Call Sea World: Sex and the City has jumped the shark. Since the HBO series exited with tears and orgasms in 2004, we've all moved on even if Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte haven't. When SATC finally hits the big screen, it's no longer in sync with the way we live now. And that's $4 for a gallon of gas and the ripple effect that's raising prices in every quadrant of our lives from protein bars to plane travel. It's the economy, stupid.
In one flagrant sequence - no spoiler here -- Samantha's puppy starts shagging a pillow in Carrie's professionally redecorated apartment. That pillow cost $300, Carrie shrills. The laugh track doesn't rise to its intended peak - and it's not just because the idea of a mini-bitch Sam who'll screw anything is no longer funny as she turns fifty. It's that Carrie would drop so much cash on a throw pillow! How very dare she? If that's what the money-minting professional writer has to worry about, she's definitely not playing Scrabble with my posse.
Real estate porn also dominates the movie, equally out of whack with life post-bubble. True, foreclosures haven't battered Manhattan like they have the rest of the country. Still, when Mr. Big buys Carrie a dream penthouse, hardly breaking a sweat or negotiating an interest rate, and then tops it by building her an enormous closet as the ultimate token of his love it made me like Carrie less. The clothes-horse hangar is so bright it could be the light at the end of the tunnel seen during a near-death experience. And that intensity of Carrie's closet worship - OK, I get it, it's a joke, a long-running joke - is now beyond the let them eat cake of Sofia Coppola's revolutionary era Sex and Versailles, Marie Antoinette. It's verging on the perversion of brothers Uday and Qusay Hassein in the twilight of big daddy Saddam's Iraq.
Argue away that the fab four were always about fantasy. I get it. They have our cake, and it doesn't show up on our bathroom scales. They live the life beyond credit card debt so that we can make a virtual escape into their designer clothes. And, yet, in 2008, their label loving world where they live myopically and refuse to think globally has become claustrophobic and beside the point.
Girl power -- the power to reclaim our sexuality, our friends, to measure ourselves not by how far we've climbed the corporate ladder, or how far we've married up -- was once a radical and welcome addition to our weekly TV diet. It expanded our gossip universe as we discussed our own struggles to succeed in the big city decades after Mary Tyler Moore tossed her hat up in the air and made it after all. But in the era of Hillary's faltering race for president, wherever you plant your Manolos on that great divider of female opinion in this historic election contest, the girl power issue has shifted from the personal to the political.
Once we have power, what are we going to do with it that makes us fifty-one percenters any different - eh,Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, Samantha? Eh, Hillary? If we're going to pick up the check, let's not succumb to the same old greed and consumerism that's so 2004.
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