While the library ghost that presented itself within your first few scenes indirectly stunted my learning potential by preventing me from ever stepping foot in a library ever again, you won me over for reasons I didn’t even understand at the time. Ahhh, young, stupid love. Back during my younger days, my attraction to you had more to do with the concept of some cooky, misunderstood scientists that went around zapping and trapping spooky specters in actual physical contraptions, so they would no longer bother people. The idea of being able to catch and lock away something that gave me sheet-wetting-induced nightmares went a long way towards diminishing my own personal fear of ghosts – sorry, not everyone can be brave like Haley Joel Osment. The fact that you are a comedy first, Ghostbusters, also played a significant part in making the supernatural a laughing matter for me during a period of time when the boogeyman had nothing to do with turbulence in my nasal cavity. Well, that and the Ecto-1 had to be one of the coolest automotive creations on four wheels that I’d ever seen.
Then, a funny thing happened during the next several years, as I started wearing out the VHS copy of you that my parents purchased for the low price of $89.95; I started to understand your adult-based humor. It only took me the better part of two decades, three copies of the tape, and two versions of the DVD to realize that one of the things that makes you one of the best movies of all time is the plethora of humor drenched in every single scene, like Dr. Venkman covered in spiritual mucus. From the acting, to the facial expressions, to the visual elements, to the dialogue, there is so much comedy to be had in viewing you that I can literally find something new to laugh about every time I watch you.
Speaking of dialogue, another reason you stand the test of Hollywood time is because virtually every line in the film is quotable, if not laugh-out-loud funny. In an age when entertainment media feels the need to push the envelope and play the raunchy card for a decent laugh, you didn’t need to tell masturbation or fart jokes to manufacturer laughter from the audience. I’d provide some examples here, but, of course, you know them all, silly. Not to mention, once I start spewing your quotes like sweet-nothings into your film ear, I can’t stop and I’ve been told to keep this love letter to under Grapes of Wrath-like length.
Also, unlike most films these days, you didn’t rely solely on visual effects to carry your premise. Despite looking quite good for being 30 years young – and I do hope flattery gets me everywhere – the special effects were just side elements to the core of your story: the characters. The layman portrayals by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson made you what you are today. Without their casual demeanor and comedic timing, you wouldn't be the masterpiece you are today. Yeah, I said masterpiece; it’s my love letter, so I’ll gush over you, my precious, however I’d like.
As I’ve matured over the past few years – albeit only to a 5th grade level – I’ve also come to understand and love your subtle political message. Those who have been, and are, currently self-employed can also appreciate your mini-theme of private business trying to operate within the confines of overbearing government regulation. You eloquently portray something we often see in our own government today: bureaucrats that have never run something as simple as a lemonade stand trying to regulate and instruct private companies how to operate their own businesses. What I’m really trying to say is that even though I didn’t realize it, you played an essential role in fostering the entrepreneurial spirit I possess today. More importantly, did I mention how much I loved the Ecto-1?
I originally planned on writing a confession of my love to each of the boys in gray separately and, shockingly enough, the Ecto-1, as well; however, what makes you such an incredible film isn’t any one of those things alone. It’s the sum of all your parts. (Although some could make a case for Bill Murray being a larger piece of the puzzle in comparison.) The more I thought about it, the more I realized I had to acknowledge the whole enchilada.
With all of that said, what I really wanted you to know is how much you have truly meant to my life. You are my yearly ritual on Halloween, and you are my remedy for a bad day or a broken heart. You make the bad times good, and the good times better. You are the reason why I am the geek I am today, though I’m not sure if I should be thankful for that part of the equation. You are unequivocally my favorite movie of all time and always will be.
My hope is that you will receive this letter, accept my declaration of love, and return it in kind. (“What, no kiss?”)
Seeing as how I have now ruined my chances for a relationship with any female of the human species – and probably most others – for the rest of my time on this spinning rock, I leave you with this final poem:
“Your logo has red and your positron streams contain blue. For thee I’d climb 22 flights of stairs, covered in marshmallow goo.”
Happy 30th, Ghostbusters, and here’s to another 30 or so more.
“I came, I saw, I confessed my love,”