Tomorrow, October 23, 2015, this will happen.
And five months ago, I wrote this.
It was actually my first post on my new WordPress site.
Five months later, I’m not going to tell you I’m thrilled about the fact that this film is a thing, but my opinion toward it has softened slightly.
Not entirely, but slightly.
I understand why this film is what it is – it’s made to target a whole new generation, the children of the children who watched the cartoon in the mid-1980s. It wasn’t necessarily made for the original children, but for them to watch with their children. That all said, I was three years old when I watched Jem sing her heart out. I’m sure I didn’t understand every aspect of the show back then, and was probably there for the music and the general flair of the cartoon, but I know in my fangirl heart that I LOVED this show. And today, I’m still in awe of the concept of Jerrica/Jem – she was a real character with personal struggles, whose alter ego allowed her to be someone she wasn’t in real life. The creation of Jem allowed for her to be the incredible person she may not have known she really was.
We all have a little Jem in us – afraid to show what we’re made of when we can’t hide in case the whole thing backfires. But where Jerrica had Synergy to create her alter ego, our protagonist in this film just re-creates her image and develops her alter ego a la Hannah Montana. Not that I’ve ever watched that show, but the concept seems similar. This film takes away the magic of the cartoon and chooses to make it a “small town girl rises to fame on her talent, but faces barriers” story, which is ok when the film is something other than, well, Jem.
The 33-year-old me is somewhat disappointed, but slightly kinder in hindsight toward the general idea of this film. I’m not thrilled that this is a thing – I’m convinced certain things should be left alone, or in the very least, put into the right hands. And by right hands, I mean well-intentioned people who know that what they are setting out to create/re-develop will reach its intended target. Even if its intended target is the original target audience’s children, then so be it. As long as the character is wholesome and remains true to what Jerrica/Jem was, then I’m fine with this film.
Will I see it? As I said five months ago (and not in as harsh terms as I used a few months ago), I will wait. I am curious, but not curious enough to spend more than a matinee priced-ticket for it, and even that may be excessive. As fast as the turnaround is for movies becoming available on the rental/streaming market, this movie will be available much sooner than it would have been when the cartoon was on the air. Which is further proof that times have changed.
I never want to see anything go down in flames, so I’m hoping that the revival of this property will perhaps spark some interest in the original. And while that’s highly unlikely (the cartoon is from the 1980s after all, how many of the decidedly 80s-centric cartoons have aged well?), it would make more than a few of us fangirls happy.
And regardless of the film and it’s success (and I truly do hope it isn’t a colossal flop), Jem will always be truly outrageous to me.