Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Stuff I Shouldn’t Care About: Sex and the City 2

Well, I’m fashionably late to this party, yes? I saw the movie a full 10 days ago. I planned on writing something, but forgot, which probably says a lot about how much of an impression the movie left on me. But, I still want to say something damn it because I am woman, hear me roar. Or something.

Here’s the thing about Sex and the City 2. It’s bad. You’ve probably heard this a dozen and a half times from every movie critic, blogger, and media commentator out there. But, they aren’t just saying it’s bad. They’re saying it’s horrifying; it’s offensive; it’s an abomination; etc.

When promos for the movie first began airing, I was excited. I knew it wasn’t going to be a great work of cinematic art. But great works of cinematic arts aren’t really my thing. But then the reviews started rolling in. At first they were tentatively negative, then downright bad, then excruciatingly ugly. The fear that I would walk out of the theatre feeling distraught at the offensiveness of the movie, ashamed that I’m an American or something made me think twice about going to see it.

But I went anyway.

Expecting to be stomach-turning disgusted at the behavior of four middle-aged American women in the Middle East was probably the best way to see the movie because I walked away thinking, “That wasn’t nearly as bad as everyone said it would be.” Now don’t get me wrong. The movie is not good. But the real crime of the movie is not Samantha screaming at a crowd of men in Abu Dhabi about sex and condoms; it’s what the writers have done to these characters. This is common though: A series becomes popular primarily because of the quirky yet lovable and relatable characters. But as the series drags on, the writers choose to magnify the quirky traits, which cause the characters to lose what makes them relatable (coughTheOfficecough). All that’s left are caricatures.

That’s my number one issue here. Carrie, who was always aired on the side of self-absorbed with a serious case of “the grass is always greener” syndrome, is only that and lacks any redeeming qualities (Remember when we all thought we all thought we were “a Carrie?”). Charlotte maintains a state of denial. Her main concern in life is losing her nanny who doesn’t wear a bra (I mean, seriously SATC 2, no woman with breasts that large would jump around braless. It’s painful). The writers seem to have no idea what they to do with Miranda, so they make her the “funny gal,” who inserts one liners into the conversations taking place around her. And finally, Samantha is over-sexed. There’s really not much more of to the story than that. They take these four women and plunk them down in the desert to be self-absorbed, clueless, obnoxious, over-sexed, and sarcastic somewhere other than New York.

My other beef with the characters in this movie is what the writers choose to do with Aiden. Why did ruin Aiden? Why would they make the show’s perennial good guy into a creepy married dude who shamelessly hits on his ex-(also married) girlfriend? That’s not who Aiden is. He’s not that guy. But, assuming there will not be a SATC 3, that’s what we’re left with: Aiden, 3,000 miles away from his wife and three kids, trying to get it on with his ex-girlfriend who treated him like crap. Come on!

Sure there are parts of the movie that are kind of offensive, but there is context when you are watching the film. A good explanation as to how these parts of the movie have been blown out of portion can be read here. And all the criticism about the amount of consumerism is fair… I guess… but what are we supposed to expect? These women are all rich New Yorkers. They were rich New Yorkers when the series ended. And they were rich New Yorkers in the first movie. I know that the times, they have ‘a changed, but what did we think was going to happen? Suddenly Carrie would be shopping at Payless for her shoes?

My point here is that seeing this movie will not induce vomiting unlike what most of the reviews have told you. It’s bad, but there’s entertaining parts (unintentionally hilarious parts like when they have Samantha dressed up like she belongs on the front of a sarcophagus) and it’s like, whatever. If you want to see it, see it with only a small amount of shame.

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