Why We Shouldn’t Make All-Female Remakes
Written By: AJ Lipsett
Intro: Ghostbusters disappointed, but there are more all-female remakes on the horizon. This feminist goes into detail about why this is a bad idea.
I’m sure you’ve all heard about the all-female reboot of the 1984 classic, Ghostbusters. Even if you didn’t actually watch the movie, you were aware of the cloud of controversy that surrounded it. Upon first being announced, the internet went insane with how much they did or didn’t want to see this film. If you wanted to see it, you were “spitting in the face of the original”. And if you didn’t want to see it, you were a “misogynist pig”. There was no winning with Ghostbusters, and so the cloud of continues to grow still.
Now, since I am female, and am making a fairly unpopular point, a little background on me, and my feminist ideals are warranted. Primarily, I confidently call myself a feminist, and believe in gender equality one hundred percent. I also intend on being a female writer/director, and it upsets me that this particular career path is going to be an uphill battle for me, simply because I’m a woman. So, whenever Hollywood tries to empower female actresses, writers, directors, producers, etc., I’m all for it. But, surprisingly, I’m against all-female remakes. I’m against the idea because, at the root of it, all-female reboots of male-driven movies are demeaning to women.
The remake of Ghostbusters is at the center of my point. I viewed the film when it first came out, and honestly, I wasn’t impressed. The biggest problem with the film was simple- it wasn’t funny. This is especially disappointing because the film had so much potential to be funny and make some really good social commentary on females and female power, but instead the jokes are painfully stilled. Nearly every joke dies in its tracks. For example, the scene where Kevin the secretary (Chris Hemsworth) is getting interviewed could have been hilarious if the women objectified him, thus switching the gender roles for an unexpected comedic effect. This would have also empowered women in a funny way and makes the audience think. But instead the film takes the easy way out and relies on “stupid” jokes, making Kevin too stupid, i.e., having him mistake his eyes for his ears. This comes off as not only ground level easy, but also as really mean spirited instead of funny. And the whole film is like that- not funny, and more importantly, not empowering.
Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who didn’t like the film. Ghostbusters (2016) only holds a 5.8/10 on IMDB.com and a 73% on Rotten Tomatoes. So, to be very generous, the consensus of people is that the film was okay at best. Currently, the film has only made $208.3 million against a budget of $144 million, which makes it by no means a blockbuster hit. Yet, I have heard that there are already plans to make an all-female remake of Ocean’s Eleven, with Sandra bullock attached to star. Why? When I considered all the cards that Ghostbusters had against it, on top of it being a straight up bad movie, another all-female remake makes little sense.
But for me, the main issue is this: all-female remakes are demeaning to women. These various reboots are almost like saying, “women have to do traditional things that men do, in order to be relevant” or “we can’t gamble on original female ideas outside of chick flicks”. Also as a woman, I think that is the ultimate insult- denying women originality. Thinking that women are okay being compared to men and male stories instead of doing something original, something that celebrates them as women, is beyond demeaning.
I understand that Hollywood has always been misogynist, so really this all doesn’t surprise me. It’s just upsetting because with films like Bridesmaids, The Hunger Games and even The Force Awakens, I really thought female-driven movies were making strides. But, until all-female remakes are a thing of the past- I will be taking my money elsewhere.