C’mon, can any movie where you get to watch this lady gettin’ it on be all bad?
I should say upfront that I’ve seen maybe only two complete episodes of SEX AND THE CITY on TV. They struck me as pleasant, un-substantive, and certainly inoffensive…in other words, didn’t make much of an impression. From what I’ve seen, and having seen the movie now too, it seems to me the appeal is similar to that of FRIENDS, where the whole idea is that you imagine how great it would be to have friends like these. Only in this case, minus the dumb guy and the hangdog nerd, and with more frank dialogue, as well as sex scenes that look like actual real-life sex, though no nudity for Sarah Jessica Parker because she’s the producer.
“But wait!” I imagine Mr. Average Horny Dude saying. “She’s not hot, so it’s good that we don’t see her naked!” Well, you may think that. But I used to think the redhead wasn’t hot at all, imagining that it would only take a quick headshave to make her look like the Roswell alien. Then I saw the movie, and near the end she gets naked and gets it on, and I’ll be damned, it was pretty appealing.
The thing about SJP — based on what I see in this movie, anyway — is that she looks good in casual clothes, and terrible in formal wear. The whole pulling her hair back tight and letting it frizz out the back is a terrible look for her, and when she finally dons the super-expensive wedding dress, complete with blue feathers in her hair, I think it looks awful. Then later in the movie, in plain ol’ street clothes, she looks fine.
Anyway, I guess I should be consistent and call them all by their character names from now on. So, SJP plays Carrie, Cynthia Nixon is Miranda the redhead, Kristin Davis (the hottie above) is Charlotte, and Kim Cattrall (first woman I was ever attracted to, incidentally after seeing MANNEQUIN at age 12) is Samantha. In this movie, Carrie and Miranda are the protagonists, with Samantha and Charlotte as the respective wacky best friends. New Line publicists were all antsy about spoilers, but really…like there’s plot here? Carrie’s en route to probably being married, but doesn’t know whether or not her man’s fully into it, while Miranda’s possibly en route to being divorced, though her man’s definitely not up for that. That’s the entire story, folks. Will the marriage happen? Will the divorce happen? What do you think?
I don’t understand the visceral male dislike for this movie. Yes, it’s long, but it doesn’t feel as endless as some chick flicks. In fact, let me give you a quick list of reasons why it’s better than most chick flicks:
-No-one gets a terminal disease.
-Characters who don’t communicate with each other do so as a result of deliberate falling out, not because of some wacky misunderstanding that could easily be resolved if anybody tried.
-There are no group sing-a-longs to a Motown song.
-There are fashion montages, but at least they’re livened up with witty banter or narration.
-People get naked and fuck, and it isn’t all softly lit and slo-mo; it’s rough and sometimes awkward.
-Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson aren’t in it.
-The movie doesn’t overplay the crying moments. Writer-director Michael Patrick King knows that pretty much everyone watching the movie is invested in the characters already, so no need to manipulate you into feeling bad for them.
-The soundtrack isn’t shitty adult contemporary. Run-DMC/Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” is on it, and not even ironically.
-Frankly, I’d like to have friends like these. Hanging out with groups of women has always been fun for me, and not in a lascivious way. Maybe because I don’t have a significant other dragging me to the mall every week, I find it a novel experience to watch women clothes-shop and see what they get out of it. I know, that probably won’t last forever. Plus these ladies are drunks.
-Also, guys, it’s not all sophistication. There’s a Mexican diarrhea joke, and a dog that likes to hump things.
So Anyways, it seems to me that this flick is basically WRATH OF KHAN for chicks — a movie based on a cult show you love, in which the characters deal with middle age and the issues of their past. Only instead of blasting said issues with photon torpedoes, they talk themselves through neuroses. Carrie is referred to as “The 40 year-Old Bride,” which made me think that this is wish fulfillment in the vein of THE 40 YEAR-OLD VIRGIN.
But then I look at the guys the characters are with. Yes, Carrie’s dude, Mr. Big (Chris Noth) is handsome, witty, and super-rich (as opposed to merely rich enought o afford everythign you need in New York, which describes all our heroines), and Samantha’s dating a movie star, but the husbands of Miranda and Charlotte look like gay stereotypes — Charlotte’s guy is a paunchy, shaven-headed dude who looks like he should be directing theater, while Miranda’s with a whiny uptight nerd who seems like a closet case. I notice some critics complain that the show and the movie are really about gay men rather than women, and this is the biggest piece of evidence in that direction. There are only two actual gay characters in the movie (not the husbands), so of course they end up hooking up.
One thing that struck me about this and similar movies is that the richer a character is supposed to be, the emptier their house is. Why is that? If I were rich I’d probably own assloads of useless junk. Maybe it’s in their other houses.
Another thing that struck me is how much the women talk about wanting a happy ending, and how different that phrase’s meaning is when used in a guy-comedy.
Then there’s Jennifer Hudson, who’s here for the same reason Aisha Tyler showed up on FRIENDS — endless skepticism and complaints about the fact that a show set in New York only ever has white people on it. Her name’s Louise, and she’s from St. Louis, which King seems to find hilarious, so he belabors it a few times. Naturally, she ends up with a handsome black man, but not one who has any impact on the story whatsoever, since that would have required coming up with more than one fully developed black character — an insurmountable challenge, it seems.
I don’t see where they can go with more of these movies, but I’m sure there’ll be a way. And I’ll probably check it out, too — after two and a half hours with these ladies, I’ve decided that I like them.