So I don’t know about you, but I’m getting pretty sick of Hollywood regurgitating classic films. What’s angering me ever more is when they decide to make the leading cast female, just to be like “Oh look! Look at us making movies with lots of women! Are you happy now?” No.
Stage Door, 1938
The release of the female ensemble Ghostbusters has sparked these particular feelings inside of me. I haven’t seen the film yet, I might do, I enjoyed Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig so much in Bridesmaids but that was an original screenplay, not a gender-swap remake.
The issue with Hollywood is that they do not produce screenplays which have strong, leading female characters, with a well written plot to coincide the role. And when they OCCASIONALLY do, the women are predominantly white. I mean look at the Marvel movies, how long has it taken them to finally agree to a standalone, female superhero movie? Too bloody long.
My point, in relation to Ghostbusters, is that Hollywood needs to write and create original cinema that has compelling female characters of various races and sexualities, instead of recycling old stories. Film always has and always will be an influential medium for society and with well written stories and strong characters it could just help a little towards slaying gender inequality (I’m all about that). Diversity within the industry is just being dealt with in the wrong way. Hollywood films ooze masculinity because the best roles are always written for men, therefore, male actors are given a greater opportunity. It’s tough enough being an actor, but can you imagine not being a white, cisgender male in that world?!
Another problem is that when Hollywood has attempted to create these strong, female roles, masculinity is still so prominent. Remember The Long Kiss Goodnight? Don’t get me wrong, I loved that film and I totally wanted to be a female assassin-boss after I watched it, BUT, the way she is portrayed still focuses around adopting masculine traits. She behaves like a stereotypical man, however, is still super sexy, so don’t worry lads, this film is still for YOU! Characters should be written which can only be portrayed by a woman, rather than man and woman – because usually, Hollywood will go for the man.
The image above of Katharine Hepburn is so relevant and brilliant. Even back in the 1930’s, women were challenging the Hollywood industry. She confronted the impression of women on and off screen, only portrayed the roles she felt were right and just basically did whatever the hell she wanted. You’ve come a long way Hollywood, but still have further to go.
Let me know who your favourite female characters are!