Tuesday, March 03, 2009

In Which Marcus Explores His Feminine Side

by Marcus Sakey

I have a like-hate relationship with the show Sex & the City.

On the one hand, the four main characters are fractional, broken caricatures. Mash 'em all together and you've got an actual person, but as individuals, they're a joke. I also dislike the blatant product placement, the consumerism as religion, and the preposterous vision of sexuality. Are we really supposed to believe the average New York woman of 40 has had 75 lovers? Really?

On the flip side, the writing is usually pretty good, and it's easy to enjoy the sororital bond the four women feel.

Last week, a friend, who shall remain nameless, came into the bar with a DVD of the movie as a ball-busting gift for me. (I paid him back by bribing the bartendress to make him "the frilliest, girliest drink imaginable." When it arrived, it had so much foliage monkeys could have swung through it.) Anyway, I brought the DVD home, told my wife about it, and next thing you know, we're watching it.

Now I know a lot of women, a lot of people, loved it. It made good money, and they announced a sequel. And as I said, while I enjoy the show okay, I'm not a rabid fan.

But I thought the movie was a fucking abomination. The last time I'd seen such a mistranslation was the movie version of Jarhead which took an astonishing memoir and turned it into a steaming pile of dog shit.

The Sex & the City movie destroyed, almost systematically, the things that made the show interesting. Instead of being about a friendship of equals, it made the three other women into Carrie's bitches. They may have been caricatures before, but at least each brought some real human component. In the movie, they were reduced to the shallowest of plot motivators.

Then there was the offensive consumerism. Before I fell asleep--it was that or claw out my eyes--I counted three separate fashion shows, each treated with the lasciviousness of pornography. At one point Carrie orgasmically whispers the names of fashion designers.

Really? Really?

And of course there's the vapid Cinderella angle. These four smart, successful women are valueless without their men and their marriage. And when marriage comes about, despite all the purple blatherings about love, the focus isn't the couple--it's the society pages, the dress, the limo. I was happily snoring by this point, but my wife, who also hated it, God love her, tells me at the end Carrie says she is finally happy--married, and "dressed head to toe in a label that never goes out of style: love."

I'm amazed I didn't vomit in my sleep and choke to death.

I realize I'm probably talking to the wrong demo, but did anybody out there like this abortion?

And if so, for heaven's sake, why?


Maryann Mercer said...

I never did watch the series, possibly because Sarah Jessica Parker annoys me(I can't quite tell you why, she just does). My sister did, religiously. She hated the movie, for many of the reasons you stated. Maybe most TV series should stay just that and not try to make the leap to the big screen. There are a few, such as Serenity, that maintain the spirit of the original. So, while my sister owns the series DVD colelction, she threatened to disown me if I ever gifted her with the movie. Enough said.

FizzWater said...

I heard you had a real feminine side down in Key Largo.

You be Geovany Soto to Chercover's Ryan Dempster.


Libby Hellmann said...

Um...my daughter liked the movie. She says her friends liked it too. Don't get me started. She's 20.

Jared said...

I caught up with the first season on DVD, as I've never had HBO on a regular basis, and was shocked at how good it was. Episodically, it dealt with issues that women (which I'm not) over 30 (which I wasn't at the time) in NYC (only visited) deal with on a regular basis. It took a demographic essentially opposite to mine and made it not only relatable, but empathetic.

But after the first season, I just couldn't get into it. It became much more about the soap opera and less about the soap box. I later found out (http://www.kcrw.com/etc/programs/tt/tt080611michael_patrick_kin)
that this was because Michael Patrick King was hired to come in and soften the show away from the book, which was too "sharp" to be seen on a weekly basis.

And that's why I probably won't be seeing the Movie. That and these three Bogart sets staring me in the face.

Jon The Crime Spree Guy said...

Sex in the City THE MOVIE also made me throw up in my mouth a bit.
ok, a lot.

There were about two minutes with fart jokes worth watching, the rest was basically a commercial.

all four characters deserve to be unhappy and unlaid.

Maybe in the sequel they could try adding... oh i don't know...

I can't believe i spent $3 buying it....

Dana King said...

I used to watch SEX AND THE CITY on HBO with wife Number Two. I gave it up when I realized they weren't ever going to show Kim Cattrall naked.

Sean Chercover said...

Way to pick up the gauntlet, dude. Nicely done.

I hated the TV show, so...

Naomi said...

I enjoyed the series although I thought it should have ended when Miranda had the baby.

I could tell from the reviews that I wouldn't like the movie, so I haven't bothered. Maybe when it turns up on HBO. It sounds like SJP, who always annoyed me in the series, really took over the movie. (I guess SJP had some good moments on the show, but does anyone think that stagy screamy voice and those dumb jokes are a good idea on a show where the rest of the cast speaks normally?)

kathy d. said...

I did not see the movie and after reading your comments, I won't see it. A friend didn't like it though she likes the tv shows. I believe what you said and won't bother seeing it.