Who You Gonna Call?

DISCLAIMER: Olivia was assigned to write a piece with Mimi in the format of our previous article. After she saw the movie, she was too excited and forgot what she was supposed to do, and wrote this instead. We decided to keep it and simply publish two pieces about Ghostbusters. That's how happy we are that this movie exists.

"Please be good, please be good, please be good," are the only thoughts running through my mind as I enter the theater, about to sit down to watch Ghostbusters for the first time. For months, the country has been either a) commenting hateful and misogynistic thoughts online, or b) defending the choice to have four women star in the reboot of a beloved American comedy.  

The lights dim, I watch trailers for two separate movies starring Tom Hanks (I wish all movies starred Tom Hanks), and I wait with bated breath as the infamous theme music plays.  

Two hours later I emerge from the theatre with tear-filled eyes, unable to stop grooving. "Did you like it?!" I anxiously ask my entire group after I survived peeing without a ghost coming up the toilet. I am so happy when they respond with a resounding, "Yes."  

I've never seen a movie like the new Ghostbusters. I'm sure there's some out there, but let's face it, they're few and far between. Female audiences have to cling on to characters like Hermoine or Katniss or any of the female superheroes because we want to be reminded that we're badass and strong too. But the issue with those characters is that they undoubtedly always find themselves falling in love with a boy they just can't have, or getting distracted from their true calling by daydreaming about kissing their classmate. And it's cute, but I'm usually thinking, "Can we not?" Are female characters unable to complete any tasks without swooning over the boy they've found themselves next to?  

We hold on to Disney Princesses like Elsa and heroines like — well, I honestly can't think of another example. That's how few female leads that exist who's story isn't ultimately decided by her fate with a male partner.  

Enter: Ghostbusters. Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Kristen Wiig are those heroines. There are no love stories, no distracting side stories about romance. Their fight scenes got me choked up simply because I had never seen a fictional world hang solely on the gumption of a group of women. I found myself becoming that annoying person in the theatre laughing out loud at the smallest thing, and trying so hard to stifle my obnoxious snorts. I'm fairly certain that a smile didn't leave my face the whole time, even when I was crying.   

These comedians showed audiences worldwide that not only can female stars have us clutching our sides from laughter, but successfully portray some pretty intense action scenes as well. I hope this is the beginning of a new chapter for us: one where little girls learn that they don't have to base their life stories on the men they're involved with, but instead learn their worth is dependent on themselves alone.  

Olivia Taylor