Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Sexy time

Clementine and I just saw "Sex and the City, The Movie." Why not to see it:

1) The most unrealistic thing about the movie is not the $500 shoes or the willingness of young, good-looking men to have sex with older, average-looking women. It is that a woman like Carrie would have any friends at all, let alone friends who dote on her 24/7. Seriously, when she gets ditched by her dull but allegedly jumbo fiancé, her friends wait on her as though she were Mother Teresa on her deathbed. Samantha actually spoon-feeds Carrie yogurt during the latter's recuperation. But why? It is a friend's job to tell a dumped pal to gain some perspective, not to act as though the person has just learned her hut and entire family were wiped out in a storm. So you were stood up by a trazillionaire, big deal! He seemed boring anyway, and was incapable of sending unplagarized email, he's just that good of a writer. Where there's one dim-witted banker, there are others, what was so special about this one?

2) I'm now in favor of arranged marriage. Really. This movie is the best argument ever for women not halfway embracing watered-down feminism, only to discover at 45 that they are not as attractive to men as they were at 15. In all the time these women were overanalyzing their relationships, they could have been long married and busy worrying about something else, say, their work, or even fashion, their alleged interest.

3) Fashion? No, there wasn't much of that, unless the movie was actually filmed in 1992. The movie's constant stream of racism (to be discussed more later) felt not-so-2008, so in a way the clothes helped, in terms of internal consistency.

4) First Charlotte won't eat food in Mexico because eww, Mexico's dirty! This is presented as one of her charming quirks, not as her being kind of racist. Next there's Miranda, whose approach at looking for an apartment is to follow the only white guy she sees walking around. Then Carrie hires a curvy--sassy, even--black assistant who waits on her hand and foot, seemingly unnecessary given that her friends do this as well. This plot line only adds to what had already been the case: everyone in any way marginal dreams of fetching stuff for the not-so-fab four. Gay men just adore straight weddings, and exist pretty much to improve the aesthetic lives of women whose own lovers are bulky straight dudes who communicate in grunts. (I kept waiting for Big to say, "Feels like an Arby's night." To continue on the "Seinfeld" theme, I also wanted someone to tell Carrie, "Maybe the dingo ate your baby," that is, what Elaine says to an irritating woman at a house party who has just announced, "I have lost my fiancé, the poor baby!") And where to begin with Charlotte's Jewish husband, a constant reminder (more so in the show than in the movie) that Jews are quirky, crass, rich, and grotesque, but do they ever make good husbands! And none of this is even post-PC humor, ala Borat. It's just pre-PC ignorance. Why?

5) I might not really be a woman, or at least not an unmarried straight woman living in New York. Because I identified with exactly none of this movie, found none of the men or shoes attractive.

Why to see it:

1) Carrie's spiky belt is pretty cool, if a bit like one I had in high school. Maybe it's time to bring the belt back, that is, to remove it from one of the two microscopic closets it's probably on the floor of right now!

2) It's an excuse to watch over two hours of TV and feel like you're taking part in a cultural phenomenon, or at least watching a film.

3) There could be something empowering about a 50-year-old woman dumping a blond (if bland) model with a perfectly-chiseled torso, simply so she can go around having sex with other, similarly-chiseled contenders. That is, if it were remotely believable that her plan would work out in the end. But it's kind of conceivable that her fantasies will come true, and all told, Samantha comes across as the least objectionable of all the characters by such a long shot.

4) There's something very "Absolutely Fabulous" about the movie, perhaps more than the show.

5) Whoever you are, however superficial and materialistic, you will leave the movie feeling like a self-righteous hippie.


Anonymous said...

"Whoever you are, however superficial and materialistic, you will leave the movie feeling like a self-righteous hippie."

Anthony Lane's review says it better:

"I walked into the theatre hoping for a nice evening and came out as a hard-line Marxist"

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...

No way, my blog's not as good as the New Yorker?

Anonymous said...

I'm proud to be an American, but .... There's no doubt about it. Mexicans have a better diet than the average American.

Unfortunately - we eat like pigs. Mexican eat like humans.

We are better at other things