By Alynda Wheat Allison Adato
May 26, 2014 12:00 PM

>Two movie lovers go to war over whether Rebel Wilson should follow in Goldie Hawn’s combat boots


Private Benjamin is Hawn’s solidly funny ’80 comedy about a rich brat who joins the Army. What it isn’t is a classic. If they can remake The Maltese Falcon, Scarface, True Grit and Pride and Prejudice better than the originals, they can spiff up Judy Benjamin. And who better to do it than Wilson, one of the funniest people working in film? Fans went from asking, “Who’s that?” in Bridesmaids to giving her full-throated Rebel yells for Pitch Perfect, all in one year flat. She’ll use her twin gifts for physical humor and sly jokes to make a great camo-and-ammo comedy. There’s no need to dis a new Benjamin for love of the old. After all, it ain’t Chinatown, Jake. Er, Allison.


Spoiled young woman enlists, and hilarity ensues—”Is green the only color these come in?” she asks of her fatigues—even as she finds her own strength. But Goldie Hawn’s Judy Benjamin isn’t just any sheltered snob in camo; she’s a Jewish-American Princess, a stereotype she flips to emerge as a Jewish feminist icon long before Dirty Dancing’s Baby Houseman leaves the corner. But Rebel Wilson’s Pvt. B will drop the trait that made the role resonate with those of us who still don’t have a Disney heroine of our own. (Belle, Tiana, Jasmine, Mulan, Ariel—where is Princess Shoshanna?) The gifted Wilson may be a hoot at boot camp. But it’ll be hard to replace Hawn’s sparkling Judy-isms.