Sex and the City: The Movie (review)

Get new reviews in your email in-box or in an app by becoming a paid Substack subscriber or Patreon patron.

Shopping and Fucking

I felt like some sort of alien anthropologist watching this movie, as if I were being presented with the strangest and most inexplicable creatures imaginable, and was being asked, out of all reason, to understand them. I mean, sure, I go out (or stay in) drinking with female friends and we talk about sex and do lots of other things that, on the surface, appear to be the same things that Carrie Bradshaw and her posse do… and yet, I don’t see myself or the women that I know in them. Not at all. Not in the tiniest degree.
And it’s not about the bizarre and ridiculously expensive clothes, either. I realize this is a fantasy, even if it’s not about anything I personally fantasize about. (If I had the kind of money Carrie Bradshaw spends on shoes, I’d be traveling all over the world all the time, not wasting it on footwear that would kill me if I tried to walk in it.) It’s about, well… Look: it’s hard to imagine that Carrie Bradshaw is interested in anything beyond what we see her doing here, which is hanging out with her friends and bitching about men, and shopping, and thinking about things she wants to shop for. Because when she’s not doing those things, she’s writing about them. And apparently she does nothing else. That’s what I cannot comprehend: a woman whose entire life revolves around buying clothes and worrying about romance.

Fans of Sex and the City, the TV show — I am not a fan — rave about how it’s about “real” women and “real” concerns that women have. But I don’t see a real woman in Carrie Bradshaw. I see a very narrow, very stereotypical idea of what women are. Maybe that’s just me — I have no doubt that I am not the average woman. But I guarantee you that I am real. And here, I see a woman who is a caricature of “women,” not someone who is a human being first and a woman second, like we all actually are. Does she read a fucking book once in a while? (One might expect that a writer would also be a reader.) What does she think about the state of the world? Does she, oh, I dunno, balance her checkbook or does she trust the bank? I’m not saying a movie needs to delve into absolutely everything a character thinks about everything — that would not, of course, work, particularly in a story like this one — but you want a sense that a character has an existence beyond the narrow confines of the story we find her in. Particularly when, as is obviously the case with Carrie, she is not stupid. But if even smart women are only “real” when they’re fretting over their orgasms, then what hope is there for any of us?

This movie is not directed at me — this is perfectly plain. Fans of the show will likely find it lovely: certainly, there are moments of intense drama that will make far more sense to those who have a previous emotional investment in these characters. I’m not writing for those people — I can’t possibly do that. I would have liked, though, if there were something in Sex and the City: The Movie that would have spoken to those who were not already fans. It’s not here, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing: not every movie has to appeal to everyone. But it’s not here.

What is here feels like a season’s worth of a TV show crammed into two and a half hours. Yes, two and a half hours. It’s torture for nonfans. God, I was bored.

Okay: I cannot honestly confess that there weren’t individual moments that did not bore me — I kinda like Kim Cattrall’s (Ice Princess, Crossroads) Samantha, because even if she isn’t any more “real,” on the whole, than her gal pals, she’s at least dramatically interesting, with her more stereotypically male sexual agenda, which at least acknowledges that not all women adhere to stereotypes. And I don’t hate that Cynthia Nixon’s (Igby Goes Down, The Out-of-Towners) Miranda at least has a life outside of the whole shopping-and-fucking thing, even if she is horribly unfair to her husband here, which the film does acknowledge. (Kristin Davis’s Charlotte, though, doesn’t seem to have anything on the ball that does not involve her husband and child, both of whom seem perfectly nice but how can that possibly be enough for anyone with a brain?) And I don’t hate that, in the meta reality, Sarah Jessica Parker (Failure to Launch, The Family Stone) has worked her way into quite a powerful position in the entertainment industry not just as the star of this enterprise but as a producer of it as well.

But Sex and the City: The Movie is all about Carrie, and whether she will marry Big or not, and all the wedding porn that surrounds that. Not marriage porn: it’s not about fantasizing being married to some particular man that you’re crazy about — and, let’s be honest, Chris Noth (Cast Away) is totally hot, and would be even if he weren’t the uber wealthy Mr. Big. It’s about the wedding, the fairy-tale event that every woman is supposed to want, never mind whom a gal is marrying. And, to be fair, Sex: The Movie doesn’t ignore that irony, either. It’s just that, in getting there, it seems to miss the point that a women who is 40 fucking years old might have realized this at some point sooner. I mean, Christ. Are you a child, Carrie, or are you a grownup?

Maybe it’s a blow for gender equality that women are now allowed to extend adolescence into the years once considered “middle-aged.” Carrie’s cell phone is covered in pink glitter, after all…

share and enjoy
             
If you’re tempted to post a comment that resembles anything on the film review comment bingo card, please reconsider.
If you haven’t commented here before, your first comment will be held for MaryAnn’s approval. This is an anti-spam, anti-troll measure. If you’re not a spammer or a troll, your comment will be approved, and all your future comments will post immediately.
subscribe
notify of
170 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
view all comments
BluRei
BluRei
Fri, May 30, 2008 5:05pm

If you hated it that much, then probably its real good.

Connie
Fri, May 30, 2008 5:05pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Real women are not anything like the hags on SATC. There is more to life that being consumptive, expensive shoes, and a man. Do not get me wrong, I love men. But I mean really. By the time any woman with any sense at all reaches 40, she does not lose sleep over a man who cannot make up his mind whether he wants to be with her, ESPECIALLY if that same man has been seeing her through other relationships and MARRIAGES. Why do we root for Carrie? Somebody tell me. I think she and her posse are a total bore, and an insult to intelligent women everywhere.

cathy
cathy
Fri, May 30, 2008 6:27pm

In order to really understand the characters you would have needed to watch the entire series. Unfortunately, this is almost a requirement for anyone who wants to “get” the movie. As for whether or not Carrie and her friends are like real people, I could care less. I’ve gotten a lot out of watching the series and I don’t live in New York, have no high end stuff, a boyfriend, or a real career even. I LOVE the show anyway. It is meaningful, thought provoking and life changing even. You should have watched it before going to the movie as homework, and since you didn’t, you should watch it now. Your review sounds stupid I’m sorry to say to those of us who are familiar with the material.

Helen
Helen
Fri, May 30, 2008 6:58pm

I think both of you are very bitter about the whole thing, love, men. Don’t you think you are letting something that suppose to be for entertainment get you worked up like this…it is a shame. Ya, surly the movie speaks to ppl who were fans of the show and final conclusion to the story. The show had ups and downs all women can relate to but that doesn’t mean every step of the characters action should symbolized real women. I am sure there is a woman out there that can identify with each of the SATC characters. Everybody is entitled to do whatever makes them happy in life and defines who they are as a human being. If it mean going shopping, hanging out with gf and sleep with men and talk about them so be it. There are many women like Charlotte’s; life revolves around their husband and kids. Even though that is not a life that would satisfy me personally but others are very happy and content with that. To keep it short the movie is supposed to entertain not to be taken as a manuscript for real women, which I think you both should realize and let it be what it is.

Danielle
Danielle
Fri, May 30, 2008 7:12pm

I was invited to a SATC viewing party tonight. I told the host that I don’t like SATC, and he stared at me like I had two heads. I’ve watched the show, but it’s not my cup of tea, and I will definitely not be seeing the film. The thing I always found most off-putting was that the characters in SATC are 10+ years my senior, yet I was annoyed by their immaturity anytime I watched the show (no small feat, seeing as I’m 30 and right now I’m wearing blue nail polish, hot pink Converse shoes, and a Doctor Who t-shirt, aka my high school uniform). It’s cool that other people are really into SATC, but like MAJ, I’m not a fan, and I understand her criticisms.

Patrick
Patrick
Fri, May 30, 2008 7:26pm

“Sex and the City”?

From “The Simpsons”: “Isn’t it that show where a bunch of middle aged women sit around and act like catty gay men?”

Ann
Ann
Fri, May 30, 2008 7:36pm

I do agree that people who did not follow the show may not “get it”, but I am a diehard, 6 season junkie of SATC. It is the only series I ever really liked because I did identify with a lot of the ladies and their experiences. Maybe not the expensive shoes and dress, etc… but definitely the girlfriend power. It is about great friendships,and how they last through thick and thin, heartbreak, breast cancer, etc… Some of it may be silly, but it is fun and this is what the movie is meant to be. And for the record, I am 44 and have crystals all over my computer mouse at work and I also have lime green Converse tennis shoes. I don’t even want to associate with anyone who thinks that is immature. Life is too short to take so seriously.

SHAZ
SHAZ
Fri, May 30, 2008 7:53pm

I loved the show because it made me laugh out loud. A lot. I have reservations about the movie. Sister, your review also makes me laugh. Would you really want to watch a movie where the protagonist “is a human being first….” by watching them read a fucking book, think about the state of the world, or balance a checkbook? Zzzzzzz. Ya ya, you didn’t really mean we need to see all that, but hey, I just couldn’t help but wonder, how about lightening up a little??

Russ
Russ
Fri, May 30, 2008 9:31pm

I don’t think keen female fans of the SATC series ever proclaimed it having a great basis in reality, or that it advanced feminism, as they all know Carrie couldn’t have afforded the clothes and shoes she wore in the show. Both in North America and overseas, I’d say this film will have legs and will do very well as a romantic coemdy, especially from most female (and even some male) filmgoers who feel dissatisfied or estranged with the mediocre, overpraised Judd Apatow comedy films of late. It’ll
be interesting to see what writer director Michael King does next, as he’s signed a deal with
Dreamworks for a romantic comedy film and is a much better writer that Apatow.

amanohyo
amanohyo
Fri, May 30, 2008 10:35pm

On the one hand, I’m glad to see a movie with a bunch of female leads get a big marketing push. But on the other, I really, really dislike the empty-headed materialism of these characters, and I could care less what happens to any of them. Cukor’s The Women from 1939 dealt with the topics of shopping and relationships in a much more entertaining way (and sadly is just about as progressive in its depiction of romance).

However, a small part of me wants this movie to do well, just to put an end to all those “can women really make a movie a hit?” stories. But if it succeeds, will more worthwhile movies with likeable characters follow or will there be a stream of chick-lit copycats?

It’s a tough call, but I’ll be optimistic and predict that crappy movies like this will help lay the foundation for better movies with female leads in the future – movies with interesting plots and characters whose goals and actions have nothing to do with designer apparel or men… or the divine secrets of magical pants.

Amanda
Amanda
Fri, May 30, 2008 11:26pm

I have but one question, have any of you who made a nasty remark, took a horrible view on, or even had a bad thought about the movie/series. Ever truely watch a single episode episode beyond your narrow minded, self-centered judgement of the first episode you watched? Did you carry on and watch every single episode of those 94, at all? If you hadn’t then you are what people need to be less of, in this day and age.
Open minded people are what the world needs, not closed minded jerks like I suspect most of you are.

The show was never just about shopping, fucking, and carrying on about all that utter bullshit. It was about being human, having flaws, having relationships, going up and down in relationships, attempting to make things worth while. Perhaps it is not about certain women. But I know pleanty of real women who are different from eachother, I know pleanty of women who share characteristics of these four characters. And if you don’t see a little of yourself in one of them, beyond what the outside shows; after watching the television show. Then don’t love the show, don’t watch it. But those of us who have seen something they loved, or numeral things that they loved enjoy every second of what these writers have created.

I suggest before you watch another movie based on a television show, you possibly watch the actual show before you decide to pass your judgement onto another piece of someone elses hard work.

lythea
lythea
Sat, May 31, 2008 1:55am

I don’t know…I usually don’t need to watch more than 50 episodes of a show before I can figure out if I like it or not.

wasnt a fan of the show but loved the movie
wasnt a fan of the show but loved the movie
Sat, May 31, 2008 6:14am

Actually, Carrie does read a book in this movie! Did you forget or did you not even watch the movie at all before writing this review? She reads that book of love letters that she got from the library and she mentions and even reads a couple passages of love letters from the likes of Voltaire, Beethoven, Lord Byron, John Keats, etc.

Josh
Josh
Sat, May 31, 2008 6:23am

I just saw the movie with my significant other. It was very long. It has some funny moments. In my opinion it was entertaining, but I would be surprised if any man would find these characters marriage/date material. Call me crazy but there’s something attractive about a woman who is committed to one guy. Sex is about as fun as eating fast food unless your both truly committed to one another, and let me tell you the longer your married the deeper and more satisfying. I would root for Jessica Parker’s character more if she showed a little self sacrifice. All the best love stories are when the main character loves the other person so much that they are willing to sacrifice what they want in order to make the other person happy.

david
david
Sat, May 31, 2008 6:47am

The characters in the show are a lawyer, a very successful PR agent, a successful writer, and a mother who quit her job as a fine art curator so she can be with her family.

But of course, they shop and have relationship troubles, so they’re not realistic anymore. This review is ridiculous. It’s a MOVIE. Do you think they’re going to accurately portray women in a movie based on a series about SEX AND THE CITY? Seriously, think about it.

What did you want a movie about? A woman that sits on her couch and writes bad reviews for movies about a show she never watched anyway, then she goes to a library with her friends and they discuss Steven King novels for 2 hours?

It’s supposed to be glamorous, fabulous, and FUN! Look at the women going to see the movie, probably half of them dressed up and they were having a great time just being girls. Stop taking entertainment so seriously, if you want more rehashed drama continue watching Lifetime.

Will.
Will.
Sat, May 31, 2008 7:51am

My wife is a pretty big fan of the series so I’ve seen every episode – several times. I went with her to the opening and actually felt bad for her that the movie was such a letdown. It’s depressing and not “fun” at all. All the way home she tried to justify the storyline but by the time we arrived in our driveway she said, “Wow, that was pretty bad.” I could’nt agree more – and that’s coming from a guy who enjoied kicking back with his wife and watching the original series.

pedro
pedro
Sat, May 31, 2008 8:40am

god, am I glad to see a woman ragging on this! i’m tired of all the females gushing over this piece of fluffy crap!

right on, MaryAnn!

lizziec
lizziec
Sat, May 31, 2008 9:15am

I loved SATC TV series, despite the froufrou expensive bags,shoes and clothes. I loved the 4 women and the 5th “girl” New York City. The movie disappointed as it was full of product placement, over-the-top fashion, and frankly, too little of the SATC men! Anyone seeing the SATC movie before viewing the entire TV series will never “get it” and will think the women are nothing but froth and foolishness. Not true but the movie is all style, no substance and that is a damned shame. Cannot imagine a sequel to this souffle- what, would Carrie and Big divorce???

Peter
Peter
Sat, May 31, 2008 10:21am

“From “The Simpsons”: “Isn’t it that show where a bunch of middle aged women sit around and act like catty gay men?”

Actually, no.

Most gay men aren’t this shallow.

MaryAnn
MaryAnn
Sat, May 31, 2008 10:45am

For what it’s worth, I own and regularly wear not only a pair of cherry-red Converse high-tops but also a pair of cream-colored PF Flyers hightops. So I think that that proves I take life even less seriously that some of you may suspect…

Rob Vaux
Sat, May 31, 2008 12:06pm

I defy the stereotypes a bit, because I’m a single straight male who enjoyed the show a great deal. I liked it primarily because it was one of the few pieces of pop culture acknowledging that it was okay to be single (also that it was okay for women to enjoy sex and that a stable relationship isn’t always easy to find or maintain). The strength of that and the way they adhered to it helped overcome some of the very real flaws–namely that the characters were almost criminally self-absorbed. Also, one of the establishing rules of SATC was that these four women do not have any problems outside of their relationships. At all. They have fantastic jobs, they make scads of money, they wear incredible outfits, etc. The inherent unreality of that was built in to the show in order to focus more or less completely on the relationship question. Worrying about other things would just make it another soap opera. So let’s make their lives totally blissful except for this one issue, which we can then center everything on. It was part of the show’s core concept, and I believe one of the reasons why it did so well.

SPOILER

(though the movie’s trailer kind of reveals this)

Ironically, the show’s finale let me down in a big way by having all four characters more or less settle into fairy-tale romantic bliss… which undermined the whole notion that it was okay to be single. Yes, I understand the need to see them happy as they ride off into the sunset, but it really felt like a letdown–a complete reversal of one of SATC’s principle strengths. Accordingly, I have no real desire to see the movie, even though I never missed an episode of the show.

Nathan
Nathan
Sat, May 31, 2008 1:12pm

$26m on Friday… will probably make $60m+ for the weekend. i am shocked and appalled.

Rob Vaux
Sat, May 31, 2008 1:24pm

So much for “movies about women never make any money.” Any other half-assed excuses you want to foist on us, Hollywood?

SPA
SPA
Sat, May 31, 2008 2:09pm

If you agree with this reviewer than you missed the point of the movie. She’s right in many ways but she (and others who agree with her) dont see it as what it is… a movie, a fantasy story. Of course, Carrie’s life is only going to revolve around those things . Hellooo the show is aimed to that, why do you think they call it Sex and the City? If she was going to be any different than that was not the point. It is true that the movie and the TV show could have shown more aspects of a women but that’s beyond the point of the show.
Anyway, shows are successful if you get advertisers and this serie and movie has a whole lot support from companies. Apple, All famous brand clothes, Starbucks, etc etc etc. It is not about reality or what we want to see. Even a ten year old (a smart one anyway) can see this today. It is all about money and business.
There is a side in the movie you do not mention: the ironies and portrayal of the fairy tale as business, the illusion of things they all knew from the beginning. It is reality in a way because even though women are smart to realize these things nowadays, we still fall into that trap of romance and love. Why not? We all want to believe in good things. Do they always happen or when they happen are they always as good as we thought? Well, that is what this show is all about.
At the end, Carrie’s phone is no longer pink. It is black, and she marries with the dress she had picked in the first place and no fancy wedding either, right?
Again, I am not saying I disagree with all points the reviewer made but I think women that criticize a stupid show and movie (made to entertain and by advertisement agencies) should not expect more from such. It is such a wast of time! It is like a child trying to get some sort of lesson or philosophy from Tom & Jerry. Even though there might be lessons it is beyond the point to expect Tom and Jerry stop fighting with each other and have a conversation. Get it?
Alright, that’s all for now. I loved the movie. And no, I do not think I am Carry or any other character or believe that at the end we all get our fairy tales but some of us do sometimes and for some time so the trick is keep believing without making that the whole point of your life. Now, that is the real thing to accept life either way as Carry did before her “happy ending” arrived.

powerviolence
powerviolence
Sat, May 31, 2008 2:32pm

The movie only portrays people of color as help. The only other people of color I saw was the little girl they stole from China and the little boy that caused a ruckus in the store. This movie as well as the show is extremely shallow (beyond any romantic comedy I have ever seen) and makes me wonder about the socialization women go through watching terrible shit like this.

Mathias
Mathias
Sat, May 31, 2008 2:50pm

Yup, it’s official, Sex & The City has just pulled off the upset of the year and will beat Indy this weekend.

http://movies.yahoo.com/mv/news/va/20080531/121226386200.html

Who could have predicted that?
A cinematic legend returns after 19 years with Spielberg, Lucas, Ford and a $185 million dollar budget and gets beaten in its second weekend by 4 bubble-headed middle-aged fashionistas.

Good luck extrapolating the social relevance of this weekend , MJ.
I expect you’ve got some deep thinking to do. ;)

Tim
Tim
Sat, May 31, 2008 3:09pm

I completely agree. I know it’s supposed to be light and frothy, but some sense of a conscience, of a political mind, of religious and existential yearnings, would make the characters far more important and moving to me.

The only time religion is raised, for instance, is when Charlotte converts from Christianity to Judaism in order to marry her man. Charlotte is actually my favorite character, but her conversion is treated as a matter of simple convenience, a means toward an end. Would she never, not once, have stopped to ask whether there is a *difference* between the religions? Whether she believes one is closer to the truth? Or whether it shows any integrity to ‘convert’ with absolutely no religious self-reflection?

I don’t mean to rile people up, or sound like a fundamentalist or something, but it just symbolized for me everything I dislike about the show–it was simply a matter of convenience and romance, with no deeper reflection whatsoever. That’s the show, I’m afraid, like one of Carrie’s ridiculous dresses: all glossy, shimmering surfaces and nothing that goes more than skin deep. If that’s your fantasy…well, that’s pretty sad.

Tim
Tim
Sat, May 31, 2008 3:13pm

Oh, and in response to the previous message…I think everyone expected that SATC would win the weekend.

There are two kinds of people in this world. First-weekend moviegoers, and the rest who will go whenever. The first-weekend people gave Indy a huge opening. But most of Indy’s fans will be older folks, who don’t care too much whether they go in the first or the fourth of sixth weekend. Plus, there have been all sorts of parties and arrangements set up among women to see SATC at the beginning.

In other words, it cannot be “the upset of the year” when everyone knew full well this would happen. And Indy is well on his way to great revenues, in any case. Both movies are.

MaryAnn
MaryAnn
Sat, May 31, 2008 3:24pm

Actually, Tim, SATC was generally predicted to be the No. 2 movie this weekend, behind Indy.

amanohyo
amanohyo
Sat, May 31, 2008 4:57pm

Yup, imdb had a blurb in their studio briefing section about the BO predictions. As a feminist, I’m not sure how exactly to feel about the success of this film. To the extent that it means studios will take female consumers more seriously, I’m happy. To the extent that it means more movies like Sex and the City will be made, I’m disappointed.

happy + disappointed = ??

MaryAnn
MaryAnn
Sat, May 31, 2008 5:47pm

Yeah, that’s pretty much how I feel, amanohyo.

MBI
MBI
Sat, May 31, 2008 6:00pm

After the breakup, the dark-haired one (you know, the only one that’s attractive) says something about how she’s thought very hard about what she’s going to say to the jerk who hurt her friend. It is “I curse the day you were born.” The other three agree that that’s pretty clever.

That’s it?? That’s all she came up with?? Goddamn, do I feel like a schmuck for calling [i]Juno[/i] “overwritten”.

By the way, hope you like poop jokes, ladies.

pedro
pedro
Sat, May 31, 2008 6:24pm

“After the breakup, the dark-haired one (you know, the only one that’s attractive)”

Finally someone agrees with me! I’m tired of people saying Sarah Jessica Parker is attractive. Hello, no she isn’t! She’s got a nose like Albus Dumbledore mated with an eagle. And what’s with all that frizz!?

The other two are just cougars, and unhot cougars at that.

But Charlotte (the brunette)…now that’s what i call a MILF.

MaryAnn
MaryAnn
Sat, May 31, 2008 7:27pm

And men wonder why we call them pigs…

By the way, hope you like poop jokes, ladies.

Yeah, who’da thunk there would be a poop joke here. Though the one that really pisses me off is the endlessless repeated “joke” about the little dog that likes to hump pillows. So not funy the first time, and even less the tenth.

Michelle RN
Michelle RN
Sat, May 31, 2008 8:03pm

I have to STRONGLY agree with “Ann” (May 30, 2008 7:36 PM)
I just turned 40 last week. I have never been married and have no children. I’m a total catch if I have to say so anonymously. (I have been told that I am very pretty, I am a self employed lawyer, thin, fit, no type of attention-getting – or other kind of – eating disorder, and I have a totally hot, successful, and funny, never married, no kids, boyfriend of seven years.)
I didn’t watch the series for the first few seasons; I was convinced that it would make single women look like desperate, man-obsessed, sluts.
I was SO upset when I saw the first episode of Ally McBeal – she went to law school just to follow a guy who dumped her, she acted like a babbling idiot and her co-workers were catty and petty: THAT was an insult to women. It perpetuated every negative stereotype about women. I thank GOD I didn’t know any women like any of them.
I was therefore leery about SATC. It did take me watching a few episodes before I got it. It is about the friendship mostly but what I found appealing is how none of the women are desperate, they are independent and strong. They didn’t live their lives to find a man and then dump their friends like I have seen some of my old “friends” do. I actually see a little of myself in every one of the characters! I also hate that just because I am 40 I am expected to look or dress a certain way. I wish the media would show more women in their 40’s who don’t look like fat, wrinkly, dumpy housewives. I really miss the series.

Cathy
Cathy
Sat, May 31, 2008 10:18pm

I would have liked to have seen alittle more emotional acting from Mr. Big – the reconciliation between he and Carrie at the end took a “Big” second seat to the reunion of Miranda and Steve on the Brooklyn Bridge – which really more touched the heart.

Orodemniades
Sat, May 31, 2008 10:46pm

Another movie I have no intention of seeing. It’s not that I hated the show, I saw it one time and it was funny, in an ‘okay, I get it, but what else do they do?’ kind of way.

Dan
Dan
Sun, Jun 01, 2008 4:00am

“I wish the media would show more women in their 40’s who don’t look like fat, wrinkly, dumpy housewives.”

Are you watching Romanian media or something? Almost every woman over 40 that I see on television is going for that (usually unattractive) I-never-grew-up “sexy grandma” look. Yes, all the fat and dumpy housewives of Wisteria Lane… sheesh.

lou
lou
Sun, Jun 01, 2008 4:15am

Another example of how two different people can watch the same television show and see completely different things….I’m not talking about the movie reviewer (who is spot on). I’m talking about the poster who claimed that the characters on the show weren’t “desperate,” they were independent and strong….!!!!???? I too watched pretty much every episode of that show, because the four lead actresses are really good, but the Carrie and Charlotte characters were the epitome of desperation and dependence (Samantha and Miranda, not the same)…they spent the whole series desperately looking for a man, and when the relationships went sour (frequently due to immaturity on their own part) they cried, screamed, moaned and complained endlessly about the men they just left, the one they were looking for now, etc. That is pretty much all they talked about; that’s supposed to be healthy independence and strength? Sounds like being pretty dependent on having a man for self-worth to me.
And it sounds like the movie is no different…the Carrie character is desperate to cling to a guy who has repeatedly dumped her, slept with her while he was married, etc. Right, real healthy to think that somehow someone like that is going to magically change.
Yes, it’s just a movie/tv show, and the actors are really good (with pretty limited material, btw…the writing was frequently trite and cliched on the show), but honestly, I don’t get the fans who insist that all four of these women were not desperate, but independent women…just not the case week after week in the show.

MaSch
MaSch
Sun, Jun 01, 2008 10:40am

Dear MaryAnn,

you wrote “And men wonder why we call them pigs.” You know the “Wow, you suck at math – Wow, girls suck at math” cartoon? If it is not okay to make a sweeping generalization of girls because of one girl (and it is!), it is also not okay to make a generalization of men because of pedro.

Best regards,
M.

Mark Pugner
Sun, Jun 01, 2008 11:52am

Ok. So I guess nobody in NYC obsesses about shopping and all those stores — thousands — are a front for money laundering? This this characterization is bogus and no such people exist.

MaryAnn
MaryAnn
Sun, Jun 01, 2008 12:23pm

If it is not okay to make a sweeping generalization of girls because of one girl (and it is!), it is also not okay to make a generalization of men because of pedro.

I wasn’t talking about all men. I certainly don’t call all men pigs. I do call some individual men pigs, and that comment was directed at men who deserve to be called pigs (though that’s really an insult to pigs, who are very nice).

I guess nobody in NYC obsesses about shopping

I suppose there probably are people in NYC who obsess about shopping. I don’t see what that has to do with what I wrote, though.

Amy S.
Sun, Jun 01, 2008 1:12pm

I agree with much of what you’ve said MaryAnn. This film was directed and written by a man, Michael Patrick King, and it’s supposed to be representative of women? Yikes! It’s like the former SATC writer having such success and being on Oprah with his book “He’s Not that Into You.” It’s because as women, we have to realize that there is something wrong with us that we are single after a certain age.

People get very defensive about this silly show. I enjoyed it and was a fan– what I appreciated was that Carrie did not end up with the guy and the ring at the end. When I heard about the movie and that there would be a wedding I expected mediocrity which is what this film is. I sat with my friend (and usually as a film reviewer, though not successful like you, I don’t have this type of disrespect) and made comments to her about what was happening next and how it was predictable and pathetic. It’s okay to be over 35 without a boyfriend or husband but Hollywood does not want to show that of course and people don’t want to see it. Why else would people dress up to see this film and go get cosmos and make a whole girls night out when they don’t see another film for months at a time (in the theater)? I could go on and on but I won’t.
Oh, and the friend I went with (we see a movie together maybe once a month),a 46-year-old single mom of two, said she nearly cried a few times because the movie made her (and women in general) feel they may never find love over a certain age yada yada. Kudos to Sarah Jessica Parker and Michael Patrick King for making tons of money with this tripe.

shoop
shoop
Sun, Jun 01, 2008 1:48pm

For a fan to try to engage in a discussion with non-fans is more than a little difficult. Fans of say, Attack of the Sith Clone Accountants or whatever the hell the prequel Star Wars movies were called, can talk about a movie with terrible writing and directing and still call the movie great–logic doesn’t always apply. Still as a married man who’ll stake his man-feminist cred alongside anybody’s (I saw “Free to Be You and Me”–and LIKED it. Mommies are people, and William abso-fuckin’-lutely should have a doll), I’ll share two elements of the movie I greatly appreciated.

1) Writing with a sense of structure–complete with set-ups and payoffs, and parallelism and echoing. *SPOILERS* For example, Charlotte imagines what she would say to Big–“I curse the day you were born!” Audience anticipation: will she really say it when she inevitably sees Big again? Will she chicken out? No! Holy shit! She says it! And the look on Chris Noth’s face–priceless. As for parallelism–Miranda finds herself echoing the same pleas of forgiveness that poor, hapless Steve has been using throughout the film. Audiences pick up on that sort of thing, and go, “aha”–would that more writers understood that. *END OF SPOILERS*

2) Romance for grown-ups. Granted, the great emotional investment isn’t going to be there except for fans. But I was happy to see people 40+ and even 50+ struggling with romance, making occasionally really bad decisions, and dealing with the consequences. Let’s compare that, say, to “Atonement”–another movie I enjoyed, but when you boil it down, the Great Tragedy of the young couple rests on an “oops, I sent the dirty letter by mistake” mixup more suitable for “Superbad” or “Bevis and Butt-Head Atone for Stuff” (“Um, Bevis? Are you sure you sent the right letter?” “Yeah, heh-heh, heh-heh…”).

And finally, if you absolutely don’t care about something or someone, the expression you’re looking for is “I COULDN’T care less”–not “I could.” Sorry, but that really burns me.

Marina
Marina
Sun, Jun 01, 2008 2:40pm

You know MaryAnn, if you look at the top right of your page, just underneath your pretty little picture and you’d read your description of yourself, you’d rethink your little ‘I don’t see myself or the women that I know in them’-tirade, you geek goddess, you. Because honestly, that sounds just like the girls in Sex and the City (except maybe they’d manage to word it better). But the great thing about your site is that I could get past that 2 sentence, superficial fluff of a description by reading your reviews and getting an idea of your way of thinking, what constitutes a good movie for you, your sense of humour or even life experience. What’s even better about your site is the fact that it’s a movie reviewing site..by you..a movie reviewer..not to be confused with a surgeon working for Medecins Sans Frontieres, a Nobel prize winning writer or a Tibetan monk. I can read your site if I deem it funny or interesting enough, but I think we both know I wont be coming here for any deep insight into the world of movie critiquing. But sure, we already know you’re capable of not taking life too seriously, with your pair of cherry-red Converse high-tops. And I have the impression that the exact same might just apply to the movie as well.
People don’t regard SATC as some sort of iconic poster for the perfect lifestyle with . It’s just heaps of fun, and there’s just so much eyecandy involved (from the fashion, to the men, to the drinks and food), not to mention some lines are deliciously funny/witty and best of all, its main appeal is how the four of them stick together like the good friends that they are, regardless of their problems, relationships, achievements (honestly, you really can’t relate to that?!..note how I didnt say ‘identify yourself with’). I thought they did such a good job at translating all that into the movie, but if you’re looking for anything more, you are completely missing the point…..maybe just the fact that you like high-tops isn’t, after all, such a good example of your laissez-faire attitude.

MBI
MBI
Sun, Jun 01, 2008 2:42pm

You’re far more impressed with those things than I, shoop — I didn’t think any of that was particularly impressive. I could(n’t) care less that she said that to him — it’s not a great line and neither Charlotte (the one who pooped herself) nor Big have much presence in the movie, outside Charlotte pooping herself. She pooped herself. I especially wasn’t impressed with “romance for grown-ups,” as it didn’t seem particularly romantic nor particularly grown-up. Seriously: clothes clothes clothes boys boys clothes boys clothes boys boys — Are these women 40 or 15?

I don’t know what it is that makes it different from standard romantic comedies, but seriously, I think MaryAnn has it right on the head when she asks if these women balance their checkbooks. It really feels like these women have no interest at all in politics, religion, spirituality, morality, art, nature, or even in a lot of ways romance and family. It’s nice that Samantha is honest about not being a relationship kind of girl, but besides orgasms, what does she have in her life? Christ, they get attacked by anti-fur activists and they just enjoy it as part of being an NYC fashionista.

MBI
MBI
Sun, Jun 01, 2008 2:45pm

Wanted to add: I’ve seen a lot of women argue that this movie isn’t supposeed to be an endorsement or something to aspire to, it’s a female wish-fulfillment fantasy. I don’t find it a particularly attractive fantasy, but more importantly, I think that, through the fantasy argument, that Sex and the City has positioned itself as a female Porky’s. That’s not a flattering description.

John
John
Sun, Jun 01, 2008 3:09pm

Well. Discussing feminist politics over this movie is bit like dicussing animal rights over Babe. Mmmm, bacon. But I digress…

I’m pretty sure, for those people that think that this movie doing well strikes a blow for “girl power”, that the business world recognizes your purchasing gravitas already. Just look at malls and supermarkets–not designed for men. There are more woman graduating college than men, while we’re at it. Things are going swimmingly! Pretty soon all the evil men will be under your high heels and you can force them to watch 57 Dresses and impress them into going to the supermarket to buy feminie hygeine products! Muah ha haaaa! Yes, maybe this movie IS indeed the vanguard a new age–an age where the Sisterhood of Empresses reign supreme, where men will know their place (killing bugs, getting stuff off high shelves, dealing with particularly hard-to-open jars) and, by law, have to truthfully say what they’re thinking when a woman asks! I take it back, this movie IS important–ignore it and be imperiled!

paul
paul
Sun, Jun 01, 2008 6:04pm

What might be more meaningful is how long this thread became in such a short period of time. The movie means something to many.

John, you might want to check out the Ozzie and Harriet episode where Harriet pushes Ozzie into returning her bra to the store because she’s too busy. It’s the entire plot and quite funny. Where you would find that episode, I have no idea.

Didn’t Sarah Jessica used to play geeks? She was the pretty girl’s best friend in Footloose, wasn’t she? That’s what surprised me the most when I first heard of the show. Makes one wonder if any woman’s social status is only a make over away, which I mean to be a comment upon society’s judgments.