I used to get excited about summer blockbuster movie season. Maybe because it was my childhood and there was no school, smoothies from Surf City Squeeze were especially satisfying in the Southern California summer heat, and Harry Potter films were still being released so I still had purpose in this cruel world. But really, looking back I see that my yearning to watch an epic blockbuster had less to do with the quality of the film and more to do with my own naivete.
As a 13 year old, Spiderman was a heartwarming tale of courage, love, and responsibility. But when the Amazing Spider-Man came out in 2012? I couldn’t care less about watching it. In fact, the first time I watched it was while I was cleaning the living room and my brother had it on as background noise. I didn’t need to see the same movie again, a movie with two good looking white people doing the exact same thing they did 10 years ago. I can’t get excited about Aloha, Jurassic World, or Tomorrowland. I’ve become jaded by the same white males on screen over and over and over again.
So when I heard about a Ghostbusters reboot with all female protagonists, I got pretty damn excited. It’s different! It’s original! It’s possible that women can be intrepid, intelligent scientists who kick ghost butt (much to the dismay of mean, narrow minded fools).
Then it got me thinking. What if other movies with fictional characters (note that I’m not saying that a woman has to play Franklin D. Roosevelt) were played by women*? I would definitely head to Surf City Squeeze right now and sneak my banana strawberry smoothie with extra whipped cream into the theater to watch that:
1. The Godfather’s Don Vito Corleone
A story about an aging patriarch controlling the family’s crime business and the lives of all his children? C’mon people, let’s be a little bit more realistic–a matriarch does that.
2. Fight Club’s Tyler Durden
Because instead of finding refuge in a man like we often see about women going insane, the female narrator can take refuge in her own crazy alter ego.
3. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’s Willy Wonka
A female entrepreneur-chocolatier who perfects her craft and brings joy to millions of people all over the world? Impossible!
4. Sherlock Holmes
OKAY, GUYS. You can’t have it both ways. A woman can’t be controlling, detail-obsessive, swift to make assumptions AND not be the perfect detective.
5. Harry Potter
Now, I’m a pretty traditional Potterhead, but as one who has read the books multiple times, watched the movies several times, and did her honors thesis on Harry Potter, I would say that the plot wouldn’t suffer if Harry were a girl. EXPERT OPINION APPROVED.
*And when I say women, feel free to imagine them of different creeds, races, sexual orientations too.