrew, (pr have I already?) which seems appropriate given the context of the new Ghostbusters. So--did you know I was angry at/with/around you this week re: this reboot, and us watching it?
J: Nice segway.
J: I knew you were getting annoyed at all the male critics/reviews I was reading and watching because they all were saying the same thing.
S: It was like every time I walked by you and your computer, a new Internet bro was bitching about how crappy this movie was, and how dull and unfunny it was, and blah blah blah GIRLS CAN’T BE GHOSTBUSTERS. I mean, none of them said that outright (although I bet they were a part of the “BURN THE WITCHES” crew a year or so ago when the studio announced the cast), but listening to man after man after man just tear down this movie was exhausting. And I worried you were setting yourself up to agree. Not that you can’t be critical for yourself--I just. It reminds me of that Dan Brown novel I’m about to spoil for everyone.*SPOILER ALERT* Where the plot twist is EVERYONE WAS ALREADY INFECTED WITH THE VIRUS. You know, Robert Langdon is chasing this virus, but everyone already had it. So everyone going to see/or choosing not to see the new Ghostbusters already had the “Burn the Witches” virus. Sorry, I’m mixing metaphors. I think it's because we went to Salem a few weeks ago and we saw that new Tom Hanks Roman Holiday Easter Egg Hunt National Treasure directed by Ron Howard trailer.
J: Well, after seeing the initial Ghostbusters' trailer (which I thought WAS awful), I did have a feeling that it might not be good, but I reading reviews trying to see what everyone else’s thoughts were once they finally saw it. Then I remembered the Internet is not the best place to read comments because it's full of women-haters.
S: For me, the trailer is a non-issue. I agree it didn’t show the potential of the film. But the way people reacted to WOMEN as GHOSTBUSTERS--do you think that original vitriol affected how these many male critics experienced the film? I suppose we should say at some point that we disagree with the naysayers…
J: What dis vitriol?
S: lolololololol stahp
J: Every reviewer I saw made it a point to say they were not biased or affected by the original reactions online, but I do think the seed was planted, for sure, regardless if male reviewers said they weren’t swayed.
S: And you said every single one mentioned the possibility of that, right? Like, made sure to wash their hands of the original sexist backlash, before they began to tear into the film?
J: Yep. They said they were for an all-women cast, there needs to be more women lead roles, etc….and then followed it up by saying “They were not funny,” and “there was too much male-bashing in the film.”
S: So, you’re saying I’m not a crazy misandrist is what you’re saying.
J: Love you.
S: What I’m most confused about now is, well--did we see a different movie than they did? Because my face hurts from smiling. Like two hours worth of smiling. And the audience, though there were only maybe fifteen of us--so much happy!
J: We must have seen a different film. I went in with slight hesitation, but after the first scene nailed the feeling of a Ghostbusters movie, and in its own, original way, all my worries were gone and I really enjoyed it. It was it’s own movie with great respect for the source material.
S: I have two questions. What is the “feeling” of a Ghostbusters movie, for you? I know when I heard the opening song and the accompanying chubby ghost logo I felt super giddy, not unlike how I felt when we watched The Force Awakens. And also, what made you so worried? Besides the trailer?
J: The feeling of a Ghostbusters movie is, I guess, having fun with the right amount of scariness--a movie not taking itself too seriously, but also not going so casual the humor is forced and not funny (which is what the trailer did and why I was worried). I wanted it to be good not only because I’m so nostalgic for the old ones but also because these women are funny and didn’t deserve to be dealt a crap hand by Neckbeards online before anyone even saw the movie.
S: I’m sorry, did you just say “women are funny”
J: I said THOSE women are funny.
S: I felt joyful watching this movie. They were all wonderful, Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones and Melissa McCarthy. I wish Kate McKinnon would live with us in a polyamorous/dog-sitter situation.
J: I’m fine with this. I also really enjoyed this movie. Great nods to the classics and the original cast cameos show they approved of this movie too. It’s never going to replace the original but it’s exciting seeing another take on a great franchise. They made it their own and it was really fun and funny.
J: Too soon.
S: No! Not a Harold Ramis joke! RIP HAROLD. I mean good ole Rick Moranis. Canada has him now.
J: Damn you, Canada
S: Ok, so we think everyone should go see this film. The cast is incredibly talented, script is funny, amazing CGI effects...wait! You forgot to mention how much you loved Chris Hemsworth. Do you want to mention that real quick?!
J: Yeah. Being one of the few male parts (hehe) in the movie, he was really funny as the ditzy secretary. I just assume he is actually like that in real life.
S: Also, it’s so sad there aren’t more great roles for male actors out there
J: Tell me about it.
S: To to wrap up--all of this has me thinking of Hillary Clinton.
J: NO POLITICS!
S: But babe, we can agree, can’t we, that the rhetoric surrounding women, in any/most/all industries/contexts is, well, pretty fucked. Yes? So fucked Hollywood will make another all-male Ghostbusters to dry all the male tears? So fucked people say they could maybe possibly SEE THEMSELVES VOTING FOR TRUMP over Hillary? I can't handle the way people talk about Hillary. The tone is so very different in regards to her than it has been for any other politician (male). Do you think people are just that unaware of their implicit biases? Do you think the cultural messages we receive Re: Women is so ingrained we don’t even notice pretty blatant sexism and misogyny anymore?
S: Thank you for your time and effort.
J: You’re welcome.
S: And thank you for the Slimer you won for me in the claw machine. He’s super cute.
J: First dollar. First try. I ain’t afraid of no claw machine.
Sam and Jesse are married. Their names are androgynous, though that wasn't planned. Some things just work out that way. They love movies and share a SMASH THE PATRIARCHY shirt. See Jesse's web comics at www.deskwarming.com.