Does anyone laugh at Ghostbusters anymore?
Don't misunderstand me, if you're from a country who has never seen the Ivan Reitman comedy or have been locked away for years, when you see it you will gag on your tongue laughing.
Seeing the thing God knows how many times - which is more then I can possible remember and which the lines have been quoted so many times the whole film now a cliche - I have to say with complete honest this is probably my favorite comedy of all time. This said, I don't laugh at this film anymore, I just let the film play in my head and remember the fun.
This very, very, very personal movie for me, as I'm sure it is for many people who grew up during the 1980's or 90's or hell...whenever. By the time I was ten years old I did indeed had the film memorized.
My father used to say when he was young he would play Planet of the Apes.
When I was young, I was a Ghostbusters.
He's was serious, mine was goofy.
I like goofy.
When the writers/actors of this film Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis took their script in for this film I would have loved to have seen the look on executive's face.
Was it: "What the hell are these guys trying to pitch?"
Was it: "How much? For a comedy?"
Or was it, and rightfully so: "I get the hell out of this thing! I love it!"
It's not every day a science fiction/horror/comedy film gets made or when it does, it's actually never this funny. There have been some truly awful films who have attempted this kind of trick but not like this one, who understands that comedy can't be forced but often comes from ridiculous material, also never forced.
Three parapsychologist (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis) who are actually employed mind you, teaching about the paranormal at a university in New York City, gets kicked out of school for various reason (mostly being parapsychologists), make a business to catch ghosts and then, and this is the real crazy part: they make a fortune! But, being rich starts with the first customer, a female cello player (Sigourney Weaver) how is haunted by demons in her refrigerator and this leads to a crisis that could destroy The Universe itself.
Then, more help is needed. These guys are busy so they hire a fourth worker to take the load off, a man played by Ernie Hudson.
Each of these actors are wonderful in their performances. Bill Murray wasn't the first actor thought of when taking on the role of Peter Venkman (that was supposed to go to the then recently deceased John Belushi) but I can't image anyone else playing this role better.
Writers Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis give great funny support but they are not supporting roles. They have as much screen times as Murray and they are equally entertaining.
Weaver, while not the funniest in the film, plays the role like, "Who the hell are these guys?" And she gives a good performance as the non-weirdo.
Hudson shows up in the middle of the film and he gives a line to the Major of New York that made me laugh till my throat hurt.
And here is a small role, small in size but not in scope, for Rick Moranis who plays a goofus accountant who lives down the hall of the Weaver character, always hits on her, keeps getting locked out of his apartment and who desperately in one scene needs a Milk-Bone.
The film has visual effects that work as well today as they did almost two decades ago. Hell, I would say these are better because they look more real then modern CGI which, while still stunning in the modern sense, I can always tell something is just not right with them. The effects best usage is when a huge Marshmallow Man does the funniest Godzilla rendition film has ever seen even as Manhattan is being stepped on and crushed.
Aykroyd called the focus of Ghostbusters "relaxed insanity" which pretty much sums on what is on the screen. It's funny that characters don't think it's funny. When it's truly funny they don't laugh they just make you laugh more.
Like so many who have seen it, and will see it in the future, I get the hell out of Ghostbusters and I remember the fun.