I remember before Sex and The City ever came out on HBO. I read about it in the trades, had ordered Candace Bushnell's book and was reading the stories before I ever met the cast of four that would live a lifetime off of enacting her characters.
I found myself quite depressed with the slant Bushnell set upon dating in the big city. Granted, I wasn't living in New York. I was in LA, but I didn't need her to tell me how bad the odds are for women my age ... how poorly we were looked at by those that were younger and by men wanting those that were younger.
When I was in LA I felt invisible for the first time in my life. I didn't play the games that make one visible. I didn't want to play games. I've never enjoyed playing games and in my late thirties didn't want to start. I'd always had options for dating and men that wanted me. But I was getting to an age that caused a death knell for those women wanting to reproduce. For me -- not ever having wanted to reproduce myself with a baby human being, but only with a book -- getting to those years where my eggs were too crusty to compute was a welcome relief. That's when I found myself saying, "Now I want true love."
I had wanted no part of true love before, when a man could ask of me, "If you really love me, you'll have my baby." It wasn't a conscious choice. When I'd received marriage proposals I'd laughed in their face and run away.
I didn't act like a regular woman then, and I'm not doing so now either.
My mom and I went to see Sex And The City 2 together. We saw #1 together and liked it much more. For me personally, the SATC brand wasn't about shoes and cosmopolitans. It was about the deeper emotions these women were feeling that they needed to process with one another. What did uniting with another do to one's sense of self? What did settling down do to one's desire to roam? With the four of these women, all parts of my voice were being spoken.
Now, years later with three women married and two having to deal with the ramifications of reproducing, there is even less to relate to on the screen. The clothing was abominable. Out of the 200+ outfits coordinated I liked -- maybe -- five. I was appalled at the lack of global and social awareness this movie provided. The fact that the women are split up from each other, to each be driven in their own white vehicle (another writer noted exactly what expensive car it was, but I could care less and won't repeat it) was a sickening sham. The core of these gals wouldn't go on a vacation to each have their own car and driver. Maybe they'd allow their luggage to split up, but not their souls, bodies, and minds when the chance to be close was possible.
Lindy West said on The Stranger.com that the movie was like a "home video of gay men playing with giant Barbie dolls." I've always felt this about the series, but never more so than now.
The movie was the ultimate characterization of American consumerism as God. Sitting there in that total surround sound huge multiplex theater I was embarrassed to be a woman and a Westerner.
I've read around and discovered a tone that the movie tried to uphold. The fact that everyone (98%) has been downtrodden because of the economy, they wanted a "feel good" movie to distract the masses. In no way did they want to put a damper on the audience, and so their cotton candy dialogue and mechanistic attempts to salve the swollen with indulgence, to me, was completely off track.
I'll be curious whether the fashionistas in the world can really stand behind this movie and say, "Oh yeah, it's great." It isn't great. So they showed the latest trend, that skirts are getting lowered down past the knee yet again. Big whoop.
I want to know about sex in the city, not in the desert where it is banned. The fact that Muslim women would be portrayed as wearing designer duds under their Burkas in 119-degree heat is a joke. I can understand that for some, decadence is indeed divine, but overkill never did anyone any good.
The girls sit down to breakfast at a full table, perhaps twelve feet long filled with every kind of dish overflowing ... unbelievably ridiculous. The scene was a distraction from what was really going on in the characters' lives; doubts about marriage, difficulties with raising children, disasters when dealing with the corporate ceiling and the desert that life becomes without enough time to get together with one's friends and be deeply nourished.
I did laugh. Sometimes I laughed hard, but it was over the top the whole way. I can't imagine there will be another movie after this.
My mom said, "It's vapid, insensitive and disappointing." My feelings exactly.
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