COMMENTARY: My self-described Neanderthal colleague decried Sony‘s reboot of Ghostbusters using female actors as a way to ruin a good remake, but last I checked, we don’t live in the 1950s anymore. What does sex matter? I mean, come on, Mike, it’s time to stand upright and dust off your knuckles, if there’s any skin left on them.
When I told Mike I was going to write this, he asked, “You mean you’re going to bitch-slap me?” He also told me to go “pro gal.” I feel like Dolly Parton working with Dabney Coleman in 9 To 5. Where’s the duct tape and some rope?
Not only would I like to see any great female comedic actors lead a Ghostbusting team — an idea, by the way, that was just being tossed around at the moment with nothing whatsoever set in stone — but wouldn’t it be fun to see the likes of Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Sofia Vergara, Teri Polo, Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, Negin Farsad or Jenna Fischer wading through the slime? And maybe taking down, oh, I don’t know, maybe a film chauvinist?

By the way, I’m of the belief that if a movie is good the first time around, you don’t need to remake it, but this is an era of remakes and reboots, so there is little hope this reboot won’t happen sooner or later. I hate to ask what they will try to remake next: Caddyshack? caddyshack-200a062509-fpI shudder at the thought, and I’m sure there are some getting ready to roll in their graves right now, even as young development executives are busily looking up the movie on IMDb (‘Is that spelled C-a-d-d-i-e?”). But if a reboot of Ghostbusters is going to be done anyway and director Paul Feig (The Heat, Bridesmaids) is talking about doing an ensemble comedy that employs (gasp!) females in the leading roles — really, is this an issue?

The only question is if they can keep themselves from putting out more raunch. Give us a clean, quality film, which is what made the first one (rated PG) so successful to begin with and which drove repeat family business and ticket sales.

tumblr_mcmn4ic4zv1roiawoo1_500As for strong women roles, the industry has come a long way, but apparently not with some (cough, Mike Fleming, cough). When Linda Hamilton appeared in The Terminator as a ferociously tough and courageous woman, Hollywood left languishing those moviegoers hungry to see more women in strong roles. Instead, they got more of the same ol’, same ol’ for seven years until she emerged again in Terminator 2: Judgment Day as a superhero. Now, finally, we have Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johannson and Jennifer Lawrence kicking it in action roles at the box office in role after role.

Related: Box Office Final: ‘Lucy’ In The Sky At $43.9M

So, what does it matter what sex leads or co-stars in Ghostbusters? We have an irreverent raccoon right now as the scene-stealer in this weekend’s biggest movie at the box office. I know this is a business, but there is an audience for a family-friendly film such as this — one that can bring in the 18- to 25-year-olds who love the shoot-em-ups — and still engage them for a weekend with something light (like humor).

Interestingly, when the original Ghostbusters came out in 1984, it targeted those same 18- to 25-year-olds by doing the first cross-promotion for a movie with an auto company. They were marketing the film to college students in a joint effort with Chevrolet that was trying to build brand awareness and loyalty with males and yes, females, too. Wow, who would have thunk it? Females drove cars back then?

Yes, even the old white guys that ran Chevrolet back in the 1980s knew that there is more in this world than old white guys. Mike, at least come into the age of the microwave (he calls it the unmanageable scientific oven).

Hey, someone has to be the gatekeeper.