Why It’s Time For A Gender

Gender-swapped reboots of our favorite films burst out of Hollywood with a roar but left the box office with a groan. Pre-pandemic America seemed to be well on its way to rebooting all of our favorite ensemble classics with an all-female cast. And despite generally positive reviews, movies like Ocean’s 8 and Ghostbusters (2016) have divided audiences and left audiences more angry than happy. It’s hard to tell why a movie fails when viewers make it a political issue. But even as politics invade entertainment, there might be one comedy that could be gender-swapped and unite us all: The Hangover.

We don’t all destroy ghosts or steal diamonds. But almost every human being on the planet got drunk and made horrible decisions. The Hangover was a movie everyone could relate to. Even female viewers knew the pain of waking up with a disorienting headache and no idea where they were last night. People enjoyed The Hangover for its far-flung drunken madness, and Girls’ Night Out is a different flavor with the same intensity. A post-pandemic Hollywood may have put enough space between itself and previous gender-swap failures that now is the right time for a Girls of The Hangover reboot.

The Hangover: Girls’ Night Out

Discovery of Warner Bros.

The Hangover was a movie we all loved just because of how outrageous it was. Sure, many of us have gotten drunk, but very few have woken up next to a tiger. This ridiculous hyperbole of a drunken night out was a type of madman everyone could relate to. The Hangover was such a dumb movie that many of us forgot there was a plot in the first place.

The hangover with a female cast would essentially be Bridesmaids 2. There was no supernatural threat or lofty goal, the only goal was to survive the most amazing party Vegas has ever had. Ghostbusters (2016) may have threatened a certain sense of masculine nostalgia, and Ocean’s 8 sadly fell victim to that misconception. But The Hangover hasn’t established any kind of cult following, nor does it have a long standing reputation. It was just a really good party movie.

The gender-swap The Hangover would give viewers a taste of just how derailed a girls’ night out can be. It’s not unreasonable to think there may be some pushback from the internet, but selling the movie as a party movie (Project X, Superbad) and less like a good movie might be a good idea .

While the genre generally appeals more to a male demographic, bridesmaids have done pretty well across the board. And it was a film that understood the nonsense of what it was describing. Because that’s where the spirit of The Hangover thrives. Not in its deft storytelling or its sense of familiarity, but in the sheer chaos of a night gone wrong. The pandemic has put some distance between audiences and the controversy of movies like Ocean’s 8 and there hasn’t been a good party movie in a while. A girl’s version of The Hangover is full of possibilities and worth doing.

Gender-swapped films and Hollywood

Legendary Pictures

Gender-swapped movies have actually worked very well in the past, but usually when they’re less noticeable. His Girl Friday, dating back to 1940, made Hollywood history when it premiered, and the character of Rosalind Russell was originally written for a man. Closer to today in 2018, Ophelia told the story of Hamlet but from the perspective of his future wife. These films weren’t marketed as female-led nor did they replace the entire cast with another gender, but they were both female-centric blockbuster films as the stories unfolded. originally focused on men.

Ghostbusters (2016) and Ocean’s 8 unfortunately crashed when they could have been successful. When Ghostbusters came out in 2016, people immediately saw the switch to an all-female cast as something of a gimmick. There was a huge outcry from male fans of the original Ghostbusters movies. They took this reboot as some kind of trick that somehow stole the original IP address. And when Ocean’s 8 came out two years later, it was taken exactly the same way. The discourse around these films has become an exclusively gender-centric discourse, and their merits have hardly been discussed in any other context. Hollywood will have to put some distance between itself and the protests that have come against these films before making another one.

But perhaps the pandemic was exactly the space film culture needed. That two-year gap without movies or production could have kind of reset audiences. Maybe four years between us and Ocean’s 8 is enough for us to look at female ensemble films in a different light. It would be nice to go back to a time like 2011, when Bridesmaids’ tagline was literally “Girl movies don’t have to suck.”

These movies have real potential to be funny, but people seem to have forgotten how much they enjoyed them in the past. The Hangover might be the right franchise to remind us all why we enjoy these movies in the first place, not out of nostalgia or social justice, but just to have a little fun.

Why It’s Time For A Gender-Swapped Hangover Reboot | Pretty Reel