Thursday, June 05, 2008

I just have to wonder...

I've been putting off reviewing the Sex & the City movie because I know most everyone has a strong opinion on it one way or the other. It's damn near impossible to make a good film based on a TV show (The X-Files notwithstanding), especially one as near and dear to people's hearts as this one. Carrie Bradshaw has always been one of my favorite television characters- she's funny, quirky, smart, independent, and vulnerable, and Parker plays her with a depth and grace that make it impossible to hate her even when she makes the most horrible of mistakes. Which she does (as we all do). Sadly, I did not find this my love for her to cross over to the film.


OK. *deep breath* This is not a good movie.

That being said, because I loved the series so much, and all the characters, I'm glad I saw it, enjoyed myself, and will probably buy it because I can't stand to have an incomplete collection. BUT. If I had never seen the series, I'm not sure this movie would have done anything for me.

Sticks: The first 30 minutes were really forced. They didn't show me enough evidence that Steve would cheat on Miranda. I still don't buy it. I mean, c'mon, it's Steve. It was too long- take out some of the montages and give me some more plot. Charlotte and Samantha were reduced to caricatures. Samantha's "fat" subplot? Really? Big had zero personality (not Noth's fault, the writers' fault). In fact, all the men had zero personality. And Carrie & Big together at the end? Inconceivable. He jilted her for like, the billionth time, at one of the most public weddings in New York. Really? Now I've given an ex a billionth-and-second chance just as much as the next gal (maybe more) but I just don't think they would have recovered from this. And I still stand firm in my conviction that Carrie, the quintessential single girl, should have ended up single at the end. (Whatever; I am a sucker for a romantic hero who dies in his quest.)

Carrots: This movie is about friendship. I loved that Carrie asked Samantha to be her maid of honor. I loved the stuff between Miranda and Carrie, especially on New Years Eve. Jennifer Hudson rocked my world and thought her scenes with Sarah Jessica Parker were among the very best in the film. Kristin Davis is funny. I loved the clothes- yep, even that bird on Carrie's head. I loved that everything Miranda said to Carrie after their fight was the exact same words Steve said to Miranda after theirs.
But, enough about the movie. What I really came here to ask you is this:
Why do straight men hate this show and gay men love it? I find that to be almost universally so. Is it because you think it's fake? Because it's not. The sex is certainly um... embellished, but for the most part the writing is spot-on. Is it because you think it's real? Because that's the reason I hate Entourage-- it shows me, nay, glorifies the absolute worst side of men and I, for one, am not interested in watching that as entertainment. Does it make you feel disposable? Do you just not understand it?
I'm truly interested. Speak up, men- let me know what you think of Sex and why. Inquiring minds want to know.


Anonymous Tom said...

I think it's the "Entourage" Theory. Which is really clever, by the way. Brava to you for analyzing it that far - I'm sticking with that!

And I know a lot of gay men who hate the show.

Frankly, I like it because of one reason and one reason alone - it's re-watchability. I find most of the seasons (Except for a few key episodes) to NOT be particularly well-written (Really? Voice-over puns? Seriously?). But much like Seinfeld or the Simpsons, you can throw it on in the background, and it makes the next thirty minutes of your life go by faster. And you don't have to pay too much attention to it.

Same holds true for the movie. WHen it comes on cable, I can leave it on the background, show up for a scene or two, and then go back to doing the dishes. Or whatever. But you're right - it wasn't a particularly good movie.

June 06, 2008 8:30 AM  
Blogger Desperately Desperate said...

It's a fun movie. No more. No less.

Will it win awards? No. Is there better? Yes. Is there worse? Hell Yes.

It was a fun chance to catch up with "old friends"

To me, many movies are too much to take. I just want to sit down and have fun for the $12.00 that I'm dishing out.

As to why straight men hate it? I think it's because their insecurities are thrown in their faces by these women. Straight men have their own issues, but no one really discusses them. To have these successful women live in a world where the men aren't always needed is scary for them. The fact that so many women look up to these girls just infuriate those guys who don't like to have a woman berate them. It's a total ego thing for them.

Most gay men (me definitely included) love watching strong women. All the better if they can one up the straight man. We love girl power.

And I also LOVE Entourage. GO figure. I think those guys are BUTT ugly but they are amusing to watch.

June 06, 2008 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. “Parker plays her with a depth and grace that make it impossible to hate her even when she makes the most horrible of mistakes.”
I could NOT disagree more. She totally unlikeable a lot of the time. But whatever.

2. I hated the series. I loved the movie. I cried about 8 times and laughed even more.


3. Steve cheated on Miranda because she had not had sex with her for 6 months. 6 MONTHS. I cannot even blame him for that. Once we were given that bit of info I felt she was just as much to blame as he was, and IMO, that’s a perfectly acceptable reason to cheat, and given her character, it is easy enough to fill in the blanks that you know, he tried to get to be more affectionate and intimate and she was not. She told him to “get it over with already” or some such. AWFUL. But yeah, I was on his side and spent the better part of the film yelling at her in my head. ALSO? I said “Oh. My. God. Out loud when she said what she said to Big.

4. Big stood her up because she STEAMROLLED him into a big wedding that he didn’t want and did not listen to him when he tried to tell her what he wanted. Also? He tried calling. Over and Over. Just the night before she had promised him that it was just about the two of them. And then he couldn’t even get a hold of her. I know she lost her phone, but when she finally called him, she didn’t even listen to him past the first line. Which I know, was a doozy, but for crying out loud, hear him out. Talk him down. PLUS he changed his mind really quickly and did try and make it back, and tried to tell her that in the street, and she didn’t listen. So again? Her fault as much as his.

5. I do agree on the friend bits at least. Those made me cry they were so sweet.

6. I still hate the series. I still loved the movie.

WHATEVER. I will feed you yogurt on our HONEYMOON in Mexico if you cry. But I will not let you have my margarita. XOXO forever baby!~

June 06, 2008 12:01 PM  
Blogger hello jamie: said...

#3- I agree with you and I got that but I don't think the script did a very good job of illustrating it. It was all too rushed IMO and really only because of knowing Miranda's history of being emotionally unavailable did I get it.

#4- I TOTALLY agree. I should have been more clear; I omitted my understanding of why he did it. She should have listened. I just don't think they would recover from it, was my point.

#5- please feed me both yogurt AND margaritas on our Mexican honeymoon. Can we go right now?

June 06, 2008 12:11 PM  
Blogger hello jamie: said...

and Tom, you do the dishes?

June 06, 2008 12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm fairly indifferent about S&TC. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don't. Sometimes the conversations seem too forced and punny, sometimes they are entertaining.

My guess into why many men may not like the show: It seems the S&TC women can expand drama around a subject and will discuss how it relates to various aspects of their self-image and/or view of how they operate within the world. And maybe some women connect with that in themselves and enjoy watching these women process things that way. I think men may be less interested in connecting to such a conversation unless they are also directly connected in the relationship (friendship or dating), because men tend to take greater pains to avoid making themselves vulnerable in conversation-- and I'm refering to matters of self-worth, not self-denegrating for the sake of a quick joke.

This is just my 2 cents...I could be wrong.


June 06, 2008 4:45 PM  
Anonymous Tom said...

Dude, no one else is going to do the dishes. I do them every morning.

Now vacuuming, dusting and mopping on the other hand... that hasn't been done in 9 years.

June 08, 2008 3:26 PM  
Anonymous charlemagne said...

okokokok. i fiiinally saw the movie. Overall: BIG disappointment. The writing just felt so much schlockier, so much more cliched, and way less energetic and original than the series. And, i agree, there is NO WAY Carrie would've gone back to Big after that. First of all, MAN UP and at least try and find her in person and talk to her before leaving her at the altar. It is not unthinkable that a person would not be in contact with their cell phone on such a frantic day. I can't hear mine ring in my purse while i'm walking home, so while i'm putting on a wedding dress, i doubt i'll be in touch with it. Second, it's not *just* that he didn't show up to their huge, hugely-publicized wedding, making the eternally-single girl look incredibly foolish in front of the whole city. It's that he has, basically, done the same thing to Carrie countless times in their past. Why on earth would this have not taught her her lesson and made her give up on him forever? Carrie is dumb (as dumb as any of us, myself most definitely included), but no one is that masochistic. have some self respect! Also, the acting just didn't feel really...good. It didn't feel as natural as it did in the series. And, though she was in the series as well, Samantha was a big pile of cheese in the movie. Not only because of her acting, but because of what was written for her.
i don't know. i was super disappointed. it was kind of nice to see the characters again, but it just should've been so much better.

June 16, 2008 12:44 PM  
Anonymous yaycoffee said...

It was interesting to see what you thought of the movie. I've seen everything from raves to pans, but not much in the middle. I have to agree that without the background of knowing the ins and outs of the series, the movie was not stellar, in stand-alone format. However--I really liked it.

I think the biggest place the writers failed was that they tried to do TOO much for a movie, therefore, they didn't have enough time to work with the plot and character development in the same careful way that the series usually did. The movie was focused almost entirely on Big and Carrie, and so the sub-plots were not developed enough to make me care that much (except that I already did care--because of the series). I was irritated at the Steve/Miranda story-line--but not so much at Steve. I feel like, if it were the series, we would have spent more time with developing the things that went wrong, but in the movie, it was just I cheated/You Bastard! I actually feel that Steve wasn't the bastard here. It was clear throughout the series and even in the movie, he LOVED Miranda, he made a mistake (a BIG BIG one, but she hadn't had sex with him in SIX MONTHS--by the rules of THIS SHOW--that's practically an eternity--I mean... it was only a few weeks of Tray not sleeping with Charlotte before we thought he was a no-good, selfish loser). Maybe I just love Steve, and hated that they threw a wrench into that relationship, when I really was happy with how it got tied up in the series. It was drama for drama's sake--they should have done something more interesting, I guess.

AAAAAANYWAY--yeah... I liked the movie a whole lot, but if they do another, they need to scale back on what they want to happen so each character and her plot-line gets as much attention as she did in the series.

July 21, 2008 9:49 AM  

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