Jillian Holtzmann: queer as a salty parabola, she’s not here for straight people.

Spoiler level: minor. (Also, I know I said I was off on a blog break. But c’mere, I’m only human. Flesh and blood and a burning need to talk about Holtzmann. The break starts tomorrow, right?)

Jillian Holtzmann. Jillian. Fucking. Holtzmann. The queerest thing I’ve seen on screen since I recruited my friends to help me move my furniture. And yet, I keep hearing that there’s some kind of ambiguity to her. That she’s not out. That there’s something coy about her presentation.

Really? Really? Let’s sit ourselves down and have a look at this, shall we?

Holtzmann goggles
But first. I want to be a goggles.

There’s only one reason that Holtzmann’s queerness isn’t considered canon.

I’ve got one word for you: heteronormativity.

I know. I know. This is a silly article about a fictional engineer who licks ghost-guns. The last thing you want to hear is me getting the official SJW dictionary out and opening up the chapter on Ruining Everyone’s Fun With Theory.

But c’mere. Does anyone- anyone– think that Holtzmann is straight? And does anyone- anyone– think that Holtzmann’s character is the slightest bit conflicted over her queerness? She isn’t some sad, closeted mess. She flirts with every woman in sight with the same enthusiasm she brings to making new ghost bustin’ toys or crunching on salty parabolas. Do we need her to say that she enjoys purchasing tubes of Pringles and that she would like to confirm that Pringles are in fact her favourite brand of potato chip? Or is it enough to see her, yes, chomping down on them right there, on screen? She doesn’t have to tell us that she likes the Original ones. That wasn’t a tube of Sour Cream & Onion that she was munching on, y’know?

Which is where we come to the heteronormativity. Heteronormativity: the idea that (cisgender) straightness is normal and preferred, and that everyone’s (cis and) straight until proven otherwise. That’s why we have to come out and you all don’t. It’s why people think it’s weird to tell kids that LGBTQIA people exist but totally normal to say that a toddler hanging out with another toddler of a different assigned gender is flirting with them.

It’s not, by the way, the state of being a cis straight person in a monogamous long-term relationship. That’s just being a monogamous cishet person and it’s kind of not heteronormative at all unless you think that should be the default way to do things.

Except, you know, if you’re queer than you don’t tend to have that heteronormative filter on. If you’re queer then instead of assuming cisness and heterosexuality, you know that people happen in a ton of different orientations and gender expressions/IDs, and your own life probably includes at least a handful of ’em. You don’t need someone to wear their “I’m a mahoosive queer ok” t-shirt every day, ’cause there’s nothing unexpected about queer people showing up just about anywhere.

Or, in short: we see each other because we don’t ignore each other’s existence until it’s shoved in our faces.

Holtzmann is queer as fuck. She’s not hiding it. The very idea that she might be anything other than cheerfully, exuberantly queer is ridiculous and would make no sense at all for her character.

So why do we say that her queerness isn’t canon? Two more words for you: straight people.

Holtzmann desk
I can guarantee you that no straight people were harmed in the making of this gif. Also:I want to be a desk. Or a whatever it is in her hand.

Straight people love a good coming out narrative

Here’s the deal. We have this really singular idea of what constitutes ‘outness’, and let me tell you, I think it’s not actually about queer people at all.

Let’s say I meet me a lady and damn, I know she’s One Of Us. How’s that happen? Is it a tearful confession over the dinner table with the family? Or is it that there’s some je ne sais quoi (or, in fairness, je sais exactly quoi) that makes my spidey sense go ping and my face go “well hello“.

Who’s come out to who? Nobody. Who knows the other person is a raging queermo? With any luck, everyone.

(And I’m not just saying this if I wanna kiss her on the face. I mean, sometimes you just need someone to bond over your OITNB-related trauma with, y’know? Or the way that whenever you see that gif of Holtzmann and the gun you come over all woozy. Or, like, real-life things like all the queerphobic crap we have to deal with all the time, or the intricacies of getting the perfect queer-coded-and-also-femme haircut.)

That’s not the popular narrative. The popular narrative involves a person having a specific conversation with another person where they tell them the words they use to describe their sexuality, and then the other (cis, straight) person gets to react to that. Or else, these days, that popular narrative might involve a sweet, smiling married same-gender couple being awfully wholesome together. They’re either being observed by straight people (who get to prove their ally cred by thinking it’s adorable) or it’s something filmed in such a way that everyone watching (hint: straight people) can, again, see them as adorbs.

The popular narrative also sees coming out– the event- as more of a thing than simply living your life as a queer person who probably has shit to do.

Y’know what I love about Holtzmann? She didn’t do any of that. I hope to the squishiest noodle of the FSM that if there’s a sequel she doesn’t do any of it then. I’m sick of that narrative. I’m sick of how it shoves us into palatable boxes that make straight people feel good about themselves.

Holtzmann’s queerness isn’t there for straight people. Holtzmann’s queerness- which she makes obvious from her the first words we see her say- is there to make women weak at the knees. She doesn’t need to tell people she’s queer to do that (yawwwwwwn). She does it with a straw-adjacent wink that, let me tell you, does exactly what it was meant to do.

Holtzmann straw
Ok I want to be a straw now. I want to be that straw more than I have wanted anything ever.

Why is it all about Holtzmann?

Back to heteronormativity. Let me ask you a question: what do we know about any of the Ghostbusters’ sexualities?

I can think of two things: Gilbert fancies Kevin. Holtzmann flirts with all the women everywhere forever. Come to think of it, Holtzmann flirts her ass off with Gilbert and while I’ve only seen the movie once (so far), I’m 90% certain that Gilbert doesn’t find that the worst time ever. So Gilbert: definitely not a Kinsey 6 but aside from that, who knows?

As for Abby and Patty: as far as I can remember, we know nothing about their romantic/sexual proclivities. Not a thing. They don’t even join with Gilbert in getting moony over Kevin. We don’t know if they’re queer, straight, or ace. It’s not in the story. And I’m glad it’s not, since that would take valuable screen minutes away from the one-liners and the bustin’.

You can read Abby, Patty and Gilbert any way you please. None of them are explicitly stated anywhere as straight. And besides, have you seen Abby’s buttoned-up-shirts-and-cardi combos? I mean, I’m not gonna say that’s blatant queer signalling there but I am gonna tell you to take yourself down to your local queer-lady haunt next time you can and just try to tell me there’s nobody rockin’ that look. Queer librarian is a glorious archetype for a reason, people. As for Patty- she reads queer hard femme all over to me.

…Shirts. Also: I want to be an irresistably salty parabola.

The above doesn’t mean that I’ve the only true interpretation of the characters, of course. Like I said, you can read them any way you please. But it does seem interesting to me (i.e.: heteronormative) that despite a ton of possibly-queer signalling from the others, everyone talks about Holtzmann as if she’s not just a queer character, but the queer character. Cause despite the evidence of my contacts lists and friend groups, it seems inconceivable that queer people would be friends with each other. Exist in communities. Work together. Maybe even set up a business with their queer besties.

You’re gonna say that of course we can’t have more than one queer main character in a blockbuster movie about women. Everyone knows you can barely make a movie about women at all, never mind a bunch of ass-kicking lady lovin’ ladies.

Maybe think about that for a second. Ask yourself why we can have dozens of cinema screens full of straight guys every day of the year that we expect everyone to go see, but it seems ludicrous to expect people to watch a couple of hours of explosions and jokes if the main characters don’t fit that mold.

Let Busters Bust.

Here’s a thing about Ghostbusters: it’s not about romance. It’s not a love story. There’s no romantic subplot. The closest we get is Gilbert’s fancying Kevin. And there’s nothing romantic about that (unless your idea of romance involved spit-taked coffee, of course. And this is good. How often do we get stories about women where romance isn’t even on the table? Where the women are just people?

And here’s another thing that’s rare: queer women on screen that feel real. It’s not that there’re no lady-loving-ladies on screen. Even though they’re few and far between, it’s true. But it’s even rarer that we see queer women onscreen who are blatantly there for the female gaze. Queer women who aren’t pandering to straight-dude ideas of what’s sexy, even a little bit.

There’s two things going on here: Holtzmann’s possible queerness and the movie’s marvellous female-ness, and that puts us at the crossroads of two lacks of representation: women in nonromantic or nonsexualised contexts, and queers getting to see portrayals of ourselves in queerly sexualised contexts. Ones that are blatantly there for us.

In her very lack of pandering to the expected Good Gay Character storyline, Holtzmann contributes to both. She doesn’t have to fulfil straight people’s expectations of how we live out our queerness. She just is who she is- unapologetically, joyfully, and exuberantly. She’s here to bust ghosts and break hearts, and she’s starting with you.

Holtzmann gun
Or the gun. She’s starting with the gun. I would saw off my own leg to get the chance to be that gun.


Jillian Holtzmann: queer as a salty parabola, she’s not here for straight people.

61 thoughts on “Jillian Holtzmann: queer as a salty parabola, she’s not here for straight people.

    1. 1.1

      I’m sorry if that read as my erasing ace people’s queerness. I wanted to specify asexuality explicitly as a possibility since I know if I just say “queer” people will interpret that as “gay” or “gay/bi+” if really lucky.

      Do you think there is a better way I could put it? I’m scratching my head tbh.

      1. MK

        I don’t have a better solution, but I’m so glad these two comments took place. Thank you for further considering how ace people may read that wording.

      2. “I’m sorry if that read as my erasing ace people’s queerness.”

        Eh, maybe… but as an asexual person, I’m glad to be represented, and I’m glad you thought about it enough to want to address us specifically. Honestly, I think you have the right of it for now; right now, aces aren’t visible enough. Working to make us visible, recognized, and understood to be as queer as other queer identities needs to happen first, before reading “queer” can automatically include aces.

        I think you did the right thing. And that just goes to show that this is as individual as individual aces.

  1. 2

    I have been watching the trailer for months. MONTHS. To see the thing with the gun. Finally seeing the whole sequence it’s part of made me afraid they would ask me to leave the theater like Pee-Wee Herman.

  2. MAA

    There are a couple of ace folks spreading screenshots of Melissa McCarthy character’s ring (right hand middle finger) with SO MUCH EXCITEMENT AND HOPE

  3. 8

    And then she stars in a film with a woman who will not acknowledge or apologize for participating in all the homophobic and transphobic bullshit on her show Mike and Molly. I hope she slapped the shit out of Melissa.

      1. I find Mike and Molly completely unwatchable. For a show that has been advertised as being, at least in part, about Fat Acceptance, it’s virulently negative in so many ways. (In the bits of it I’ve managed to watch before throwing my hands up in disgust and changing the channel.) But oh, I love Holtzmann. I walked out of there and was like, “how can anyone not want to make out with her RIGHT NOW?” Queer, smart, and adorably geeky. Just my type.

    1. 8.2

      I mean, she’s not a perfect ally either. Have you ever seen her Fitzwilliam sketch from Big Gay Sketch Show? I’m totally comfortable with enjoying problematic things which is why I’m nerding out over this too, but to think that she’s better than Melissa, specifically when it comes to transphobia especially, is an interesting read.

      And yeah. I need to be a salty parabola.

      1. Except that queer women who are, in fact, innately lesbian are virtually ignored, if not maligned, in favor of some generic gay/queer blanket. Nothing wrong with lesbians!

        1. You really think that including all queer women, and not assuming that women who are obviously queer are necessarily lesbian specifically, is erasure?

          From here is looks more like the opposite.

          – a queer/bi person who has spent almost two decades being sick to death of having her orientation erased and who got so tired of the complete lack of support or visibility for people of her orientation that she started the only goddamn organisation in the country supporting them.

  4. 10

    Can I just say as a cishet dude, that if anyone comes out of the theatre thinking she’s straight it’s pure wish fulfillment on our (cishet dudes) part?

    Because I too, would love to be an irresistible salty parabola, or that proton pistol, or even Gilbert when she receives that wink. Oh… that wink.

  5. 11

    I understand that Kate McKinnon identifies as gay herself, which is surely relevant here… obviously, the sexualities of the characters don’t have to be the same as the sexualities of the actors playing them, but that’s probably a large part of why many have identified her character as ‘the queer one’.

    1. C

      I honestly didn’t even know that Kate herself is gay until someone told me after the second time I’d seen the movie on Tuesday.

  6. 12

    For me, it was less about her sexuality and more about her gender expression. With the exception of Gilbert’s brown suit dress, I loved the clothing. Loved. Holtzmann watching through HQ in a vest and slacks made it feel like I had found a piece of myself in a character on screen, something I usually only find in male characters like Tony Stark. Female characters have been so limited to hyperfemmes, tomboys who become femme, and the occasional stone butch. Seeing Holtzmann actually felt like representation for women like me. No, I didn’t want to date her, I want to be her. Starting to look for my Halloween costume stat.

  7. 13

    She may not be here for me as as straight woman, but I’m damn glad she’s here. She was the best part of the show. I want to be her friend and get in lots of trouble with her.

  8. 14

    You took every thought in my head and put it into words. Finally we have a character catered to us for our delight so we could have a goddamn hero for once in our devalued lives. Aoife, I wanna be your friend. Bless your soul.

  9. 16

    Definitely my favorite character from a great film! I’m a straight male, and I didn’t think she came off as gay…but I don’t think that was really part of the point for any of the characters in the film. Kind of a non-issue. I read her as more the socially award scientist. Someone passionate about her work, and trying to make friends. I work with a lot of those =)

    1. 16.1

      That’s the thing, though: the ways that her queerness was coded aren’t the ways that are obvious to straight men. But when you spend your life in queer women’s communities it’s.. clear as day. Trust me, I’ve spent my whole post-pubescent life learning to read those. 😉

      And yes, she is also gloriously dorky-scientist and that is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

      1. Well, as I’ve said before, Holtzmann is seriously putting out the vibes that many – but not all – lesbians find incredibly attractive, and as a big queer herself, I can’t imagine McKinnon didn’t know exactly what she was doing… especially because McKinnon herself often presents in a much more femmey manner for publicity stuff.

        And it wasn’t a non-issue! For the sake of queer representation in mainstream media, it was HUGE! And god knows that for many of us in the queer community, it was a really big deal to see ourselves represented on screen, in a big-budget film by Sony, no less…. just check this out: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/aug/04/ghostbusters-star-trek-beyond-gay-characters?CMP=share_btn_tw

        As for her being a gloriously dorky scientist, Aoife, you should definitely read this fabulous blog post about that! http://plaidadder.tumblr.com/post/149089426494/jillian-holtzmanns-glasses

      2. One of the best paragraphs from that:

        “Ah, Holtzmann. What can I say. Holtzmann is, among other things, the film’s best answer to the question of how the possibilities for female characterization expand once you break the #andsexy rule. This is the rule that says that you can now cast women in the ‘strong’ roles that conventionally went exclusively to men, such as the action hero role or the computer nerd role…as long as they are sexy. A woman can be a spy…and sexy! She can be a fighter pilot…and sexy! She can be a truck driver…and sexy! But for most big-budget films, Rule #1 for female characters is that they MUST be hot, from the point of view of the straight men who are watching them, all the time. Ghosbusters broke the #andsexy rule for ALL of these female characters and that is one of the main reasons that I love it so. The fact that Holtzmann’s character is, for so many of the film’s queer female viewers, INCREDIBLY sexy is only superficially ironic. The definition of ‘sexy’ that most Hollywood producers are working with is the extremely narrow, manifestly artificial, and highly stereotyped definition created and maintained by straight men; and that’s precisely why 1000 other kinds of women’s sexiness–including and especially all the butch varieties–have been denied to us by so much of Hollywood for so many years. Judging by the critical responses, it appears that most men are not able to appreciate these types of sexiness. But that’s OK, because you know who REALLY appreciates them? Women.”

  10. 18

    *chinhands* I gotta say, I’m interested in all the comments by straight dudes that they have no idea or they didn’t see it–like you, Aoife, Holtzmann’s whole presentation to me is… really roller derby, actually, which is to say there are some straight women who pull that gender presentation off but there’s a real high likelihood that she’s some flavor of queer and deliberately trying to signal it. And I also read Abby strongly as not-into dudes for a number of reasons–her dress, the ways she was reacting to Erin which reminded me strongly of someone who had had an unrequited crush on a straight/clueless

    And then on the gripping hand, I have this straight guy friend. Wonderful guy, smart guy, best ally I could hope for… but damn, he’s so clueless when it comes to picking up on how queer women signal! I don’t actually unbend enough to talk queer woman stuff with straight men very often–he’s basically the only guy I trust and relax around enough to make the comments that mean I even notice how clueless he is on picking up the signals queer women use with each other–but on the rare occasions I have done that, I notice

    I wonder if it might just be a matter of socialization. Straight dudes tend not to know a ton of openly queer women, and a lot of the bi women I know who are trying to most strongly signal “OI. OI I’M NOT STRAIGHT. C’MERE AND TALK TO ME OH MY GOD” are… also the ones dating men, which is part of why they’re trying to signal so strongly via appearance. And I think that to those dudes, it’s easy to assume a lot of those bi women who happen to be in relationships with dudes are just straight, which muddies the water for them even more, especially if they’re just not thinking about it too clearly…. and of course, if you don’t hang out with real queer women, you’re never going to pick up enough to pick up on cues just by passively consuming media.

    It’s too damn heteronormative for that, what few female characters we have–and I don’t even just mean that almost all the women in mass media are straight and also someone’s love interest. I mean that because almost all women in media are super femme even when they’re queer characters, and because most queer characters in media are men because most characters full stop are men, it’s… put it this way, the depiction of queer women in media–especially mainstream media not being targeted at queer women–is so weirdly artificial that I don’t even recognize myself in it half the time.

    Factor that into straight men not having a lot of practice, on the whole, in getting into women’s viewpoints more generally (because less opportunity given fewer female viewpoint characters, plus men not being encouraged to consume media with female viewpoints) and you have a recipe for straight dudes in particular being really clueless about what queer women actually look and act like, and which women are actually trying to signal attractiveness primarily to other women rather than to men.

  11. 22

    I was watching a review recently where a guy said that there wasn’t any character development in the new Ghostbusters. That comment confused me because I thought the movie had actually a lot of character development. We got to know about their background, motivations, family connections etc. Even when the dialogue wasn’t straight out telling a backstory, we got things like Patty’s drive to protect her friends.

    So my question is this, do you think that guy’s criticism could be like a reverse Bechdel test? As in, ‘because they’re not talking about men they don’t have any character’?

  12. 23

    I don’t know: as a straight, cis male; I find Holtzmann undeniably attractive. And not in a “she’s the hottest chick of the four”-type of way; I’ve also found Jane Lynch, Queen Latifah, and several of my lesbian friends attractive. I attribute it to a self-awareness and self-determination that a lot of hetero women don’t possess, but there’s probably a medical/psychological term for it.

    And please don’t say “beard”. I’m not looking to stand in with any of these people as some sort of publicly acceptable. romantic analog.

    1. 23.1

      I don’t think the idea is that men CAN’T find her attractive, because there’s no reason why you couldn’t! I think the idea is that by not presenting stereotypical feminine beauty – and by instead exuding queer, soft-butch sexiness – her character isn’t there to appeal to your average heterosexual male viewer. The character is putting out the vibes that many – but not all – lesbians find incredibly attractive, and as a big queer herself, I can’t imagine McKinnon didn’t know exactly what she was doing. After all, Holtzmann codes as queer so much more than even McKinnon herself, who is often done up in a pretty femmey way for publicity stuff. These attributes are ones that many men – though certainly not all – might find neutral, off-putting, or even threatening in a woman. And that’s the difference. 🙂

  13. 24

    Every time she’s on screen, my heart squeezes. Which, as a straight woman, is really throwing me for a loop. I don’t hate it though =p

    Thank you for writing this article, I hadn’t looked at the other characters in this light before. It enhances the film even more- guess I’ll have to see it a 4th time!

  14. 26

    Having just seen the movie, I think… it is not necessarily the case that Holtzman is *primarily* into the ladies.

    I agree that if she’s supposed to be straight (or, at least, if the *actress playing her* intended her to be straight), I’ll eat my hat.

    But I read her more as a Captain Jack-esque “anything with a post code” type. I think the main reason we primarily saw her flirting with other women is that we primarily saw her *interacting* with other women. As I believe the friend I saw the movie with put it: “She would flirt with the cubic foot of air in front of her face”.

    Also, I feel compelled to note that… liking/enjoying being flirted with does not *necessarily* require that the one flirting with you be of a type you find attractive. If you do not actively hate or loathe someone, being the focus of their attention can be nice even if they don’t do anything for you.

  15. 28

    I like how you say that Melissa Trible, I’m not convinced the character is this, that, or another; i am convinced she’s adorable, knows it, and has zeal for flirting, engineering, building…

    The energy put into each facet were privy to is fairly even keel. This character is excited, excitable and lives to see the response she gets from her flirting, building, inventing.

    As a cis/non-het person, i favor the Queer lens but i don’t think we’ve seen enough to know. Yes, the flirty was taken to observation with the Kevin character, it alludes to your premise but there is still a lot of wiggle room to be acknowledged – for fear of the desperate loss of your own infatuations if the character were to go on and air a liking to another ‘Kevin’.

  16. 29

    Yeah, I kinda just assumed ace, punk, and in everyone’s face. It’s weird I didn’t read any of that, especially since…well, my identity is a bit complicated…and I’ll just leave it at that…

  17. 30

    I LOVE this article!!! It says in so many words what I have struggled to say myself! I just keep referring people here when I’m at a loss… I love it. How do we know Holtzmann is queer? The same way we know each other when we see each other! We do it every day. There is no one good, clear answer… it’s the same way that you can never fully explain why you’re attracted to one person instead of another — it’s the conglomeration of all of the little things that make up the whole. So, thank you so much for this glorious article, and your total love for Holtzmann. I’ll fight you on being the gun.

  18. 31

    Ever read something that had nothing to do with you, then ding, ding, ding! a lightbulb goes off? Yeah, that would be me and this article. I read it simply because I found the idea intriguing. Did I pick up on the vibes that Holtzmann was throwing down? No. But she didn’t read as straight, either. I wasn’t actually concerned about the preferences of any of the main characters, because the film didn’t make it an issue. (Okay, yes: Gilbert flirts hard with Kevin, but for all I know, girlfriend is bi. Either way.)
    I always blamed my lack of gaydar on my dads, but the truth of the matter is, I have no way of guessing when someone is straight, either. I’ve never really pondered it until now, but after reading this article and the accompanying comment section, it occurs to me that some straight people stick heavily with heteronormativity, and others view things through the queer lens. Turns out my whole life, I’ve be filing everyone away under Base Ace. (Specifically: Base Aro Ace.) In other words, when asked if I felt someone was queer, my reply has always been “Not my circus, not my monkeys. Why does it matter?”
    I never occurred to me that I needed to think about the sexuality of the Ghostbusters, because it was never really paramount to the plot, and so it never lead me to be any more curious about it than was needed. Don’t get me wrong – I think it’s incredibly important that Holtzmann is queer, for all of the reasons listed, and more. I just didn’t expect to find a bit of myself in here as well. 🙂

  19. Tim

    Awesome post, Aoife – I actually found it while poking around t’interwebs to see if Gillian Holtzmann’s rather unusual name was in any way a nod to Dune… the classic SF book in which most of the magical space tech (force shields and antigravity and the like) is based on something called “the Holtzmann Effect”. Yeah yeah I know, super-nerd alert (sorry)… but I just like the implication that Holtz’s crazy inventiveness could lead to shaping an entire future history. (Not that the Dune universe is a place you’d actually want to live, but hey, as a book it gets a lot of love).

    Ahem, anyway, moving swiftly on… to the subject you discuss: As a cishetero white man (yup, I’m a nerd AND I’m boring) my initial thoughts on hearing that Holtzmann was always intended to be queer, but the studio wouldn’t let them state it explicitly, were “does she really need to be? She’s such a great character, why do we need to get hung up on her sexuality?”.

    But your blog post has explained why Holtzmann being queer is a big deal very nicely indeed, so thanks for that. I’ve seen three films recently (well, four if you include taking the kids to see The BFG; which is a good laugh and definitely worth a watch). The other three “big films” were Suicide Squad (diabolical, the less said about it the better), Ghostbusters and Star Trek.

    Trek I found to be a weird mix of I hate it and I love it. Yay – two films for the price of one! When it slows down and stops throwing CGI shit at the screen (while the cameraman practices his breakdancing), it’s actually really quite good. And one of my favourite moments was near the beginning when they arrive at a shining new space station, and Sulu meets up with his husband and their daughter. They have a quick affectionate and familiar hug and then head off on holiday together. It was just so normal and unremarkable that it brought a tear to my eye – it totally captures that Star Trekkian ideal of The Future Is A Better Place.

    However Ghostbusters is the outstanding blockbuster for me this year; and I’ve really enjoyed reading all the positive happy comments about it here. It is funny, inventive, exciting – PLUS it has all the character aspects that you’ve discussed, characters that we just don’t get to see enough of in the cinema. I love all four of the Ghostbusters, each has great things to do and each of them plays their part extremely well. I also enjoyed the hilarious but biting satire wrapped up in the Kevin character as well: surely the dumbest blonde ever committed to celluloid (and it has taken casting such a role as a man to emphasize the ridiculousness of that hoary old trope).

    But Kate McKinnon / Gillian Holtzmann definitely topped it, for me and my wife, and everyone else I know that has seen the film. Swoon. Holtz lights up the movie with everything she does, and who can fail to have a huge grin on their face during her “hero moment” in the climax with the two proton gun things (one of them now slightly licked… I guess everyone here agrees, we’re all jealous of a gun. What a day what a day…). I also love her infectious joy with the whole thing, eg McKinnon’s delivery of lines like “it’s totally unstable!!”. Fantastic. I want to take my son to see it, I think it would be good for him – but it’s a bit too sweary and scary just yet (he’s seven). We need more movies like this!

    It also makes me so annoyed with the middle aged bloke-trolls who have been slagging this film off for “ruining their childhood”. Give us a break. They even dare to call it sexist against men – are they just being willfully stupid? Assholes the lot of ’em. The future truly can be a better place, and guys like that are just holding the rest of us back.

    Final thought and then I’ll leave you in peace (apologies, I’ve rambled on a bit)…. there was a great tweet about this film and “look at all those childhoods being ruined”. Actually – I tried to find it again and I think it was this one, so I was paraphrasing slightly: https://twitter.com/laurenduca/status/752339263455395840

  20. Tim

    PS Just noticed I’ve persisted in spelling it Gillian Holtzmann rather than Jillian. Weird. I can spell gud.

    Anyway, I’m sure you get the idea….. g’night!

  21. 35

    You said so many things that I wasn’t able to put in words about heteronormativity and the unknown fact that women are people too. Lots of thank yous. I loved Holtzmann so much, she inspired me to fanfic my crush to hell and back. Funny story, I put one of her pics as my phone’s wallpaper, but when I was listening to music the Album Pics replaced her, so I replaced all the album pics with Holtzmann’s pics and now I’m happy. I can’t stalker, she’s a fictional character. I swear I’m not dangerous.

  22. 37

    yes! the thing I loved the most about this movie, and holtzman in particular is how she embodied the way women are when they work together in a creative environment. That joy of learning, and striving to make better things/achieve a goal, and also the comfortable exuberance, it reminded me of the best work mates, and environments. I was just like, yes! that’s me! it felt so real, I feel like Holtz is the best parts of my true self.

  23. 39

    As a young person in the LGBTQ+ community who has put Kate McKinnon and every bizarre character she’s ever played upon a Super Gay shrine, this article is exactly what I needed. Thank you for summing up Holtzmann in all her glory, highlighting what a huge issue heteronormativity is, and writing a generally badass and brilliant article that I’ve repeatedly shown to all my friends. I came to the Ghostbusters party late, but boy am I glad I showed up. Heres hoping they make a sequel!
    ALSO: fantastic use of Gifs. Holtzmann could hit me with a bus and I would thank her.

  24. 40

    the main reason no one else was attracted to Kevin is because he is so unintelligent, that’s why abby refers to him as poor guy. but regardless the thought never crossed my mind I saw a unique and hilarious individual. Let me just say I’m straight but I am in love with Aultman she is my favorite character and I’ve seen this movie about 10 times at this point lol, and everytime I see it I noticed more and more hilarious corks from her I honestly just thought she was super funny until this post and its like wow now I kind of see it

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