It’s no secret that Hollywood is obsessed with ‘remakes’ and ‘reboots’ and while some can be good – the 2001 Ocean’s Eleven is much better than the original 1960 version – most tend to pale in comparison. But in recent years, Hollywood has started doing remakes with all-female casts; something I desperately wish they’d stop doing.
Before you jump to the conclusion that I’m a misogynist, hear me out: I believe it’s far more ‘feminist’ for Hollywood to focus on producing original films and television series that feature all-female or female-led casts and have female writers, producers and directors, rather than rehashing the same old story but gender-flipped.
Take the all-female remakes Ghostbusters (2016), Ocean’s Eight (2018), What Men Want (2019) and How I Met Your Father (2022). All of these ‘female’ remakes have significantly lower IMDb scores than their respective originals, and while I’m sure there are some chauvinistic people out there deliberating scoring them lower, they all are – in my humble opinion – nowhere near as good as Ghostbusters (1984), Ocean’s Eleven (2001), What Women Want (2000) and How I Met Your Mother (2005).
Why? Well, firstly the stories are unoriginal and predictable because, duh, we’ve seen it before. Secondly, they all just seem to be pandering; and in doing so, we get one-dimensional characters, poor plots and cliched dialogue. If Hollywood really wants a pat on the back for being more feminist and diverse, rather than spending time, energy and money on all-female remakes, focus on original content.
For example, the films Hidden Figures, The First Wives Club, A League Of Their Own, Alien and Bridesmaids and the Emmy award-winning series Buffy the Vampire Slayer all have women leading the cast but because they are ‘original’, the characters are interesting, the plots are fully realised and the dialogue (mostly) rings true.
That’s because these films/shows have been specifically written for women as opposed to all-female remakes where women have to jump into a role that was originally written for a man. Plus, the ‘feminism’ is not rubbed in the audience’s faces; the leads are just strong, complex women who work at NASA, seek revenge on their ex-husbands, make baseball history, fight aliens, deal with friendships disintegrating over jealously and kill vampires…
There’s no ‘hey, look we remade this film but now every male character is a female; yay us’ bullshit that’s essentially performative feminism. So, please Hollywood, I beg you, stop making all-female remakes and give me more Buffy’s and Ripley’s.