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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

Sex and the City: The Movie (review)

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…

MPAA: rated R for strong sexual content, graphic nudity and language

viewed at a semipublic screening with an audience of critics and ordinary moviegoers

official site | IMDb
  • BluRei

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

  • 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

    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

    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.

  • 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

    “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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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.

  • Sarah
  • lythea

    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

    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

    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

    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.

    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

    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

    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

    “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

    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…

  • 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.


    (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

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

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

  • SPA

    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

    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

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


    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

    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

    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

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

  • amanohyo

    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

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

  • MBI

    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

    “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

    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

    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

    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.

  • 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

    “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

    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

    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,

  • 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

    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.

  • 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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.

  • amanohyo

    When I go to the mall or the supermarket, I don’t particularly notice that they were designed with women in mind (is that even true?). It certainly doesn’t influence the quality of my shopping experience. When I go to the theater, I can’t fail to notice that most of the movies were designed with young men in mind, and it is irritating and incredibly boring. I can’t imagine how annoying it must be for a woman.

    I know you’re intentionally being melodramatic MBI, but there are quite a lot of men out there that still think feminism and misandry (and lesbianism, and male slavery, and sometimes even *chuckle* Communism) always go hand in hand. Phrases like “evil men” tend to reinforce those misconceptions. Although some feminists hate men, most do not – they hate patriarchy. I can only speak for myself, but I would guess that SatC is more appealing to feminists than say, Charlie’s Angels or Steel Magnolias but I guess that’s not saying much.

    Oh well, guy-centric movies are 90% crap, so assuming girl-centric movies have a similar crap/decent/masterpiece ratio, studios will most likely have to give filmmakers the chance to contribute a lot more to the library of girl-centric movies before we see high-quality films produced with any regularity. Whatever your opinion of this movie is, its success definitely has the potential to help kick start that process.

    Totally off topic, I just realized that SJP is the girl in Flight of the Navigator. I watched that movie dozens of times as a kid; I still use it as an example of Special Relativity in class and none of the kids knows what the hell I’m talking about… but they all know about Planet of the Apes… hmm… because of Marky Mark maybe?… alright I’ll stop rambling now.

  • Little T

    Cathy said it best, “In order to really understand the characters you would have needed to watch the entire series”.

    All the things you complain about Carrie being, the stereotype and all, just isn’t true when you watch the series. In fact, all the characters are better understood in the series, and for someone who has seen every single episode many of times I should know this.

    I have a feeling you didn’t watch very many shows before seeing the movie. This is who the movie was made for, people like me, who “get it”.

    I loved the movie, it was nice to re visit the characters I fell in love with years ago.

    I really wish, as a woman you can buy the dvds and get over the stereotype that is applied to Sex in the City in general. I think you’ll find you have more in common with the girls then you think.

    “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…”

    *** Wow, lets please take a right turn and drive all the way back to the line of the feminist revolution; that’s what your statement says to me. Being a woman, who is proud of her gender and who lives a life of equality has nothing to do with the color of one’s cell phone, look at the market honey, pink glitter is everywhere. As for the adolescent behavior surrounding the wedding itself, have you seen woman get married? Have you? It really is a fairy tale trip back to your teen year dreams, and the behavior in general is pretty adolescent, damn the entire concept of marriage is pretty damn adolescent. I think the movie was addressing that.

    But what gender empowering themes are there in this movie?
    1. Sam’s choice with Jared, shit, Sam in general. How old is that bitch and she’s still living up life as a single woman. There is no “old hag” there, something we’re taught to fever out entire lives, Sam shows us all that is just total bullshit.
    2. Miranda is the fuckin working mother Lawyer and always has been. Hello!
    3. Not every woman’s life is about her family, but those women who choose to have children and love their husband and babies like Charlotte are not how you described her. Again, series needed some viewing to understand that one. Charlotte is a hopeless romantic who’s always wanted babies but she’s intelligent and highly educated. Just because you have a mind and a vagina doesn’t mean you should never seek out the “stay at home wife” lifestyle. Powerful woman do what they WANT to with their lives.
    4. As woman, we will always deal with the issues of giving up some part of ourselves to make some relationships work. The movie addresses that issue, which is an issue most woman (you and your friends I’m sure) never even discuss. The more this topic is discussed the more likely it is to change.
    5. Friendship with other females. Get on the female love train and bond together with all types of woman to influence you in ways you never thought where possible. The biggest thing holding woman back today is inside resentment towards each other, much like your resentment towards the movie in general. It holds us back more than any male made stereotype. We should be loving those woman that can still rock at 40 plus.

    Sex in the City, in my point of view is helping the movement. Giving woman role models who are, yes, capable of love, and who, yes, have issues with men. Like we all do, thats who we are. We are woman who love and have problems with our relationships. We are woman who have friends who are woman who will always be there for us. We are woman who can choose whatever path we want in life.

    Most woman can’t be past the shoes and pink phones to see the real message of Sex in the City.

  • tylea

    I liked the movie. Just saw it today, Sund. afternoon in an urban locale, the seats stufffed with obvious fans of the tv series, all races, all ages, and both genders laughing their butts off. I was really surprised, having watched the show by myself for so many years. I’d read negative reviews so expected it to be a very trite, superficial H’wood movie and to be racist in the way it treated the Jen Hudson character. Couldn’t have been more surprised. It was fun, funny and as funny as the series. It was moving, although it had some stupid moments like when the Mario Cantone and Willie Garson hooked up. That was a stretch and seemed like a wink to the audience. but overall it was worth my $8.25. A friend called me last week to see the Indiana-Lost whatever movie. I told her, I don’t want to see that. SATC is my kind of movie. Do more. Do some with black people in the lead role, and I’ll be really proud of my country for the first time in my lifetime. Ha ha.

  • jenhajdu

    I loved the series but thought that the movie went through too many “Hollywood” edits. I didn’t believe in the characters anymore and didn’t even have the urge to drink a Cosmopolitan afterwards. I would have called it Hmm and the City. So disappointing.

  • Kelly

    I’m pretty sick of being perceived as an asshole nitwit for liking Sex and the City by women who think they’re something special because they don’t like it. The show is called Sex and the City, and that’s what it’s about. When looking to be entertained, do you only want something that directly reflects your personal experience? I’m 28, I haven’t polished my nails in probably 4 years, I rarely wear makeup, I’m a bargain shopper who wears a lot of thrift store clothes, and I have a physical job that is dirty and without glamour…but I still love the show.

    I’ll admit, I was wholeheartedly against SATC until the second to the last season when my roommate and I magically got free cable and started watching out of morbid curiosity. and I must say, it just grows on you, because there is a realness to the relationships and the chemistry between the actors is very natural. Yes, there’s plenty of fluff and most of the jokes are groaners…but is your life completely filled with perfectly timed and pitched quips?

    the point is the friendships, the rest is just fun stuff to look at or even to mock. these ladies aren’t stabbing each other in the back, they’re supporting each other. when they’re jealous, they admit it and get over it. they aren’t getting caught up in competing with each other like some of the back and forth in here about who’s got converse…as if wearing a shoe that millions of people have been wearing for a hundred years somehow makes you “fun”. I mean, really, I don’t think I could roll my eyes back any farther. I’ve been wearing chucks since I was in 2nd grade so OMG, I must be the coolest one here! give me a break. you’re exhibiting the very behaviors you’re criticizing.

    to the point of consumerism, there’s consumerism in every major film. blatant. and at least in SATC they talk about important, real designers. yes, the characters are slaves to fashion, but in case you didn’t notice, they all look different. I consider fashion to be art and I think it’s nice to see people choosing to construct a look for themselves (however fictional) rather than just going with any sort of preset genre or buying whatever the newest old navy ad tells you to…but I digress.

    anyway, the movie was fine, it was for the fans and it was complete with all the flaws you’d find in the show. I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t want to punch some of the attendees in the face for being all sorority girly and dressing up. but you know what? they were having fun, and that’s the same reason I was there, so who cares? live your life how you want, don’t put your own shit on other people just because they don’t have the same taste as you.

    I’m going to watch The Dead Zone now. maybe read a little more of Grendel. we’ll see how well I can identify with the characters even though I can’t see the future nor am I a cave-dwelling monster. (well, that’s up for debate)

  • Kelly

    and in case anyone’s interested in a comprehensive review that examines all aspects of the movie without taking it personally or demonizing its viewers, check out the New York Times review by Manohla Dargis.

  • Jacquelyn

    I support SATC all the way. Loved the series. Loved the movie. I wish there was more light-hearted material in the film, but I still enjoyed it.

    Every time I’d go through a rough breakup, I would pour myself a glass of wine and throw on a DVD from one of the seasons. Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha got me through it.

    I believe the show empowers women. You have four beautiful women (by no means are they hags – and I can guarantee any man who wants to claim this, would probably still go for any one of them, and chances are that any woman who claims this doesn’t look as good as them, or won’t look as good as them when she reaches that age) who encounter life’s problems and rely on their friendships to overcome the difficult times.

    Plus, I’m so sick of seeing men in their forties being portrayed as the handsome, sexy bachelor who can stay single for years to come and continue dating women half his age. And rarely will you find a woman in her forties portrayed in such a positive light. SATC dared to do this. They gave women hope. They help us believe that we too can stay beautiful and sexy while aging.

    And although the dialog between the main characters is mostly about men and dating, the underlying theme to SATC is that women shouldn’t worry about men so much because we will always have friends to support us. That is a good message.

  • Zygarch

    and in case anyone’s interested in a comprehensive review that examines all aspects of the movie without taking it personally or demonizing its viewers, while considering the source material AND respecting the fan base, check out the Los Angeles Times review by Carina Chocano.

  • Wow. The vitriol and defenses blazing. A good critic does put herself in the criticism. It’s not possible to stay out of it. No one would feel so strongly about a movie if they did not associate with it in some way. That’s what makes a movie good or bad: how it makes you FEEL.

    And as a graduate of a women’s college, I am so sad that feminism is still such a dirty, dirty word.

  • Gloria

    I’m glad aging women can be given this “hope” that they too can be physically alluring as they get older — confirming that my looks will for the rest of my life be the defining aspect of my personal worth. Thanks, progress!

  • Jacquelyn

    Gloria…I sense your sarcasm. I too believe women should NOT only be defined by the way they look. But I am also very aware of a thing called reality. And our culture does define people largely by their looks. It’s not right. But it’s a fact.

    Sex and the City went against the “old hag” stereotype, and for that I think it does give women hope. I’m 24 years old and I am constantly being pressured to find a man and get married because one day “I will not be able to get one.” One day I will be “too old.” Sex and the City gave me the confidence to know it is ok to not settle with a man when I’m young. A lot of women do this. They settle with someone who is not right for them because they feel that if they let that person go, their chances of finding another mate will be slim to none. It’s not right for women to have to feel this way. And SATC should be given credit for trying to change this.

    Of course I’ll “hope” that society changes its ways and starts defining people by more than just looks, but I don’t see it happening very soon. But I do believe that even the slightest changes, which make women feel better about themselves, are good. So being given hope that your life isn’t over when you reach 40, is a good feeling. And I’m sure a lot of women would agree with me.

  • Kelly

    Amy S., it is possible to put yourself into a critical review without marginalizing the viewers. For one to claim that she is unable to grasp any sort of reason why people would even like this sort of stuff, reads as someone who thinks they are holier than thou. And to me, it shows a lack of insight or any kind of imagination about the human experience.

    I would not call bitter, bitchy generalizations any sort of valid criticism. but I suppose I shouldn’t hold a blog described as “cinematic musings” to a very high standard anyway.

    I guess I just want the people who are so adamant about hating the show/movie to get over it, get a life, don’t watch it, and don’t make people who watch it feel bad.

  • Catey

    I’m not surpised the woman of Sex And The City come off as sterotypes. Remember this is a gay man;s idea of woman…and they haven’t a clue about real straight woman. Instead we have woman who behave like gay men….obsessed with fashion, sex, trival petty annoyances and are chiild like in their behavior and choices.

  • Kelly

    wow, Catey, did you just read what Lauren Hutton said on the Today show and write it here, or did you come up with that yourself? I’m scared either way.

  • Jacquelyn


    Don’t you mean “Trivial?” Don’t you mean we have “women?”

    At least Carrie knew grammar.

    And how would you describe a real, strait woman? What things does she care about? What things does she obsess over? I’m curious to know how you define “real, strait women.”

    By the way, you are making a huge generalization to assume all gay men are obsessed with fashion, sex, petty annoyances, etc. And are you saying all gay men behave in a childlike manner? You might want to be careful about that.

    I can see where you are coming from, but the problem you have with the show oversimplifying what it means to be a woman, is the same problem I have with you oversimplifying what it means to be a gay man. Don’t be a hypocrite.

  • MaryAnn

    So being given hope that your life isn’t over when you reach 40, is a good feeling. And I’m sure a lot of women would agree with me.

    As a woman edging very close to 40, I can assure you that I don’t need a movie or TV show to validate my life. And if I did, SATC still wouldn’t be it.

  • MBI

    “Amy S., it is possible to put yourself into a critical review without marginalizing the viewers.”

    But it’s a lot less fun to read and to write.

    As for the whole “SatC is about friendship” thing, I’d like this film a whole lot more if they took the friendship part out of it. This is a series that, as far as I can tell, glorifies callow hedonism, and I don’t think that’s a problem in itself, but I certainly don’t buy this “They sleep around constantly, have obscene senses of entitlement, they’re insanely wealthy narcissists, but they’re also best friends forever awwwwwww.” Just seems dissonant to me.

  • Jacquelyn


    Good for you. However, not all women are as confident as you. And by no means does a show “validate” your life, but it can be relatable, inspiring, and sometimes hopeful. I don’t believe I ever said people should use the show to validate their life. I said it can give them hope. Two different things.

    Notice how you say “edging” close to 40. If you are as proud of yourself and your age as you claim, wouldn’t you say, “I am almost 40?” Or, “heading into 40.” Or even, “I will be 40 soon.” “Edging” gives the connotation that you almost fear 40. Just an opinion.

    And why are you commenting so much on a show you care nothing for. If you dislike it that much, why waste your time? I was just wondering.

  • Michelle RN

    YAY!!! You are smart and I agree 100% with you. Looks ARE important, unfortunately. What I like about the show is that they are fit, attractive (not gorgeous,) smart, successful, and independent. You are 100% right about feeling pressure to settle, and you shouldn’t because I can tell YOU don’t need to. I can also tell there are some others here who maybe don’t have much in the looks/fitness department but more importantly don’t have one or more of the following: self confidence, a great personality, sense of humor, or positive energy.
    If you are lacking in any of the latter, you probably cannot relate to the show and DO need to settle. For those women: find a man fast because you will not age gracefully.
    FOR the record: The series dealt with MANY issues regular women face such as: relationships with men, friends, and co-workers; career changes, financial challenges, cancer, infertility, adoption, and pregnancy, just to name a few. How can HUMAN not relate with any of these things? Just because you didn’t experience them in a pair of $300 shoes? Get real!
    Catey is an idiot, probably a man. The great thing about SATC is that it ISN’T a stereotype! I wish it were, I’d have more friends if this was the case.
    The good news is that there ARE women in real life who live like the girls. There are real women who have lives outside of finding a man and having a baby, even if it includes BOTH, and more important than looking good or spending tons of money on shoes, they have healthy, fun outlooks on life.

  • Kelly

    MBI, I wouldn’t consider this hackneyed review “fun” in the least. it’s mean-spirited and shallow.

    and by the way, LIFE is dissonant. rich and famous people are still people.

    jesus, I didn’t mean to get so involved in all of this, and I have plenty more to say, but it appears that the author only responds to points that she can argue.

  • Eric

    Isn’t the point of movie criticism evaluation of the film in front of you and stating your opinion whether it works as a film or not? Not whether you happen to be some fanboy or girl of said movie?

    Methinks too many of you need to think about this aspect, not pillory the reviewer for merely doing her job. It’s fine to disagree with her views, but so far I’ve seen not one of you fans effectively state whether this film makes the transistion to the big screen, and actually works as a film, and not just a series of TV episodes crammed into 2+hrs.

    BTW, Bergman’s “Scenes from a Marriage” deals with relationships far better than Sex in the City ever will.

  • Li

    My reply to:

    “They sleep around constantly, have obscene senses of entitlement, they’re insanely wealthy narcissists, but they’re also best friends forever awwwwwww.”

    I’m not sure where I get self absorbed and narcissistic when looking into the characters. Sure we all went to high school or college with women who strived towards the “I’m so modest, real and will make someone a sweet wife some day” stereotype. If you’re “that girl”, good for you. But is the alternative really that bad?

    What is so wrong with wanting to embrace life as a single adult woman, with focus on your career, friendships, fun and fashion, and along the way still try to find “Mr. Right”. How is this pursuit in any way shallow, bubble-headed, or other dis’par’age I hear from posters?

    Does a woman have to be a Steel Magnolias sappy kind of girlfriend, who marries by 24 and puts all her “self” and energy into kids and husband to be virtuous? Again, nothing wrong with that choice, but those who put down the characters might be either a bit more uptight than need be, or perhaps even jealous of those who actually live that life.

    Why does it have to be one or the other:

    clothes, sex, fun with friendships = shallow/narcissistic
    girly-girlfriend, playdatemates, husband, babies = not shallow, good person.

    Sometimes when women strive to have the most interesting life they can before settling down, it is harder to find love. As if they’re punished. Funny how the same doesn’t hold true for men. I think the show speaks precisely to those of us with that experience.

    And as for religion, politics, thoughts of substance, etc… C’mon. When men are portrayed as heros, executives, nice guys, etc… on film/tv, are they reading books, balancing checkbooks and “proving” they have brains? This position makes me think of the *Stuff White People Like* blog that makes fun of yuppie-types that always need to demonstrate their depth and intellect by ad-nauseum discussing books, history and politics. When you have a brain, people who also do know it…

    STC was a funny, groundbreaking show and the movie gives a little taste of it for those of us who miss it.

  • Sandy

    I love the TV show. I’ve seen every single episode several times and I even watch the TBS versions because I liked the show so much.
    That said, I hated the movie and what it did to the characters. Charlotte was just screamy and over the top, Samantha is too much of a cougar and it’s not sexy anymore, it’s just sad. Carrie and her bad puns and her whining and her little girl behavior are just irritating and Miranda, heck, no wonder Steve cheated on her. In real life, the poor guy would have SHOT her.
    This movie was as predictable as a Harlequin romance and not as well thought out.
    And music montages? Two of them? Where are we, 1980s?
    And did anyone notice that Mr. Big’s hair was not only abnormally black, but that his greying temple changed places in different scenes? Hello, makeup, time for a touchup!
    And what was with Anthony and Stanford. They HATED each other on the show. Suddenly we’re supposed to believe they are together?

    The most fun I had was coming out and saying in front the line that was waiting “man, that was sad when Steve died” and watching the ladies flipping out.

    Oh, yeah, I’m female. No penis here, so you ladies have no reason to hate me.

    Just call me a very disillusioned, disappointed fan.

    That’s $7 and two and a half hours I’ll never get back.

  • MBI

    “MBI, I wouldn’t consider this hackneyed review ‘fun’ in the least.”

    That’s because you didn’t read it. The review doesn’t say a single bad thing to slam the many fans of the show — matter of fact, it states that those who’ve watched the show have built an emotional attachment that she isn’t able to share. The only thing to be offended by is the implication that fans of this movie like bad movies — and if you know a way to write a negative review without implying that, go ahead. As far as I can tell, the meanspirited one is you, whose first sentence was an insult.

    And for the record, I’m not saying liking clothes makes you a shallow person, but is anyone really going to argue to me that Carrie Bradshaw is deep? That “Sex and the City” is not often, if not primarily, a celebration of the immature pleasures of life? That’s not a bad thing on its own, as I said — but it is if you expect her to be a romantic avatar that you can relate to. I don’t watch James Bond movies to see Bond have romantic issues, I do it to watch him drink, fuck and kill. The heart and soul of “Sex and the City” actively works against what it’s trying to accomplish; it’s like watching Patrick Bateman from “American Psycho” fall in love. And yes, real life is dissonant, but I don’t see what real life has to do with “Sex and the City”; even most fans would agree with me there.

    As my last point, Charlotte poops herself. I really do not want people to forget that. Charlotte… poops… herself.

  • This is a series that, as far as I can tell, glorifies callow hedonism, and I don’t think that’s a problem in itself, but I certainly don’t buy this “They sleep around constantly, have obscene senses of entitlement, they’re insanely wealthy narcissists, but they’re also best friends forever awwwwwww.”

    I don’t suppose it helps to note that that’s basically the same formula employed for the two lead male characters of “Boston Legal.”

  • John

    Lord Almighty! I myself have had instances of disagreement with Mary Ann (mostly because I’m not a huge fan of certainty in regards to religion), but her job is to have an opinion! And this is it! She really doesn’t hate you or your lifestyle! She is not trying to to dampen your fervor for the feminist movement. If you prick her, does she not bleed? If you trip her, does she not stumble? If you poke her, does she not become irate? If you do all three things, does she not call the police? The lady’s all suffragetted and sh**–she’s allowed her opinion about this silly movie. Don’t make us men pull this country over and get out the burqas! Hey Paris, would you pass me that golden apple…

  • MaryAnn

    Jacquelyn wrote:

    why are you commenting so much on a show you care nothing for. If you dislike it that much, why waste your time? I was just wondering.

    Because I’m a film critic, and this is a film that was certain to be popular. I don’t just review films I think I’m going to like. Is that what you think film critics do?

    Kelly wrote:

    it appears that the author only responds to points that she can argue.

    I’m not sure what that means. I should respond to points others make that I have nothing to say to?

    Li wrote:

    Does a woman have to be a Steel Magnolias sappy kind of girlfriend, who marries by 24 and puts all her “self” and energy into kids and husband to be virtuous?

    Ah, so that’s the only other option to what we see in SATC, is it?

    Sometimes when women strive to have the most interesting life they can before settling down,

    Ah, this is where I was confused. I didn’t realize these women were meant to be “interesting”…

    When men are portrayed as heros, executives, nice guys, etc… on film/tv, are they reading books, balancing checkbooks and “proving” they have brains?

    It’s not about men versus women: it’s about interesting, well-rounded women versus shallow, dull women. (There certainly are plenty of depictions of shallow, dull men, too, and they are just as tedious.)

    MBI wrote:

    The heart and soul of “Sex and the City” actively works against what it’s trying to accomplish; it’s like watching Patrick Bateman from “American Psycho” fall in love.

    Heh. I like that. If SATC were actually satirical about the lives these women lead, it might interest me more.

  • Kelly

    MaryAnn, well, I suppose I shouldn’t expect you to concede to any points conflicting with your own on your own website, no matter if they make sense or not.

    I read the review, I found that it was based not solely on the movie, but on preconceived biases and opinions formed about the whole SATC machine. Some of the things mentioned about shopping and orgasms…just weren’t in the movie. and the part about Carrie not reading…when clearly she is not only reading a book (albeit about love letters) at one point, but she has a god damn library card and actually goes to the library. I guess I just figured someone who is a self-proclaimed “geek goddess” would notice such details.

    It’s not a good movie, I never said that. it’s predictable and some parts are completely stupid. but as a whole, it honored the series and was satisfactorily entertaining.

    MY PROBLEM IS THIS: criticism should be about evaluating the content and execution of a subject, not a glazing over of generalizations peppered with personal bias. and I am offended that purported “intelligent” people think they’re hot shit because they don’t “get” Sex and the City. I’d think that anyone with a reasonable amount of brainpower could venture a guess as to why it’s so appealing to a good amount of people.

    I guess I just think there’s a lot more to be upset about in this world than a t.v. show/movie that for whatever reason makes millions of people happy. but this is the internet and anonymous egos are involved so nothing will be agreed upon or resolved. so fuck it.

  • MaryAnn

    MaryAnn, well, I suppose I shouldn’t expect you to concede to any points conflicting with your own on your own website, no matter if they make sense or not.

    Ah. So I should concede things even if I do not agree with them?

    the part about Carrie not reading…when clearly she is not only reading a book (albeit about love letters)

    Exactly. It’s research for her book. It’s not anything that doesn’t have to do with her constant ongoing research into “romance.”

    I just figured someone who is a self-proclaimed “geek goddess” would notice such details.

    I think you made my point for me, as I just pointed out. I didn’t see the need to refute something that was not a refutation of what I’d written.

    It’s not a good movie, I never said that. it’s predictable and some parts are completely stupid. but as a whole, it honored the series and was satisfactorily entertaining.

    Not to me. I was not entertained.

    I am offended that purported “intelligent” people think they’re hot shit because they don’t “get” Sex and the City.

    I don’t think I’m anything because I don’t get SATC. I just don’t get it, and I’m not going to pretend to understand it out of some misguided attempt to not be “biased.” Criticism IS biased. It can’t NOT be biased.

  • Jacquelyn

    I apologize MaryAnn. I didn’t realize this was the same MaryAnn that wrote the review.

    Most critics I know don’t get too involved with their comment section. Because a critic’s opinion is already clearly stated, most leave the arguing to their readers.

    Now that I understand you are the critic, I do applaud you for reviewing films of all genres and tastes.

    When I thought you were just a reader, I didn’t comprehend why you were commenting so much because I didn’t understand why someone would waste so much time on a movie/subject they really didn’t care for anyway.

    You see…I hate horror flicks. I might see one and absolutely hate it, but I wouldn’t waste my time to tell everyone how bad it is, over and over. I’d probably just make one comment saying why I think it sucked. That’s just me. Although, arguing can be a fun pastime. Cheers

  • Jim Mann

    A number of your readers commented on your review saying something like (to quote one of them): “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.”

    This seems to be an excuse for doing almost anything dumb in a movie. The characters behave stupidly, aren’t realistic, etc. “It’s just a movie, so that’s OK.” (I see similar things from people trying to defend bad SF movies, saying “it’s science FICTION so it doesn’t have to make sense,” which really bothers me.)


  • Jacquelyn

    And thank you Michelle. I appreciate the compliment. Plus, I’m relieved that others can see this world for what it is. It’s superficial and unfair at times. Not agreeable, but definitely not ignorable.

    And about the settling…a quote from SATC:

    Carrie: “Some people are settling down, some people are settling and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies.”
    Sex and the City

    I’m in no hurry to find those butterflies =)

  • Kelly

    “Criticism IS biased. It can’t NOT be biased.”

    yes, but the bias should come from an academic or journalistic perspective, not a “these ladies are dumb and I’m sick of hearing about them and I hate all the girls who go ga-ga over them” perspective; which I am gleaning from the tone of your piece…if this is not the case, then I apologize for reading too far into it.

    the fact of the matter is, the movie was made for fans. it’d be impossible to build a backstory that would form the same kind of bonds with the characters that fans already had. the exposition would just be redundant for the majority of the people viewing it. It was just a chance for people to enjoy seeing characters they love interacting again.

    of course, you’re entitled to your opinion. I guess I was just disappointed to once again read something that seemed ill-informed and reactionary. but reading these comments and seeing that what you respond to is in a reactionary manor anyway (considering you only responded when I began using inflammatory language), just leads me to believe that’s just how you are. and it’s not my business to change your style of writing or what you choose to write about.

  • MaryAnn

    Most critics I know don’t get too involved with their comment section.

    And it seems I’m damned if I do, and damned if I don’t.

  • Jason

    “Does she ever read a book?”, regarding Carrie.

    Uh… actually, yes she does. And the movie quite obviously points out that she’s one of few people that actually takes out books from the library.

  • MaryAnn

    Too bad the books don’t seem to have much of an impact on her.

  • paul

    Actually, yes, it is possible to make a movie for both fans of a show and the general public. For an example of it being done very well, check out “Serenity” which managed to give you the entire required backstory in the first ten minutes of the film. When my Dad and I watched it, the only thing he needed explained was why they used bullets instead of lasers.

    For it being done less well, there are the Star Trek movies, but sometimes they bend over so far backwards for non-fans that I get bored with them rehashing old themes from the shows. Still, with Wrath of Khan, they gave you the backstory in a single scene summary.

    Sorry my examples are both from SF. The non-SF TV-movie cross overs I’ve seen were in the other direction, turning MASH into a TV show, for example. And of course, neither Serenity nor the first run of Star Trek lasted as long as SatC apparently has, so had less backstory to worry about.

  • Liz Chesney

    MaryAnne, I’m a big fan of the TV show, and I was quite disappointed in the movie. Several posters have summarized the reasons why the movie fell short.

    Big reason #1: too much Judd Apatow-esque humor (pillow humping dog, pooping in pants, bulging erection humor…REALLY?????). The TV show, in contrast, while “bawdy and ribald”, had a strong suit of an ultra-witty, chrisp script which kept us all coming back for more laugh out loud moments.

    #2: Unlike the TV show, where long story arcs could unfold over weeks, months or even years, and were therefore authentic feeling and often heartbreaking — this movie falsely tried to shove too much into too small of a space. So it felt melodromatic.

    #3: Yes — where were the men??? Am I the only one who wants a whole movie on Anthony and Stanford’s burgeoning relationship? And little Lily’s only word in the first half of the movie, despite reams of screen time, was “sex”. I suppose this was meant to be funny? Instead, it was just…weird.

    4) Lastly, let’s face it — in the four years since the show ended, I have matured and grown. And these four ladies? They seem…the same. Carrie, for example, checks out library books but buys $600.00 shoes. I, in contrast, buy books for my library and buy my shoes at Payless for $29.99.

    And, were we really supposed to be “moved” when Charlotte tearfully says to Carrie: “Look at everything you and Miranda have been through! It is proof that happiness doesn’t last…” REALLY, Charlotte? Carrie and Miranda epitomize SUFFERING for you? Gosh, ladies, have you actually read the front page of that Sunday Times lately, where you might read about millions dead and homeless in China and Myanmar? Or do you just go straight to the Wedding Announcements?

    SIGH. Yes, in the end it was a big disappointment, and a reminder that, alas, the show was FICTION, and I’ve grown up, and moved on. It was great while it lasted, though! Liz :-)

  • I just found your website!

    I’ve enjoyed your reviews and I do agree with your review of this. Then again I also respect that I am (obviously) living from my viewpoint and mine is not the only valid one. As you pointed out at some point, your opinion is biased…everyone’s is! That’s why it’s called an opinion. It takes guts to write a review on the internet where thousands of people read from all over the world. Heck I get nervous writing on my blog and I think only about 5 people read it. Heehee.I am impressed by the way you’ve responded to the comments. I think I’d go hide under something instead…

    Your Uncle,


  • Pharlain

    Am I the only one who feels like certain SATC fans have the same fervor regarding the series as scientologists have regarding Hubbard’s work. On the one hand it makes me wonder if I’ve missed something critical and if these stories and characters are much deeper than I think. On the other hand it makes me wonder at the creator’s ability to create this sort of cult-like dedication in its followers. Ah well, I’ll just put SATC on the long list of things I really don’t understand.

  • Looper

    SARAH JESSICA PARKER, CYNTHIA NIXON, KRISTIN DAVIS, and KIM CATTRALL talk unabashedly about SEX and obsess brainlessly over FASHION.

    SARAH JESSICA PARKER: Female empowerment is great!

    CYNTHIA NIXON: Yeah! Grrl power!

    They illustrate this by having the men in their lives do unforgivable things to them, then eventually blame themselves and forgive the men. This allows them to live HAPPILY EVER AFTER.


  • jamie

    yah your rite, ur not speaking for the series, only the movie… but then u shudnt hav made digs on her bank account n whether she reads a book because many of those more complex things are answered in the show. there is no way d.star could have expressed stuff like that in an already long film. step off your high horse just becuase you’d use your money to travel it doesn’t make you smarter with your money.You spend on what you love if Carrie loves shoes than it doesnt make her stupid ofr spending on them. Also, your obviously a woman that cares about the right of women and equality for women etc. Miranda and Samantha have many of these qualities and beliefs and speak about them a lot in the series.

  • What makes a film much more interesting are the small little details. What is that book she’s reading, what’s on the shelf behind her, what kind of decor is in her place etc and a good filmmakers can make this small additions to the set and to the script without adding more time to the film. It makes the film richers. Would Titanic be as memorable without all the little details of the place settings and dress of those on board and the goings-on below deck? Also, people will remember in the television show Friends (much loved by many), that people copied hairstyles and searched for particular glasses and other props used on set.

    jamie, you need to look up feminism in a dictionary.

    And in regards to the shoes, there’s an episode in the television series where Miranda informs Carrie how much money she’d have banked if she didn’t spend it on all the shoes.

    The film could have been much more but decided to cater way too much to the Apatow effect on filmgoers.

    ps. I’m a critic too and a fan of the show and panned the film. It’s actually possible to do.

  • FallingDown

    I think next up we can have a show called “Men About Town” about four guys written by a group of lesbians and see how well that turns out.

  • amanohyo

    Fallingdown, that’s actually a pretty good idea – sort of a documentary about men from a lesbian perspective.

    Watch in wonder as they bond over professional sports, Call of Duty 4, and the heroic shooting of various animals! Laugh as they drunkenly rate women on a ten point scale during poker night! Cheer them on as they anonymously p0wn noobs FTW in epic messageboard flame wars! Gasp in awe as they repeatedly avoid commitment and responsiblity! Imagine the product placement possiblities! Snack foods, televisions, collectors edition games, cars, guns, barbeque grills!

    It has the makings of great satire: A hyper-masculine world where every man reads Maxim, Sports Illustrated, and Electronic Gaming Monthly religiously. Would most men rise up and say “that’s not how we really are!” or would it become a smash hit? As with everything, it depends on the execution. Of course, there are a million men writing that kind of stuff already, so I’m not sure those lesbians would be able to get a foot in the door.

    After that series airs, Maybe we’ll continue the gender-swapping trend and try out a couple movie ideas: like maybe Iron Woman or She-Hulk, or even Princess Caspian, or Lady of the Rings, perhaps Kung Fu Pandette, You Don’t Mess with the Zohanna, Batgirl, The Lauren Identity, or Mary Potter (the original novel was written by a man, oddly enough). Maybe we’ll eventually get around to The Godmother, Goodgals, 12 Angry Women, Citizen Kate, Flora Gump, The Elephant Woman,

    When we have fifty or sixty years of films by and about women in various genres, it might make sense for guys to bitch and snark about the success of a movie like Sex and the City. Right now, it’s as if you’re making fun of a person dying of thirst because they’re drinking from the tap instead of waiting for the possibility that a stranger might spontaneously offer them a bottle of Perrier.

  • paul

    Actually, if a lesbian played up the fact that she was a lesbian writing about men, it would probably help ticket sales. But you should know the last time a woman posed as a man and wrote a book about the experience, she ended up writing about how sorry she felt for men with their enforced limited emotional range and how many rather vapid women she had to carry on a conversation with.

    I found myself wondering how a woman posing as a man would end up dating vapid women, when presumably she didn’t waste her time on such women when she was acting as a woman.

  • But you should know the last time a woman posed as a man and wrote a book about the experience, she ended up writing about how sorry she felt for men with their enforced limited emotional range and how many rather vapid women she had to carry on a conversation with.

    That would be Norah Vincent and her book Self-Made Man. Not a bad book, as I recall.

    I found myself wondering how a woman posing as a man would end up dating vapid women, when presumably she didn’t waste her time on such women when she was acting as a woman.

    As I recall, she asked herself the same question in the book.

    But then I believe she was either using personal ads or a dating service to deliberately seek out heterosexual women so she wasn’t exactly meeting women in her usual manner.

  • Faby

    The movie was so much better than I expected.I love it!
    My husband didn’t want to go with me to watch the movie,but he went after all. And even though He had never watched the TV show he like the the movie a lot.

  • squeekie

    Plus to the movie: The warm & fuzzy & supportive girlfriend relationship is given its due, that’s all fine.

    A totally offensive element: The entirely stupid and small-minded slap at animal rights activists. (This left me thinking that Sarah Jessica Parker is a total jackass.)

    Good idea: Take all that product-placement money and donate it to an animal shelter.

    What nauseated me: Marriage as the Holy Grail. Oh, please. So dopey.

    I came away thinking this was a fluffy & forgettable bit of (overly long!) entertainment until I read Caille Millner’s take on it in the SF Chronicle: She makes a good point about the film’s gender-reversal — The useless, decorative people are all male, and the real characters are all female. She says that calling this movie a “fantasy is a denial of its real power, and its real limitation — to offer women the experience of all the joys, and all of the moral turpitude, of treating others as objects to be used.”

    Interesting words, if you consider the frequency with which modern American films feature the dehumanization of different groups of people (indigenous people, women, gays, people who look different from the filmmakers, etc).

    On that note, why so much hostility about “a bunch of middle-age women sitting around…” Should all middle-aged women just get used to being portrayed as witches and crones? The hostility comes from women as much as it comes from men. Knock it off already, you people who are hostile toward women over 40.

    It sure would be nice to see a modern movie along the lines of 1932’s “Three On a Match”. Where are the modern movies with an edge, featuring women characters with real lives?

  • MaryAnn

    Where are they, indeed?

    The useless, decorative people are all male, and the real characters are all female.

    I don’t see this as progress. Can we not have movies in which the men and women alike are real people?

  • MBI

    **A totally offensive element: The entirely stupid and small-minded slap at animal rights activists. **

    I admit that I roll my eyes at animal rights activists more often than not, but I also got pissed off at this one. It goes straight to the main philosophy of the movie: That giving a shit about things besides shopping or fucking, that giving your life meaning besides your banal ephemeral pleasures, well, that’s for old ugly bitches who wear lousy clothes and aren’t getting enough sex. Dear God, that’s an infuriating scene.

  • It sure would be nice to see a modern movie along the lines of 1932’s “Three On a Match”. Where are the modern movies with an edge, featuring women characters with real lives?

    As much as I liked Three on a Match, I’d hate to see any of the women in this series get addicted to drugs and alcohol, allow her only son to get kidnapped by gangsters or throw herself out a window.

    But, yes, there are quite a few movies made in the 1930s that today’s filmmakers would do well to learn from.

  • zoetree

    Your comment about adolescence lasting into the “forty” years hit the nail on the head for me. I could not relate to the drama in the relationships at all. I did not really understand Mr. Big’s inability to get out of the car. Although he’s had some bad marriages, hasn’t he had a chance to figure out what he wants with Carrie by now? Carrie’s anger with Miranda for a painful slip of the tongue at the wrong time was meaner than anything that had been done to her. It really was like a big teen drama.

    I’ve actually found some of the re-runs mildly diverting and entertaining, but this movie was too much empty-headed madness. I don’t understand the glorification of the shoe and purse addictions, either. Oh, yes. With that money I could find much more interesting things bring into my life.

    My daughter, a teen who “gets” fashion, loved the movie, however. I just hope she doesn’t think that was a movie about “real” women…

  • lm

    “Would most men rise up and say “that’s not how we really are!” or would it become a smash hit?”

    Both. Did you miss “Thelma and Louise”?

  • fry

    Well this series and film is just
    brainwash for the unsatisfied women,
    who dont know what they are missing.
    Dream on girl! U will die alone.

  • amanohyo

    Awww fry, you’re a sweetie. Remind me again what these women are “missing” out on? I sure hope it isn’t a lifetime of good lovin’ from a classy, compassionate person such as yourself. That would be a real tragedy.

    What specifically about the series or movie (or this review) suggests to you that its fans are all unsatisfied, ignorant, and/or terrified of dying alone?

    Or is U just projecting your own fears onto a diverse group of people you don’t understand in a lazy attempt to cram them into a predefined category so you don’t have to bother with actually thinking about them as individuals? Because that’s what I tend to do with people like you, and it’s worked pretty well so far…

  • MaryAnn

    Yeah, fry, please explain what you believe that fans of this show and movie are “missing”?

    And also explain why you felt moved to speak to those fans in the comments section of a review clearly aimed at nonfans. Cuz I’m dying to know.

  • paul

    Fry is probably going along with the stereotype that women who read/watch romance stories do so because there is romance missing from their lives and they dream of meeting Mr. Perfect instead of a normal good guy. I hope this “type” is false, since my sister-in-law is a big Nora Roberts fan.

    I used to believe that idea, too, until I realized that I go to action films and have no desire to watch my life get sucked down the toliet and have to kill my way back out of the sewer. I also used to avoid romantic films unless I had a date; why would I want to watch a movie that reminds me that I don’t have a date? Except that meant rarely at all since my girlfriends were (in order): a bookworm, a Disney fan (romantic, yes, but not in a SatC way), a high brow artist, and a horror flick fan.

    If I go for my own pleasure: make me laugh. John Cusack irony, Donnie Darko Smurf sex, Arnold’s one liners, Galaxy Quest parody . . . but that doesn’t mean my life is empty of humor. A lot of my friends are funny, certainly funnier than I am. My mind is a little too straight forward to be a reliable source of humor. I remember when my brother showed me The Onion for the first time; it’s embarressing that I had to read three articles before I realized it was supposed to be funny. And when I saw Battlefield Earth, I mistook it for a comedy so actually enjoyed it. I thought it was supposed to be funny so laughed at it; when my friends told me it was supposed to be serious, I laughed even harder.

    But now I’m rambling.

  • fry

    the “die alone”
    was pointed to thoose girls (and boys)
    who begin to think in “movie style” scenes.
    sorry for beeing so mean.

    i dont know WHAT they are missing,
    maybe the little “healthy” mix of
    consumption (money), beauty, friends,
    romance and audience.

    in some cases the feeling of “missing”
    evolves after watching such ignorant,
    superficial entertainment.
    its about presenting dreams,
    a question/whish of identification.

    an abstract fractal picture of consumption
    on more than one level, a product so shiny
    and presented as real and possible that
    influences so many minds.

    how can this movie/series be so famous
    if its just watched as entertainment?

    “an emotional attachment” omg! get a life!

    maybe some of the viewers can resist the
    but please think the others

    i love the “shopping and fucking” headline

  • MaryAnn

    i love the “shopping and fucking” headline

    I can’t claim credit for it: it’s the name of a British play.

  • fry

    but you get credit from me for the review

  • Sara

    I liked most of the series and really disliked the movie. The women were written in a regressive way (and very traditional way) for the movie (for some reason probably connected with money.) The same writers, but different writing.
    The four women aren’t self-actualized women as you see yourself as a self-actualized male. They have their many flaws as most Americans do. They should all be in therapy. Would you find that interesting? Or would you find a show interesting about women with no flaws? Actually, they are all pretty much high-powered business women…Samantha owns her own home and has a successful PR business. Miranda is an attorney and works hard. Charlotte works in an art gallery. Carrie has a newspaper column and writes articles that are ABOUT single women and sex/dating in NYC. The series is called SEX and the City. It’s interesting that you identify with Samantha so much because she is the most masculine of the four. So what does that say about you? The show is not going to exhibit all about their lives. It is not going to show Carrie reading books, or Samantha endlessly working on legal briefs (it’s not Law and Order.) If you don’t “get” the show, then don’t watch it. Many women don’t get why men love to watch movie after movie of blow-up films, war films, etc. Doesn’t seem that’s the healthiest?
    Sex and the City has caused a huge amount of discussion among students in colleges–they’ve had to write papers on it. And if you think the stuff you see on Sex and the City is “bad” then go to any American college/university and see what the campus culture is like. How “mature” is James Bond after all these years? He’s a caricature if ever there was one. But bet you go to those movies and like them. Again, I did NOT like the Sex and the City movie, but I’ll stand by the series. It didn’t win Emmy awards and Golden Globes for nothing.

  • MaryAnn

    If you don’t “get” the show, then don’t watch it.

    I don’t. As I think I made perfectly clear.

    Then again, it’s perfectly clear here at this site that I am female, not male. I can’t imagine how anyone could miss that.

    Many women don’t get why men love to watch movie after movie of blow-up films, war films, etc. Doesn’t seem that’s the healthiest?

    I don’t understand your point. You appear to be saying that because men do things you believe are unhealthy, it’s okay for women to do things that are unhealthy.

    And if you think the stuff you see on Sex and the City is “bad” then go to any American college/university and see what the campus culture is like.

    Again, I fail to see your point. It may be that what is happening on American college campuses is similar to what happens in this movie. But then you may feel free to take my criticisms of this movie as criticisms of the campus culture you speak of. Or are you suggesting that because people really are shallow and materialistic, no one should complain about pop culture that celebrates shallow materialism?

    How “mature” is James Bond after all these years? He’s a caricature if ever there was one. But bet you go to those movies and like them.

    Actually, Bond was pretty darn mature in the latest film. But I was never much of a fan of the old Bond. I’m not sure why you would bet I like those movies, and I don’t see the point in assuming that I do.

  • Sara

    I missed a certain episode in Sex and the City series, that had it been addressed much earlier would have been very helpful…it’s in the last or next to the last episode of the 4th season.
    In many posts I’ve read how people (both males and females) dislike how Carrie comes across as childlike, as insecure, as not a grown-up woman. So into shoes to make her “big.” In the episode I mention, the topic centers around the fact that her father up and left Carrie and her mother when Carrie was 5 years old. Carrie says she has no idea why he left..nada…and she never saw him again. Mary Ann above says if she had the money that Carrie had to spend on shoes that she (Mary Ann) would have been traveling all over the world. Whereas, what Carrie really needed to do was get in therapy–but that’s not so exciting to watch on TV or in a movie, I suppose. Perhaps, though, we can take a culture reality check here…little girls whose fathers up and leave (and the little girls don’t know why and never see their fathers again–and don’t get any therapy)…well, they tend to be (TEND to be) lost, have trouble growing up, look to men for approval, and have trouble with commitment because they are so afraid of being “left.” Which is exactly what happened to Carrie in the movie. (Not that I like the movie, I didn’t, but knowing the dynamics of Carrie, what happened makes sense…along with her depression after. Too bad this wasn’t brought in somehow.) Oh well, America isn’t particularly psychologically minded anyway; most would rather act-out than get things worked out. Carrie, though, as a character, with her past as it is, reacts as a child “left” and this makes sense. That episode (in the series deserved more emphasis than it got.) I’m not against divorce but it’s not generally in the list of “things I want” when I get married (if I want to get married) and it reminds us what Kramer vs Kramer told us…kids are always lose out when divorce occurs (esp. in the way Carrie was impacted–not knowing why her father left…never seeing him again…and never having therapy around the issue.) No wonder she liked those big girl shoes–an attempt to be grown-up gone awry.

  • Sarah

    After I wrote the post above (second to the last and last one also) I realized I had made some errors in the lst one I wrote and I emailed you about this. I hope you’ve seen that and if not, please check your email.

  • squeekie

    Sara: You make some good points. But I disagree that therapy isn’t exciting to watch in TV or a movie. One example: The Sopranos. I think having the protaganist in therapy can be really exciting. Granted, it’s not CGI or graphic violence. Consider: a Hitchock thriller can be scarier than a straight-ahead slasher flick.

    I, too, saw Sex & the City without knowing the father-who-fled background. That might be a huge insight into Carrie, and I think the movie would have been richer had that been incorporated. I also have enough (hopeful) faith in the audience to believe people could handle the introspection. Maybe that backstory could explain some of the craziness that happened around the wedding scenes. Yikes, was that contrived.

  • Sara

    From my point of view (as a therapist) having the females or males in Sex and the City–series or movie– in therapy would be great and would have added depth. As I made clear I’ve seen the series and like it more than I thought I would and I strongly disliked the movie.
    I wasn’t aware of the therapy section in The Sopranos as I haven’t seen that series.
    To clarify: I was turned off to the whole premise of Sex and the City when it first became an HBO series–the idea of “having sex like guys” (What the heck does that mean?) And I’ve known many males object to that comment, in that they don’t go screwing around and screwing women over. Granted, many do, though, and that behavior (not that it’s right at all) has been more or less normative in patriarchal societies (of which ours remains one.)
    So, I didn’t watch the series while it was actually on HBO. Not long ago we got HBO On Demand and watched some of the episodes from the series. I was surprised at the questions asked (in Carrie’s columns), the questions asked in the voiceovers, the way the four females discussed things, challenged each other and maintained a solidarity with each other. You mention above my comment re: college campus culture (esp. the elite ones but not only those)…and I don’t think many of those women are having these types of conversations, nor do I think they challenge each other, nor do I think they have the solidarity that the SERIES shows. I’m sure there are exceptions to this. I’m talking about the dominant campus cultures, and the universities I’m thinking of still maintain a very patriarchal stance. What I see there is more of what is described in Tom Wolfe’s book, I Am Charlotte Simmons (where there is a failure to connect at all in terms of female solidarity–it’s all competition–and where subjects are not discussed, but covered over. You have the walk of shame, you don’t have substance use, you have substance ABUSE. As a nation I don’t think we realize that on our campuses we have substance abuse going on as a normative thing–most parents and other adults seem to think it’s just substance use (and not so bad, you know.) But when kids are having to be resusitated by paramedics as a routine matter before they can be moved to ambulances and taken to university hospitals (and this is for alcohol poisoning) then I think the acting-out is way way over the top. I don’t see that behavior in Sex and the City series. Yes, there is dysfunction in that series, but if you watch the series (and you say you don’t, I realize now) you will see more reflection than perhaps you know is there. The movie–that is something else–I am with you 100% on dislike of the movie. I wished I’d walked out of the movie.
    Carrie’s background (her father leaving when she was 5 and she had no clue as to why he left and hadn’t seen him since–tragic)–this is critical and wasn’t used to it’s fullest in any way. Except for that one episode. In light of that, we could say that Carrie fared OK–she managed (with the help of her friends) to get her finances in order, she ended up with Big (is he an OK guy or not? Not sure but she is a survivor and he might be also and they may survive together and grow–I have no idea.) Carrie falls on the runway (when she’s asked to be a model and she says but I’m not a model, I’m a writer, but there is a part of the fashion show for “regular people” and she’s asked)…she falls, then gets up and keeps going (a metaphor for the life of Carrie Bradshaw.) She falls in Dior in Paris and carries on (yes, I know by buying power and that’s not good) but she does keep going. She doesn’t become a nonfunctioning person.
    And know there are many lines like this one in a voiceover from Carrie…”If Samantha thought that Charlotte’s relationship was now a good one, then Charlotte knew that she had one sick relationship.”
    Re: my comment about James Bond. The last (or newest James Bond) which you said you liked was very different than what we’re used to–and it was a flashback to the beginning of Bond. And here before us we see Bond become Bond…and it happens via damage. He is betrayed and he stands up, swallows his anger and is ready to battle the “bad guys” which we know from the Bond series is an orgy of violence. I shuddered.
    Carrie, in therapy–the writers missed a great chance then to deepen the story. Her therapy though, as the writers set it up was via her friends (not the best way) yet those friends offered good comments at times (in the series.)

  • Sara

    Sorry, Squeekie… I responded to you as if you were MaryAnn. I appreciated the comments, so my response is in part addressed to what you said and also some earlier comments that MaryAnn wrote re: my comments.

  • Sara

    In discussing the use of “therapy” in TV and movies, recall there is the therapy scene in Sex and the City movie (and it was awful, I thought)…not something any good therapist I know would say. Forget the past, don’t look back (huh?), meet on the Brooklyn Bridge or not. I guess that’s what you call the one session, let’s not get to the real issues here, therapy. It was so off.
    This is not to say that therapy couldn’t be pulled off in a positive way on TV or in movies. I just see it rarely done (you mentioned the Sopranos and perhaps it’s done well there. Will have to check it out.)

  • paul

    I think the difference between the Bonds is pushed too far. At the beginning he prefers to sleep with married women, and then he gets less picky. Big deal.

    The more people talk and write and make movies about sex the more I think we pay too much attention to extremes. We keep paying attention to the minority who drink too much, who have lots of sexual partners, who make the most money, etc. Then we make movies about them, and how they really wish they were more like normal people. How the people with lots of sexual partners wish they had someone special, how the rich guys wish they could give it up for Walden Pond, how the warriors wish they could go back to the ranch . . . and the people without lots of sexual partners, money, or violence buy movie tickets to watch it (or books to read about it).

  • Sara

    In reality, though, there is a lot of polarization right now. Look at our country for one example.
    And re: sexual issues, behavior, etc., look at dominant campus college behavior. It’s what’s allowed by the adults in charge who have a responsibility that they are avoiding. It’s hard not to pay attention to ambulances racing back and forth from dorms to ERs on school nights at our universities (because of overdoses from drinking games)…add the hook-up culture to that OR the “college marriage” and the “no dating” in most colleges and we’re talking “movies” here. I’m for students having a social life, for sure. I did. But it didn’t include EITHER almost dying from alcohol poisoning (or being assaulted or raped OR a college marriage (date the same guy for four years completely exclusively) OR absolutely NO dating at all. Dating is OUT. That’s reality on many of America’s campuses. Even many high schools. You’re right, though, people should do their own thing, but 16, 18, 20 year olds don’t tend to have the confidence to do that and also these students can’t police each other nor should they have to (I’m talking on our college campuses.) Point being…”where are the adults?” Which is interesting to me re: Sex and the City and the main character, Carrie…”abandoned by father at age 5, never to hear from him again.” This is bigger than “Big.”

  • sara

    Sorry…I meant to write: “It’s hard not to pay attention to ambulances racing back and forth from dorms to ERs on school nights (because of overdoses from drinking games)…add the hook-up culture to that OR the ‘college marriage’ or the ‘no dating’ in most colleges and we’re NOT talking ‘movies here.”

  • paul

    Yes, I have to concede those points, except for me when I was in college no dating meant, well, I was “just a friend” so I’m not entirely clear on whether you mean no dating in my sense of the phrase or no dating as in “why bother with a date when we can just have sex.”

    I’ve read reports confirming your opinion of college campus life, and met some recent graduates, and they leave me wondering just how long you can get away with homeschooling your kids. (that’s a joke, I think)

    According to one of the reports I alluded to, the adults you wondered about are divided into two departments, the one for encouraging women to experiment sexually and the one for punishing men when the experiment goes badly. However, I suspect from the author’s other articles that she voted for Bush, so some might disagree with that point of view as a matter of principle. I wish I could remember her name for the rest of you. Sorry. You might find it through aldaily.com, a good website regardless.

  • Sara

    No dating means literally no dating. There is the drunken (really “wasted”) hook-up stuff OR there is the “college marriage” or there is nothing (you do neither.) I’m sure there are some brave souls who might actually date but I know of none. There was an article I read, written by a female at an upper tiered school: she got sick of the culture and started asking guys out on dates–regular dates (not the hook-up stuff, the go out for dinner and a movie stuff) and she said, interestingly she hadn’t been turned down once. She wasn’t screwing around with them either. Just dates. But that was an anamoly.
    And this is in talking with college students that are normal kids, who consider themselves liberal but who have been appalled at what the college administrations have left them to deal with. At 4 or 5 o’clock the adults leave campus; they aren’t there on the weekends and the dominant culture is, at present, very unhealthy…dangerous…and the healthy kids (who should be the leaders) are staying out of the way of the train wrecks because the adults in charge refuse to intervene (unless it is to rescue.) It is a bad situation. The schools I personally know of as having these problems…Yale, Dartmouth, Duke, Princeton, Harvard to name a few. Read Tom Wolfe’s book, I Am Charlotte Simmons. It’s nonfiction in the guise of fiction. Read Laura Stepp’s book, Unhooked: How Young Women Have Sex, Delay Love and Lose at Both. She’s not exaggerating and neither is Wolfe. They are describing normative dominant university cultures (our supposed best and brightest) at many many of our universities at this point in time. (BTW, this started prior to the Clinton stuff.) We aren’t talking “casual dating” or even dancing. Dancing is out, too…for the college aged. Grinding and simulated sex on the dance floor is the new dancing. Check it out before you send any of your kids off to college and ask the admins to give you straight answers. Or demand it. There’s nothing liberating for either of the sexes with this going on.

  • MaryAnn

    I don’t know why this has become a “look at the state of colleges!” thread, but what the hell:

    Point being…”where are the adults?”

    I was under the impression that most college students *were* adults: since when is over 18 not considered adult?

  • Sara

    I suppose since most college students are not self-supporting (their parents are paying their way usually); they don’t have full-time jobs, usually don’t pay their own car insurance, health insurance, that sort of thing. Plus the law (regardless of what one thinks of it) upholds the 21 law. Just following your comment to me (which I think are valid) re: Sex and the City pop culture either reflecting what’s going on on elite college as well as other campuses or influencing it. Makes sense. Re: where are the adults? I mean the administrations who turn a blind eye to their students acting-out that leads to poor judgement and dangerous situations for the students. I’d simply said that Sex and the City (series) at least didn’t have hook-ups that involved “wasted” (as in totally passed out) people (as is common place on our campuses.) But you are right, Mary Ann, there might be a connection between the series/movie and what’s going on with the dominant college culture. Many of them are very lost, are not empowered and think (many of the females) that feminism means that we now have the “right” to objectify ourselves as well as others. This was one of your complaints about SATC and it seems valid. That’s the connection.

  • squeekie

    I’m intrigued by some of Sara’s points. Reminds me of the time about 7 years ago when a professor in a college class made a comment about how the “free love” ethos that happened during the ’60s-’70s benefits men and damages women. Ever since hearing that view voiced in that class, my eyes have been gradually opening to the truths behind that statement.

    Add to that the weird fact that so very many young women think “feminism” is a dirty word, that it means anti-men, or anti-sex. And there you have young college women not having respect for their femininity and baring their boobs for the video cameras. Sad.

    And yes, Sex & the City does bring these ideas up.

  • squeekie

    To further tie in: It’s no surprise that women who think it’s empowering to objectify themselves, think it’s cool to objectify others (as in this movie).

    Some of us find this all-around lack of respect rather unsavory.

  • Sara

    Thanks, Squeekie. Regardless of the clever writing of the series and it is clever or wouldn’t have won so many awards (the movie was a disappointment to me) Mary Ann brought up the issue to me via my own post re: my concern about college campus culture. She’s right. What does the movie say to young women? (And young men?) It’s not empowering. ESPECIALLY not when you know of Carrie’s abandonment by her father (it makes me wonder now if Samantha is a victim of sexual molestation at an early age–seriously) This stuff shouldn’t be celebrated. And being liberated isn’t being a female acting as the “worst of the guys.” I along with several alums at our universities (and profs) have gotten some authors to campus to packed auditoriums of students to discuss the hook-up/wasted culture that they now regret being a part of. Said it “messed them up.” The admins wanted nothing to do with it, but several profs had enough money to bring one high profile author to come to one elite campus (won’t say which one) to talk with the students. Turn out of students (and very diverse group) was way more than anticipated. Many of the students don’t like this environment and I dare say the fate that lies ahead for them could very well be what is portrayed in Sex and the City series. Movie too. You know, let’s not be introspective and grown-up. Let’s project “supposedly” happy endings with huge amounts of unresolved conflicts. Sad, I agree.

  • squeekie

    For the record, I think this thread that Sara is talking about is of such a very intimately personal yet complex nature that it’s really quite difficult to discuss clearly and fully in any context, let alone this movie review with its comments section. Besides, it will probably be much easier for people to describe this in about a hundred years, when some of the dust settles from all this social change and the trajectory of these changes reveals itself. Perspective and all that. Forest for the trees, hindsight is 20/20, etc.

  • sara

    You could be right. I just know what I’m hearing from top-rate college students now. And the admins turn a blind eye, although this might change as liabilites increase. I’m more aware because I have kids of college age–great kids who are pushed to the margine just trying to stay out of the dysfuntional mess.
    Just as the writers turned a blind eye to Carrie’s dysfunctional background (HUGE–I was truly shocked when I saw this. How did I miss it??) Writers don’t bring up that type of into and just drop it! Unfair to the characters and to the viewers. That one episode explains the whole series (as far as Carrie goes and she’s the main character. If you as a writer are going to bring it up, then don’t gloss over something so profound. Deal with it.
    No longer a fan. I’m actually revulsed now. Every writer owes it to the viewer, reader, etc. if the work is honest to carry on with what they present. They failed here in a “big” way.

  • Sara

    Mary Ann wrote:
    Again, I fail to see your point. It may be that what is happening on American college campuses is similar to what happens in this movie. But then you may feel free to take my criticisms of this movie as criticisms of the campus culture you speak of.

    I now write:
    Precisely…and when I saw that episode in series 4 (the abandonment by Carrie’s father when she was 5–major trauma, especially since she never saw him or heard from him again and never had a clue why he left–wow–and then no follow-up by the writers)…well, that did it for me. Mary Ann is right on. The writers further abused Carrie for their own plot devices (not as a real character.) No female empowerment here. Clever writing, yes. That’s it. At the expense of women and girls.

  • MaryAnn

    Sara, I think you’re putting words in my mouth. Nothing in my review is about “college culture.” I have not said anything that could be construed as “a connection between the series/movie and what’s going on with the dominant college culture.” If you want to make that connection based on what I’ve said about the movie, fine. But that’s your connection to make. I know nothing about contemporary college culture, so I can’t speak to it.

    I suppose since most college students are not self-supporting (their parents are paying their way usually); they don’t have full-time jobs, usually don’t pay their own car insurance, health insurance, that sort of thing.

    So if you live with your parents and don’t have a job, you’re a child, no matter what your age?

    Plus the law (regardless of what one thinks of it) upholds the 21 law.

    What is “the 21 law”?

  • Sara

    In a very straightforward way you wrote to me:
    “It may be that what is happening on American college campuses is similar to what happens in this movie. But then you may feel free to take my criticisms of this movie as criticisms of the campus culture you speak of.”
    There’s plenty of material which I speak of. Check it out if you like. And you said “you may feel free to take my criticism of this movie as criticism of the campus culture you speak of.” You convinced me, MaryAnn, to look at the series/movie again in this light (I have before but I did so even more this time)…especially after recently viewing the episode in season 4–the main character comes from a background of traumatic abandonment by her father at age 5–never to see or hear from him again–that the child Carrie never got help with. Then this issue is simply dropped by the writers (yet many American women and girls identify with Carrie? That tells us something perhaps, too. Or at least it tells us of the level of psychological-mindedness of both the writers and viewers. I saw that episode only two days ago and it did it for me. No longer a fan at all, regardless of how good the writing might be at times, or awards won.)
    It does either reflect culture or has an effect on college students. They are watching the series in droves. They also are writing papers about it which is a good thing (and discussing it)–depending on the professor and class.
    MaryAnn, based on the knowledge I have, all I’m saying is that you convinced me (maybe you didn’t mean to) but your comment caused me to think about it all the more. Which is a good thing.
    No, 18 year olds are not adults. They are “adolescents.” We also now have strong information from scientific studies from the NIH that brain development is not complete until the mid twenties. I just attended a conference on this very subject (and how this impacts high-risk behaviors.)
    Some 18 year olds might be more “adult-like” than others. Those who are on their own, have a full-time job, are married, have children, whatever, are what I’d certainly term adults…or at least adolescents pushed into adulthood.
    The 21 law? That consuming alcohol, or buying alcohol under the age of 21 is against the law in all 50 states. Yet, this is ignored on campuses, even as drunken rapes are occurring (on campuses between male and female students, as alcohol poisonings are on the rise, as assaults are on the rise–student against student–and much of this is on our “elite” campuses.)It’s way beyond anything you’d call “partying.”
    I’d say the “less mature” students (who figure in highly among America’s future leaders in all areas) are the ones who are determining dominant campus culture (the administrative adults are not holding these students accountable, the college police aren’t) and it marginalizes the healthier students (they get the heck out of the way and remain on the fringe of our college campuses.) This is common well-known information at this point. Nothing like what we’ve seen before. And the sex isn’t what we’d call “casual sex”–it’s wasted drunken hook-up sex where you don’t recall what you even did, don’t feel a thing (sort of like Samantha sans the drunkenness–but Samantha is near 40, not 18 or 20.) The issue that’s problemmatic is that these behaviors have become normative and the campus adults (the students affairs folks, the president, the board of trustees, etc.) turns a blind eye, UNLESS, there is some threat to the university’s image or unless someone is near death (thus, my example of ambulances rescuing passed out students even from their dorms–going back and forth from dorms to ERs in the night.) Not a good scene and it’s become common. The students aren’t being held accountable…especially at the elite schools. They can do as they want regardless of the consequences to themselves or others. I think liability issues might start to change this in the next ten years. Hope so.
    Hope this clarifies. But, yes, you’ve convinced me (along with the episode of Carrie’s abandonment by father when 5 (yet the writers acted as if this was nothing…”how much does a father figure figure?” Evidently not much at all. None, really. Nor mothers, I suppose. Which is against all we know of child and adolescent development.
    So American women are glorifying an abused abandoned dysfunctional adult/child, Carrie Bradshaw. And the writers are,also, because they never follow it up after they bring it up. They shrug it off. It’s totally predictable that Carrie is “left” at the altar by “Mr. Big.” It’s so transparent psychologically to be laughable if it was not so sad.

  • paul

    People grow up when they have to. My grandfather had to grow up at 16 when his father died, and as the oldest son had to get a job and support everyone else. Another guy might coast on his father’s wealth and connections from the frat house to the white house and never grow up.

    And maybe that “21 law” ought to be enforced on college campuses. Back when I was in college, NOW asserted that alcohol was involved in 40% of date rape. Only a few years ago, I learned that frat boys represent 3% of the college population and commit 17% of the violent crime on campuses; the statistics for jocks is 1% of the population and a whopping 33% of the crime. And guess how they spend their weekends.

    And it really is a shame that they didn’t take ten minutes to develop Carrie’s background, but maybe that would have made her decisions look tragic instead of romantic. I wonder if all those college papers apparently being written include background infomation about the show.

  • MaryAnn

    Except in the case of alcohol, we are legally considered adults at the age of 18. If we’re going to argue that we should not consider 18-year-olds adults, and that it’s not asinine to restrict otherwise legal adults from drinking at the age of 18, then perhaps we should be arguing that we need to change many other laws to reflect that as well. Under 21? You can’t enter into contracts, can’t get married, can’t serve in the military, can’t be convicted of a felony, and so on.

    Of course, I’m not arguing that. I’m arguing that our whole culture needs to grow the hell up, quit being so juvenile about matters of sex (and alcohol), and maybe our children would find it easier to handle the things today even many over-21 (and over-31, and over-41) adults still act like children in the face of.

  • Sara

    Yes, what you argue above is what college students across America are arguing, even to the point of assaulting campus police with bottles, etc. over “their beer rights” (when they have none.) They call themselves “adults” and the administrations call them such and much chaos has been a result.
    We are learning cutting edge information right now about the adolescent brain…and adolescence does blend into young adulthood at varying times for varying people but we are seeing that brain development (in critical areas in the human being goes past the time we thought–completely through adolescence and into the early twenties, in fact.) With new research showing that brain development (especially frontal lobe) is not complete until around 23, research is suggested that we should rethink how we view “adulthood.” But, I think while, sure, many (and this is true especially in the past) 18 year olds had jobs, families, etc., that put them in a position of having to hold responsibility (whether they were ready or not.) Still, an 18 year old is considered a teenager (18 and 19 are still included in the “teen years” or more developmentally, adolescence. The second decade of a person life is called adolescence, not adulthood. Sure, I agree with you re: not being sent to war as a teenager while brain development (especially those areas that have to do with judgement are still in the process of developing.) You might want to check out the sites below (two are from NIH, one is from Duke University Psychiatry research.)As I mentioned to you, I just attended a conference where a researcher from NIH, working on this very subject, showed MRI scans, with research information that showed what we ignore at our own peril, and that of our teenagers and very young adults.





  • MaryAnn

    Obviously people who throw bottles in defense of their “beer rights” should be smacked silly (metaphorically speaking, of course). I’m not suggesting that that is adult behavior. But the problem is similar to what we do about so many things we consider “problems”: when we mystify things and make them naughty (like we do with alcohol and sex), why should we be surprised when kids rebel by overindulging in the very things adults tell them to avoid?

    But none of this really has anything to do with my review, or with *Sex and the City,* which is NOT about 18-year-olds but 40- and 50-year-olds. Can we agree that 40- and 50-year-olds are adults, and should behave like it?

  • Sara

    I posted some linkes to both NIH and to Duke, re: research on “teenage” or adolescent brains (second full decade of life–an 18 and 19 years falls into the teen years, into adolescence.) The latest research from NIH and other places (Duke, being one link I sent) shows new research information–that adolescent brains are not as fully formed as early as we thought, especially the frontal lobe that affects judgement.) I just attended a conference where this latest research was presented by an NIH researcher. It is compelling and it seems reasonable to pay attention to it.
    You are right that many college students are actually “rioting” for “their beer rights”–for their “rights” to get as drunk as possible, yet they will sue the universities if anything bad happens to them. And yes, there are those who mature earlier, but research (MRI scans, etc.) is showing that brain development is not complete when we thought it was and that this is significant in many ways. Having 18 year olds fight in wars and at this point (when brain development isn’t even complete) to sustain brain injuries as is happening on a daily basis is tragic.

  • Sara

    One of my earlier comments is that yes, in Sex and the City you don’t see people being rushed to the ER for alcohol poisoning, you don’t see them having drunken sex to avoid feeling (but you do see Samantha having sex routinely to avoid many feelings–she does use sex as a drug of sorts.) I see Sex and the City (now that I’ve thought of it further) as an extension of what is happening with our elite (especially) on college campuses. (And Carrie does refer in the series to the time she got pregnant and had an abortion–after a night of drunken sex at “The Tunnel” when she was 22 yrs. old.

  • Sara

    Paul wrote:
    And it really is a shame that they didn’t take ten minutes to develop Carrie’s background, but maybe that would have made her decisions look tragic instead of romantic.

    Sara writes:
    I think this is right on target–in episode 65 (season 4) of the series (and I just saw it last week–how I missed it, I don’t know. I was shocked.) And the movie doesn’t mention it at ALL.
    That episode is presented in the series, the material is there, told by Carrie herself and then it is dismissed by the writer(s) of the series as they have Carrie writing a column re: How much do father figures figure? And the answer (according to that episode) is “not much–not much at all, if any.” And we know that’s total BS. Then nothing more was said. For me, after seeing that, Carrie (in both the series and the movie) is simply a little girl (in development) who, yes, is a survivor, but she IS tragic, not romantic and the whole thing is very sad. In the movie, she is “left” (via the wedding scene) by Daddy yet again in the form of “Big” who has left her repeatedly over and over (we call that behavior on Carrie’s part, repetition-compulsion and it ain’t a healthy thing)–no wonder the almost catatonic depression after. Yet, this critical piece of her life (that the writers brought IN) was neglected, totally dissed as unimportant. They used Carrie for their own means and as an extension, led America (and other parts of the world) to do the same. Parents don’t matter. You’re on your own. Hell, you’re an “adult” at 5, I guess. No wonder Carrie presents as so child-like. She’s damaged, tragic but as you say, presented to us as “romantic.”

  • squeekie

    Sara — Does Carrie in the series really dismiss the absent father effect so blithely? Or is it presented as evidence of her being “checked out”? Maybe it’s to show that Carrie isn’t facing her emotional trauma and being honest with herself?

    If it IS presented straight ahead as: yes, abandonment by a disappearing dad has no effect, then: Whoa! Sick sick show! No wonder women who dig the series (and movie) are the type who sleep with married men who have young children, and tell themselves that it doesn’t affect the kids (I do know women like this).

    What a bunch of asleep, self-involved dunderheads in denial.

    Sorry to get all “judgemental” on you free-thinkers out there.

    (Full disclosure: My own father didn’t go to too much trouble to hide his affairs, and was out of the house by the time I was about 4.)

    I also was grossed out by every aspect of the wedding: The frantic desperation, Mr Big’s neurotic cowardice, Carrie’s pathological depression. Ick.

    It is often the case that when I think about a (Hollywood) movie, I am convinced that the filmmakers desperately need intervention and therapy. Starting to be the case here.

  • paul

    I have read some convincing arguments that parents should allow their children a little alcohol starting when they are in their early teens precisely so that they wouldn’t think it was any big deal. A hundred years ago, James Weldon Johnson wrote that in Paris they took both their religion and their sinning casually, while in London they took both very seriously. This was in response to having watched the French drink out on the streets (and out in the open) but rarely drunk, but the English drink in dark pubs (hidden) until they could barely get home. In my own family, my Dad gave me my first beer when I was fourteen; it was a popular brand and foul. To this day I’ve never been able to drink enough beer to get drunk. I can drink mixed drinks, but I’ve never been more than tipsy. Anyway, my parents and I had an unspoken understanding; as long as I’m driving sober, I had no curfew. I don’t know what would have happened if I came home after driving drunk.

    You know, the more these posts dig into this movie and the background provided by the show, the more I think it really is reflective of society, only celebrating what some of us are mourning. Emotionally damaged people compensating by “shopping and fucking”? Well, yeah. Children looking for approval by the members of sex of the parent that left them? When I worked in an after school program, I could always tell which parent had left; if the father was gone, they wanted to hang out with me, if the mother was gone, they wanted to hang out with the women. When they grow up, that hole in their life can pull them towards bad decisions

  • squeekie

    Paul, truer words were never spoken.

    The best remedy is, I think, awareness, and practice. Be aware of your wounds and resulting tendencies, and keep consciously aiming for the right decisions.

    Honestly: If this movie had this simple concept in it, wouldn’t it have been so much richer?

    The irony is, Carrie is a writer. Good writers are introspective, intuitive, honest. This series & move depicts a writer who is the opposite. How irksome.

  • Sara

    Perhaps go to Blockbuster and check out the third disc of season 4,and watch the episode–“The Vogue Idea”
    Carrie tells one of the Vogue editors (a man) that her father left her when she was 5. He asks her why her father left and she says she doesn’t know. And she hasn’t seen or heard from him ever again.
    I don’t know how I missed that episode but when I saw it the other night (having watched most every SATC episode)–and the movie, the movie which was insipid to me, I was simply shocked. Shocked, because it explained so much about Carrie in general…yet the writer(s) never integrate this in either the series or the movie.
    Insignificant is the verdict. Carrie wonders if her problems with men have “anything” to do with her father leaving, her not having a clue as to why, and her never seeing him again. (Lots of other things happen in this episode, as they do in all others–the biggest thing being the baby shower that Charlotte throws for Miranda.)
    Then toward the end Carrie types on her computer, “How much do father figures figure?” She is struggling a bit with this (or TRYING to if the writers would get out of her way!) The episode ends with Carrie and Miranda sitting on Carrie’s steps and Carrie mentions the father abandonment to Miranda and asks if Miranda thinks this is significant. Miranda blows it off by saying, my father was home every night at 7 and I still don’t understand men. Then the episode ends.
    So, having a father figure doesn’t figure so much at all is the message the viewer is left with. Even if he leaves when you’re 5 and you don’t know why and you never see/hear from him again.
    I actually felt sorry for Carrie and astonished at the writers for not managing this better,for dismissing it. Instead they use Carrie by having her act-out her problems (for our entertainment and our “fun.”)
    Unbelievable. Then the movie is hoisted upon the women of the world. Myself, included (and I liked much of the series) but I had never seen that one episode until recently. NO WONDER Carrie goes into the pathological depression after Mr. Big leaves her “at the altar.” (but the writers don’t give us rationale for this other than any woman would do the same thing. No, not so. Sorry.)
    No wonder she smashes “Big” in the face with flowers as a child would after their cars meet on the street.
    The loneliness in Carrie (as a result of the trauma of her father leaving/not knowing why/never seeing him again–and not having any help to work this through) won’t be filled by “Mr. Big.” The “happily-ever-after” stuff in this case went even beyond denial.

    I’m sorry about your own father; at least you know what happened, what was going on, etc., and you obviously are psychologically-minded. I think your points are right on in the post above.

  • squeekie

    Sara — It really happened like that in the series? That’s so sad, and infuriating, to blow off something like that. Were the writers of the show absent fathers themselves? It’s insulting and stupid. Could it be that people so psychologically screwed-up are creating the entertainment for the rest of us, dumping their mental unhealthiness on us as if it was something pleasant? Guess what: Once you have a kid, you selfish, clueless crackhead, you are saddled with the responsibility. You put your genitals back in your pants and you act like a grown-up. Yes, really. You have no right to bring life into this world and then f**k it up. No creating TV shows about how cute it is when an abandoned girl grows up and becomes a shopaholic who dates commitmentphobes. It’s not cute, it’s effed up.

  • Mel

    I feel like the first half of thread can be summed up like so:

    MaryAnn: I didn’t identify with the women in this movie.
    Commenters: I love this show! I identify with it! Why don’t you like it? You must be bitter and sad.

    Personally, I am in a monogamous relationship, and quite fond of sex, shoes (but only comfortable ones), and shopping (albeit for books and art supplies), but there’s a heck of a lot more to my life than that, and most of it is a lot more interesting than balancing checkbooks. And I don’t identify with SATC. Some women do; that’s arguably nice for them. But that doesn’t make the rest of us bitter or sad or freakish.

    MaryAnn is entitled to not identify with the characters in the movie. And she’s also entitled not to watch a gazillion episodes of a TV series she doesn’t like to get “background” to a movie that’s SUPPOSED to stand on its own. I mean, sheesh, that’s kind of a crazy suggestion.

  • Sara

    I think your insights are great–just read them.
    You know with the 21 law, you are allowed to drink alcohol in your own home under parental supervision. That isn’t breaking the law or considered being irresponsible. Having other kids over, in the house and drinking, too, is, though, and makes adults irresponsible because it’s not their kid (the kid might drive home and get in a wreck, etc.)
    My son drank wine sometimes with meals, at home when he was growing up, and when we traveled, esp. in France. (You’re right re: the French–they consider drunkeness to be off-putting and they usually drink in connection with meals.
    When my son went to college recently, though, the horrors–the literal dangerous acting-out that was in his face disgusted him and many of his friends. Yet the admin did nothing to get the out-of-control kids under control (even when asked by students, parents, alums) so the healthier kids have to just try to stay out of the way of the others (very unfair.) And the out-of-control social stuff is now dominant campus culture, as I’ve said. Which leads to what later? Perhaps what we’re seeing in shows/movies like SATC?
    Even if the show did have some good writing in it. Oh, and the movie was hoisted on men, too–men are affected by it, too, I realize.

  • squeekie

    Paul: Not just MaryAnn who has a right to take a movie on its own without watching a gazillion TV shows — the general viewing public doestoo. The movie doesn’t really stand on its own.

    Sara: I have to say it: It’s “foisted”, not “hoisted”. But that’s okay; your meaning was clear. Your son sounds pretty grounded. (I wish I had been at that age!)

  • Sara

    I do think if you haven’t seen the SATC series, then the movie would seem confusing (it did to me, anyway, and I watched most of the series and liked much of the series. I saw all but two episodes, one being the abandonment of Carrie which I’ve already written about, but that is so central to understanding Carrie (in both series and movie) that to dismiss it is irresponsible and abusive writing. After seeing that episode this week, I’m disgusted and no longer remotely a fan of the series. There’s no way anyone going to the movie would know about Carrie’s father abandoning her. (Are we to assume that is normative behavior for fathers now? Is that it?)
    Imagine making the movie, The Fugitive, but leaving out the part that his wife got murdered. Or having it hidden somewhere in one episode as if it wouldn’t affect the main character.

  • squeekie

    Sara, that’s a very good point about The Fugitive.

    MaryAnn, couldn’t you please get the filmmakers on this forum to answer our comments? I’d like to call them on the carpet and hear them defend their movie. Maybe we could hook them up to little buzzers that give them a jolt when we feel they are not being honest with us. Any engineers out there that could make this happen?

    If I was making movies, I would be all over a review & comments section like this. We’re holding up a mirror for them.

  • Sara

    Squeekie: Yep, foist, not hoist. Thanks for the correction!
    I think you can email the main writer–King (possibly)–check out SATC site perhaps. I do think it would be good if MaryAnn got some scriptwriters involved here, though! We are holding up a mirror for them, as you say–great opportunity!
    Also, perhaps of interest, re: SATC series, there are several main writers, but then a “writing team”–King talks about this on one of the DVDs. Of course, there is no discussion, though, on the Carrie abandonment part. So a team of writers (mostly women) work with King, Darren(?). King says that the women came up with stuff from “their own lives” very often for the series (and perhaps movie?)When my husband heard this (and after he’d watched the Carrie abandonment episode) he said: one of those female writers was abandoned by her father when she was 5 and put it off on Carrie. Then all abandoned her(Carrie) by dismissing the significance of this.
    How could Sarah Jessica Parker not be aware of all this?

  • MaryAnn

    Personally, I am in a monogamous relationship, and quite fond of sex, shoes (but only comfortable ones), and shopping (albeit for books and art supplies)

    Are there people who aren’t quite fond of sex?

    I also love comfortable shoes — I have a veritable wardrobe of sneakers.

    I do think it would be good if MaryAnn got some scriptwriters involved here, though!

    You are all waaaay overestimating the power I wield in Hollywood. Which is none. But I thank you for thinking I have more influence than I do.

  • squeekie

    Well, I was being toungue-in-cheek when I talked about having filmmakers pay attention to your reviews w/comments. But they should. Maybe you have more influence than you realize.

    As for whether there are people who aren’t quite fond of sex, is it possible that some of them are the ones who end up in lifestyles where sex is not allowed, like nuns, the priesthood? Also, maybe they end up with a lifestyle on the other end of the scale — with a more extreme sexual lifestyle, because that’s what it takes for them to feel anything. Just hypothesizing.

  • Sara

    Somehow I think Squeekie is right…about MaryAnn having more influence than she realizes. Looks like MaryAnn’s has lots of connections. What does it take to get information to writers…any suggestions, MaryAnn? Are there no ways to voice our thoughts/feelings other than columns like this (which is great–IF MaryAnn would make a copy of the blog and hand it to someone who would take it seriously, someone connected to the sequel and now,btw, I hear, two sequels.
    Maybe Carrie will go into a worse depression than she was in when Big left her at the altar. Maybe after the honeymoon all the “Daddy” stuff will haunt her big time. Maybe she’ll be frantic he’ll leave (how would she not?) Maybe he will leave. He usually does anyway. That’s why she was so driven to him.
    One thing I haven’t mentioned…I think Miranda was so hateful to Steve (a one night stand?) He wanted to talk with her about it. He was upset; their sex life was horrible; no sex in 6 months and then she says the awful phrase, would you hurry up already? Miranda was mean to him, the things she said. I thought she was meaner than necessary in the movie. When Carrie was running around having an affair with Mr. Big in the series (when he was married), Miranda didn’t write her off (and she was the one in the series who said to Big–“go get our girl” when Carrie was in Paris, yet she wouldn’t talk to Steve after his indiscretion (which I’m not condoning.) But no sex for six months can get into a pattern, especially if the wife is bitching at the husband all the time. I’m surprised Steve didn’t have an all-out affair. I was kind of hoping he wouldn’t meet her on the Brooklyn Bridge. Well, anyway, the therapy scene in the movie was so stupid that is was insulting.
    Didn’t like what they did with Samantha either. She’d grown so much since the cancer–remember Smith by her side the whole time, even shaving his head when she was bald? Then in the movie she’s like a lunatic slinging sushi at him and staring at a naked man next door. Smith was way better than that other guy. So, he was late coming home from work? What was she doing? Lying there naked with sushi on her waiting for him? Wow. Impressive. No wonder MaryAnn wondered…what the hell? Especially after not watching the series. No way this movie was for anyone but those who knew the characters already and then, to me, it was still a flop. Still can’t believe what they did to Carrie in the series that carried over into the movie (the father abandonment as nothing “big.”) If you get a chance MaryAnn, tell whomever that was unconscionable and bad writing and it was blatantly using the character for sensationalistic purposes. Surely you do have contacts:) Seriously. The reason worth commenting is that the series won a lot of awards–a big hit. A pop culture success. Well, I can suggest The Visitor as a good movie…excellent, in fact. Very original.

  • MaryAnn

    Looks like MaryAnn’s has lots of connections.

    I don’t. Honestly.

  • Sara

    Well, MaryAnn, would you maybe send in this whole post to Michael Patrick King for his perusal? You don’t have to include your review if you don’t want to…or include it. But what the bloggers have written (that you started, of course) would be significant for the screenwriters to see. You’re a screenwriter yourself…if you read these thoughts above would not at least think on them? They are presenting messed up people (but dismissing the reasons for their dysfunction even though they have an episode on the early trauma of the main character!)–they’re presenting really messed up people as “normative” and this is wrong. Of course, if your father leaves you when you’re 5 and you never see him again, you will have relationship problems. So, they need to make a point of saying that, rather than, oh, that’s insignificant. Fathers don’t figure. That’s really really irresponsible. Mail this thread from Sex and the City blog off to the right people maybe?

  • MaryAnn

    I have no greater access to Michael Patrick King than anyone who has posted here. If he wants to read what fans are saying, he’s already lurking on the Net. If he doesn’t want to know, then a cold, unsolicited mailing from some film critic he’s never heard of won’t have any impact.

  • Sara

    Thanks. You’re doing a service by providing reviews and forums like this. And hopefully continuing your own screenwriting, too. As consumers, we’re all responsible for what we watch, pay to watch, movies we go to, etc. As a psychiatrist I once worked with said, (in his opinion) most of the people who had ever lived, who are living now, and who will live in the future, go through life without using their critical thinking. Maybe it’s a wonder we have any good movies, books, etc., at all. And we do have good ones from time to time–original, meaningful ones and those are the ones we should (as you say) spend our time and money toward. And steer our children toward that too. My son is going to see The Visitor this weekend. I know he sees a lot of crappy movies, but at least a 21 year old is willing to go to a movie like The Visitor. He also suggested In Brugges to us. At bit gross for me, but a good movie. BTW, I did notice in the new Bond trailer, that it’s actually shouted that Bond is out of control because of fury and revenge (from his betrayal and hurt in the last film, the one you said you liked better than the old ones)–at least this motivation is brought up and not covered over (even in the trailer.)Lots of violence though–and the mix of violence and sex is toxic, I think. I’ll stay with movies like The Visitor, etc. I’m checking in with your reviews from now on!

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mary Ann for your cogent review of the SATC film. I’ve just read the entire thread and not only did your review perfectly sum up the flaws of this superficial, tedious, and supremely unfunny film, but all your subsequent comments in this epic discussion thread were a breath of fresh air.

    What a relief to read your point of view. I was the single dissenter in the large group of women with whom I attended the film (age 40s and 50s – most of whom did watch and like the TV show, and liked the film better than I did, but not by much) and I have to say I sat through it becoming more and more appalled at the shallowness, triteness and the sheer lack of anything resembling an actual human woman, or human being of either sex. (Actually the men came off better than the women. How they could stand to be around these women is a mystery.)

    Now I don’t have anything against superficial interests and pursuits. Love them, in fact – but these 4 characters have seemingly ONLY superficial interests and pursuits.

    As far as the TV show goes, no, I’m not a fan. I had great expectations for it when it arrived how ever many years ago. Finally! A TV show that portrays real women’s lives, in all their complexity: a satisfying mix of the shallow and the deep – finally some actual truth on TV about women’s lives, where the female character isn’t just someones’s cut-out generic cardboard girlfriend! The TV show ultimately disappointed me, after watching a few episodes. These were not women I knew, or wanted to know. I tend to agree with the Simpson’s sum-up included upthread. (paraphrased) “Women’s lives through the lens of a certain type of gay man.” (not ALL gay men!)

    With the exception of a line from Candice Bergen, (I do remember snickering briefly once during her scene) I found the dialogue as written, sadly, neither witty nor clever. Dialogue aside, the “fun” and “humourous” situations we are given in the story were beyond embarrassing and juvenile, and in some cases, such as the girlfriend defecating in her pants, frankly mean. For comedy we have the dog endlessly humping the pillow, Samantha ogling the neighbour, and the piece de resistance: the babytalk explanation for the poop event: “she did a Poughkeepsie in her pants”????

    Apart from the shallowness of the story and characters, the overall lack of wit was the icky icing on the cake that never rose.

  • Danielle

    Ok. I AM a real woman, and I actually do waste some of my money on designer clothes, shoes, purses and what not. The show doesnt show EVERYTHING that ‘real’ people do in real life, because, oh its a show. Do you see most movies or other showes showing them balancing a checkbook? No. Why? Because if shows and movies showed what “REAL” people should actually be doing, it would be boring. Why would we want to watch what we actually do everyday? Of course the show isnt going to make the characters exactly like you. And it does in fact show many things that people do actually do in real life. The main idea of the show is to talk about relationships and fashion. Duhh. If you dont like it, then dont watch it. Don’t complain about something you dont like because you have the choice not to watch it. If you dont like the show, dont go and see the movie. there are actually many people that act like these women. The show does have some ‘fairy-tale’ points, but what show/movie doesnt? For everyone that hated the movie? Were you a fan of the show itself? Probably not. Dont judge something becuase honestly, you had to watch the show to even get the movie. The reason why the girls were different in the movie is because they grew older. People change and that was the point. But seriously, the main point of the show is to complain about men. All women do it. They love the man, then hate him and take it out on their credit card or health(eating lots of junk). I happen to love the show AND i loved the movie. Honestly, the only people who should be saying anyting bad about the movie are the ones that LOVED and were attached to the show. The movie was just as i expected and thought it would be, but better.

  • amanohyo

    All women do it. They love the man, then hate him and take it out on their credit card or health(eating lots of junk)…Honestly, the only people who should be saying anyting bad about the movie are the ones that LOVED and were attached to the show.

    First of all, “all women” do not take out their frustrations with a man by driving themselves deeper into debt and making themselves more unhealthy. Some do, and it’s sad that they feel the need to hurt themselves, but there are many women who deal with anger and depression in more sensible ways.

    Although I understand your frustration with people who are dissing this movie without watching it, if someone who isn’t a fan decides to watch the movie, watches it, and then says they didn’t identify with the characters, how is their opinion any less valid than the opinion of a devoted fan of the show? Should people who aren’t familiar with the show only be able to read reviews written by fans?

    Shouldn’t a well-made movie should be able to satisfy both fans and newbies and be able to make people identify with the main characters, even if their personalities and values clash with those of the audience?

    Many people loved the movie as much as you Danielle and were able to see some of themselves in these women. Many people did not like the movie and did not like the characters. The internet will tell you otherwise, but there’s nothing necessarily wrong with the world when people voice differing opinions. There is sometimes something wrong when people in positions of power take their own opinions as facts and try to force them onto others, as you are doing in the quotes above, and as I’m doing in this sentence (luckily, we’re both fairly powerless when it come to reviewing movies).

  • MaryAnn

    Duhh. If you dont like it, then dont watch it.

    How am I supposed to know if I like it or not if I don’t watch it?

    Also: You really don’t understand the purpose of film criticism, do you, Danielle?

    Were you a fan of the show itself? Probably not.

    Ah, now we see Danielle’s problem — she hasn’t even read my review.

    seriously, the main point of the show is to complain about men. All women do it. They love the man, then hate him and take it out on their credit card or health(eating lots of junk).

    Somehow, this explains a WHOLE lot…

  • Sara

    I don’t agree, Danielle, that the main point of the show (the series I’m thinking that you’re referring to) is “to complain about men.” That’s never how I saw the series at all.

    I didn’t watch the series (really until it had ended–then watched it much later “on demand”) I was turned off just by hearing that Carrie (and the women) decided to “have sex like men.” (That’s a really really weird thing to say.) It shows, though, that a lot of women in our culture have trouble connecting with their own genuine sexuality…the difficulty of many in how to figure out how to “have sex like a woman” and not be a victim, objectified, feel so vulnerable, etc. The solution isn’t to “act like the most objectional men.”

    What I did like about the show, though, is that it clearly shows that this approach (women thinking that apeing the opposite sex in the worst form will be liberating) doesn’t work very well at all for them. And there is much talk about THAT, actually, in the series.

    They challenge each other a lot. That part has some how gotten overlooked it seems (in terms of discussions about the show.) They actually do some pretty good reality-testing for each other. As in Carrie’s voice-over in one episode: “Charlotte realized that if Samantha thinks she (Charlotte) is finally having a good sex life then it must be really sick.” (That’s telling and significant and yes, in the series.)

    The women don’t always agree–they aren’t this gang who are against the males of NYC (not at all, as I see it); they are trying to find out how to be women in difficult times (as the series starts when they are in their late 20s and early 30s.) I think there are actually some excellent episodes or parts of episodes that are insightful and the writing is good.

    That said, I thought the movie was awful. It simply did a stranger turnaround. The girls couldn’t figure out anything different than going backward…to regressing (and the writers did this.)

    I think the series and the movie are in most ways vastly different. If I’d never seen the series (and saw only the movie) yeah, I’d think what the heck is this? If I’d seen only a couple of the series episodes (say a few of the not so good ones), I’d think the same.

    Even so, I don’t see the series as “liberating” except in the sense of showing that these four women (and others, too, at times in the show)are struggling to figure out how to maneuver this culture as single females (and that solidarity and friendship is critical.)Too many women are not in solidarity with each other and compete with each other rather than support one another. I do think the series shows the struggle very well at times. I think the movie had the characters regress and go backward (especially Samantha and Miranda)…but also Carrie too. Charlotte was overly sugercoated for Charlotte too (to me.)

  • wiggles

    Are there people who aren’t quite fond of sex?

    OT, but just for the record, yes, there are people who aren’t fond of sex for whatever reason, be it past trauma, mental illness, physical limitations or whatever.

    I mostly agree with your review. And I dislike that SATC (the show, the movie, the whole phenom) has been trumped up as something “revolutionary” when all it is is a lot of tired old sexist stereotypes trotted out by a bunch of dudes. FallingDown’s idea of a movie about men made by a bunch of lesbians would make as much sense – except the lesbians would probably have more insight into their subject matter.

  • No one ever said the world is perfect. Human beings have been mean to themselves and teach other in various uncountable ways ever since they were orangutans, yet all the time, as far as I know, no one’s ever died from fucking a corpse. men fuck corpses all the time. Most men would rather fuck corpses than other women.

  • And the prize for “most off-topic response to one of MaryAnn’s posts” goes to…

  • amanohyo

    That’ll look real nice sitting on the shelf next to his “Most Confused About Evolution” and “Most Likely to Become a Serial Killer” trophies.

  • MaSch

    Tonio: Now don’t tantalize my curiosity that much, tell it, please!

    On a more serious *cough* note: I guess semi-p talked about fucking corpses as a metaphor for what she did to that thread, like beating a dead horse.

    Can’t be sure, though …

  • MaSch

    amanohyo: Although the trophy for “most desperate to see female genitalia (on the big screen)” is stil firmly held in another man’s hands.

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