I’m a movie buff. There is honestly nothing I find more exciting than taking a trip to the movie theater, buying a huge bucket of popcorn and sitting down to enjoy a new flick. Everything about watching a movie and going to a theater brings me joy. Heck, I even like watching the trailers. As Dane Cook once put it in his “Vicious Circle” comedy tour, going to the movies is like going on a “cinematic adventure.”
However, there is something going on in Hollywood that bothers me. As the movie industry churns out unnecessary sequels and regurgitates remakes, it has become evident that Hollywood is tired and the creative juices are not flowing.
A troubling trend in Hollywood is creating remakes of popular movies with all-female casts. Take this summer’s revamping of “Ghostbusters,” a flick that starred movie moguls like Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig and brought new faces to the big screen in Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon. While the idea of recreating the 1984 classic with a cast that was all-female seemed like a great idea, I had to ask myself: What was the point?
The original film, which was written by the late Harold Ramis and fellow-comedian Dan Aykroyd, was a hit because of its snappy humor. The star-studded cast included Ramis, Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Rick Moranis and Sigourney Weaver. With a clearly male-dominated cast, the film went down as a pop culture classic and remains a favorite to this day.
But just because the original film didn’t have many female cast members doesn’t mean it needed to be remade to include women.
I’m definitely not saying there isn’t a place for women in popular film, I’m just wondering why Hollywood can’t drum up movies that have original ideas with all-female casts and let those movies create legacies of their own.
Instead, the industry has been focusing on remaking classic films and putting women in them just for the sake of it. While the upcoming “Ocean’s 11” remake, which is also slated to have an all-female cast, sounds intriguing, we don’t need another installment in that series.
Original movies with all-female leads include “Bridesmaids” and “Mean Girls,” and while these movies are well-done and exceptionally funny, their plots play into traditional female stereotypes.
Instead, I want to see original works that have female-driven performances worthy enough to gain popularity and praise and to receive the same respect that the classic male-dominated films have received.
This is not to say there aren’t any respectable films with female leads. Hollywood has gotten on the right track with films like “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and its spinoff in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” which include original female leads. It’s the films or film series with tired storylines, like this year’s Ghostbusters and the upcoming Ocean’s 11, that feel forced to bring a female perspective to the plot. Show me an original comedy or an original heist movie that has an all-female cast.
So, I have a challenge for Hollywood: Demonstrate to me that female-led movies can stand on the same level as the male-dominated ones, but don’t show me the same movies with female casts just because you can.