As much as I love Sex and the City, I came out of the movie feeling sad for the main character, Carrie, who had to beg, borrow, and practically steal to get her guy to commit.
The fairytale has been rewritten to have women accept whatever the man in the relationship is willing to give at the moment. Even if it's been a 10 year, drama-filled ordeal like Big and Carrie's relationship, the undertone is: be careful not to push him too far or you'll scare him away.
There's a scene where Carrie cautions Charlotte's daughter not to buy into the old Cinderella fairytale. My concern is for women who buy into this new Cinderella rewrite.
I can't tell you how many real women I know in stalled relationships who take comfort in fictional Big and Carrie's on-again-off-again relationship. The lesson is that he will come around, if you hope, wait, and put your whole heart into it long enough, he will come around. Odds are if it's on the big screen he will, odds are in real life he won't.
Does this fairytale rewrite encourage women to stay in the wrong kind of relationships? Relationships in which the men are charming, yet distant, bored, selfish, and noncommittal just like Big.
The stated theme of the movie is that we should throw out the old relationship rules so that each of us can write new rules that fit us. I'm all for that. Not all relationships should look the same and not all people need to be in relationships with forever endings. The movie did a good job of showing this with the other characters. Samantha is wonderful at being just Samantha!
But Cinderella and Carrie Bradshaw want marriage and they shouldn't have to apologize for it, repress their desire for it, or have to eke commitment out of a man one year at a time for 10 years to get to it.
Sex and the City has been such a social phenom because it captures the nonlinear state of many of today's relationships. Still, I think it's important that women don't let go of what they really want -- like Charlotte, she never let go and she got her fairytale.