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Remaking Old Ghosts

I want to talk about what I just saw.

There's been a lot of controversy surrounding Paul Feig's remake of the 1984 film Ghostbusters. Remakes are tricky in general. People, often guided by their nostalgia, worry that a new version of their favorite story just won't live up.

This applies here to an extreme. From the time this movie was announced, people were outraged, saying that a remake of Ghostbusters would ruin their childhood.

Their outrage wasn't just because the movie was being remade, but that Feig was putting four women in the lead roles. Feig has always been a champion of women in his work, from Freaks and Geeks to Bridesmaids and now Ghostbusters. Looking at the original story, there's no reason women can't be Ghostbusters. No. Reason. Well, other than the fact that it could damage fragile male egos everywhere.

Thank goodness that wasn't taken account, because the movie was fantastic. Really, really fantastic. The story and characters were fully developed (which was my one complaint about the original), and the movie itself is the funniest I've seen all year (at least). The film's opening weekend was the biggest for Feig, as well as stars Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, and Melissa McCarthy (it would have been for Kristen Wiig, but she was in The Martian).

Still, people are saying the movie failed. The Guardian took that big opening weekend and framed it as a failure. Leslie Jones had to leave Twitter temporarily after a flood of racist and sexist remarks from other Twitter users. People (mostly men, statistically) are giving negative reviews on sites like IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes just because it's a remake starring women. This behavior from Internet users and journalists is appalling to me.

Even so, I can't help but feel inspired by this movie. For every negative, there is a positive. The movie employed scores of women in front of and behind the camera. Kate McKinnon said in an interview that they made the movie to inspire young girls. After seeing the film, there's no doubt in my mind that it will. It shows the world that women can lead a movie, can be funny, can excel as scientists, can do anything. It was certainly inspiring to me to see this movie get made, let alone be as wonderful as it is. I can only hope that these positives outweigh the negatives and the film helps Hollywood become more female friendly.

In other words, I ain't afraid of no ghosts, so you shouldn't be either.

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