Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing
If there was ever a movie this year that seemed destined to fail, it was Ghostbusters. Long before the reboot’s dissenters became an online horde, spewing vitriol and misogyny, the long and the short is that director Paul Feig was attempting to remake what is unequivocally considered to be one of the strongest comedies ever filmed.
No property or piece of art is so sacred that it’s above reinterpretation, though, as long as the execution is strong enough to support to new angle. (West Side Story, Gnomeo & Juliet, and 1996’s Romeo + Juliet are all far cries from what Shakespeare envisioned, but each still works due to that factor.)
The fact that four women would play the busting quartet was never going to be what killed a Ghostbusters remake — particularly when they were four incredibly funny women. The key would always be whether Feig could make the movie enough of his own creation. Mostly, he does. It’s only whenever the reboot feels forced to tip its hat in homage to the original that it loses its own voice. Continue reading
Photo: Universal Pictures
You really have to give it to Melissa McCarthy. She works harder on her characters than almost any other comedian. Whether playing complex creations in Bridesmaids and St. Vincent or tackling one-dimensional doofuses in Identity Thief or Tammy, McCarthy takes every character seriously. The effort she puts into understanding who each is and truly becoming them shows onscreen. It’s an admirable quality and a well-intentioned one. Of course, some of the worst things imaginable have been done with the best of intentions. Continue reading
Melissa McCarthy has had trouble over the last decade deciding what type of performer she wants to be. In projects like Gilmore Girls, she plays funny, realistic people that make mistakes but still deserve respect; in projects like Identity Thief, she just demeans herself for comedy and lets the camera laugh at her instead of with her. That indecision and identity crisis permeates Tammy, a movie that doesn’t know what it wants to be or even what it thinks of its protagonist. Continue reading