Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Where the Sex and the City 2 movie went wrong.

I thought the only blog I could muster up tonight was about cute baby animals. Until I turned onto my now almost nightly dose of old Sex and the City episodes on E and was reminded of my recent viewing of the second movie. I absolutely love the tv series and loved the first movie. Which makes it weird that I waited so long to see the second one. But between the scathing reviews and general "meh" responses of my friends, I knew it wasn't going to be very good. I think more than that I knew it would be a train wreck. I could feel it coming, which is probably why I put off seeing it so long.

And it was...bad. Parts were even truly awful. Which sucks, because as I mentioned I LOVE the show. And I love the show because I love the characters. I feel like I kind of grew up with Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha. And before you get worried, I mean teenage/college grew up, not childhood grew up. Not to get all too junior high sex education, but as I was growing into womanhood, I turned to the show as this fantasy, idealized version of what womanhood can be. Embarrassing confession: I still watch Sex and the City marathons to combat the nervousness leading up to a first date. And some might scoff, and some feminists might scoff, but I'm a proud feminist darn it, and there's always been something empowering about watching single women who made their own money, bought their own (outrageously unrealistic designer clothes) and had their own lives. Yes the men in Sex and the City are important and in every episode, but the show isn't about them. It's a show about women, definitively. And even though as I got older I understood that these women's lives were not generally realistic, I related more and more to details of the women, parts of their otherwise unrealistic lives that were in fact painfully and honestly real.

Which brings me to this movie and what my biggest issue was with it. It wasn't even the fact that it was wildly offensive about women in the Middle East. (PS for everyone concerned when making a movie about women who choose to wear full veils, yes some women are forced into it and that sucks, but some women CHOOSE to do that out of their own free will, and it is condescending as hell to suggest that no woman could ever make that choice on her own, and quite frankly it's sexist to think that all women are victims without even trying to find out if that is the case, stepping off soap box). It wasn't even that aspect of the movie that was the most disappointing. It was the fact that somewhere along the way these characters who used to be at least in some ways relatable and lifelike had become caricatures. Not only were they caricatures, but they were caricatures of out of touch, high class Americans who had no understanding of anything outside of their income bracket. There is an entire sub-plot about how hard and overwhelming and stressful Charlotte's life is as a mother, despite the fact that this STAY AT HOME MOTHER has a LIVE IN NANNY. Huh in the what now? This movie tries to suggest that Charlotte has it really rough because her adorable adopted daughter gets paint on her vintage Valentino skirt. Relatable right? That's the biggest burden of a mother's life, trying to keep baby hands off off several thousand dollar pieces of clothing. Let me tell you. I am not a mother. But I've been a nanny. Getting covered in paint is part of the job. Paint is the last of your worries in fact. There are much worse things to be covered in. And guess what? For most mothers there isn't a full time nanny hiding in the closet to spring to the rescue.

And again I'm not a mother, but I would still like to say on behalf of mothers everywhere who either work full time or stay at home, but do not have the luxury of hiring full time help, shut up movie!

Also the biggest conflict of the film, the pressurized build up to the climax, is over whether or not the four ladies will be forced to suffer the indignity, the torture, the shame, of having to fly back to NYC in COACH. Again, as someone who has spent several ten plus hour flights in coach and lived to tell about it, shut up movie!

I know Sex in the City is not supposed to be realistic. It's not gritty. But in the show these women were at least only semi filthy rich, and had some semblance of reality about them. The whole movie, in the end, was just an exercise in classicism and snobbery.

So I'll stick with my E reruns of the show I love thank you very much.

1 comment:

Karen said...

I pretty much agree with your assessment of SexCityII. It was pretty outlandish and I could tell it wasn't going to be that good based on the trailers. I paid a dollar via redbox. I didn't really watch the show when it was on but I've probably seen a lot of it now since it is in syndication and on tv all the time. I liked the first movie although I thought Jennifer Hudson's role was thrown in there. I always thought that the women had a lot of money based on the show and what I know of NYC having lived in Queens briefly. I thought the ending was really weird when Big buys Carrie an expensive ring in response to her kissing a previous boyfriend(Aiden?). I kind of scratched my head then and throughout the movie and said....huh?

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