Now let me get this out of the way from the start: I love women. I really do. Most of them smell nice; and a lot of them look pretty good too. Women are, generally speaking, nicer people to be around than men are. It’s just a fact. Sure, there are some women out there who are bitches; but there are just as many men out there who are bastards. So let’s not get caught up in that whole discussion.
That being said… I’m fed up with Hollywood feeling that it’s necessary to remake or reimagine old ideas and franchises that starred men, just because there’s a widespread belief that it’s necessary to do the same thing with women.
No. It isn’t.
Equality is a good thing – of course it is; it’s silly to argue otherwise – and women should absolutely have the same opportunities that men have, but that’s a separate discussion for a different day. This is about the fascination Hollywood has had over the last few years of taking properties that used men in the leading roles, and simply sticking women in there… without any story-related reason to do so. It seems as though that is what constitutes a good idea these days.
I am on record as being generally ambivalent to remakes in the first place, and I believe they are often just a cash grab to trade off the back of the original iteration, but I especially don’t enjoy those in which the only thought of the production team is: let’s do this exact same story, but with women this time. How is that any good?
Spoiler: it’s not.
This rant comes as The Hustle is released – a con-artist comedy starring Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson; two actresses I have enjoyed in other movies, so I have no axe to grind with them. The thing is, The Hustle is a remake of the Michael Caine and Steve Martin con-artist comedy from 1988 called Dirty Rotten Scoundrels which, although far from the most celebrated entry in either of their ouevres, is considered to be a good movie. And I happen to like it quite a bit.
I have not seen The Hustle and I don’t intend to do so any time soon either, so feel free to consider this as an entirely biased breakdown. And yes, for all you clever clogs out there, I am aware that Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is itself a revision of the sixties movie Bedtime Story, but as I have previously accepted, there are always exceptions.
The one saving grace is that The Hustle is currently being fed to the wolves by the critics so I suppose I’m happy about that, because if these films continue to be lambasted then perhaps the public will begin to lose interest and there will be a time in the not too distant future when we don’t have to put up with these thoughtless travesties.
Earlier this year What Men Want was released; last year we had a role reversal in Overboard; and a couple of years before that there was the much maligned Ghostbusters (a movie that was always fighting an uphill battle). I’ve heard rumblings of a Splash remake too (yes, with a merman), and even an all female version of Lord of the Flies.
Seriously? It’s just too much.
If you give me a worthy movie I promise I’ll go with it every time, but I don’t see any of these standing the test of time.
And before you ask – no, I don’t want to see a Pretty Man, in which Zac Efron plays a low-rent streetwalker purchased by rich business woman Sandra Bullock for a few days of conversation; or a sitcom about four geriatric men talking about life over cheesecake called The Golden Boys.