The chatter of excited women gathered in the theater set the tone for opening night of the Sex and the City movie. Only a few seats were still empty, and only a few were occupied by men. My sister exclaimed over pre-movie drinks that any man worth his salt would not be dragged to the movie against his will and I had to counter and suggest that any woman worth her salt wouldn?t even try. The SATC movie premier was clearly a night for women to celebrate being women.
With all of the excitement and the tangible camaraderie hanging in the air, I admit I was jazzed to see the movie. However, when I left I felt dazed, confused, and a little pathetic about being a single woman in this world. And, correct me if I am wrong, but shouldn?t the SATC movie make me feel the opposite of that? Uplifted, confident, and secure in my womanhood? Yeah, I thought so too.
So, I had to think this through. There is a reason women love Samantha, Charlotte, Carrie, and Miranda. There is a reason this movie broke box office records. Looking back on the show, it?s pretty clear that the camaraderie shared among these women echoes that of females everywhere. Their relationships open floodgates of conversation regarding the power of female sex, promiscuity, anal sex, sex droughts, and well?you get the idea. Essentially, the show was an outlet for topics once considered taboo for women to talk or even think about.
The show also explored feminist subject matter. Who can forget ?A Woman?s Right to Shoes?? The episode where Carrie?s Manolo Blahnik?s are stolen from a friend?s baby shower, subsequently leading her to question whether spending $500 on shoes vs. children is really an acceptable style of life. Ultimately, to the delight of women-especially those making the decision that child rearing is not the life for them-Carrie registers at Manolo Blahnik for replacement shoes and gets them. Why should single women be showered with gifts when they get married or decide to have babies and those who choose alternative ways of life get nothing but inquiries as to what?s wrong with her? It?s a good sociological question, one of many the show addressed.
Finally, the show is just plain fun to watch. Each woman not only possesses a career of high desirability and stature, but they have amazing, quirky wardrobes to boot. It?s fun because it?s fantastical. I don?t know many groups of friends where everyone has that amazing of a career or a closet full of crazy-ass expensive clothes, but then again, I am not exactly in that income bracket. But, then again, most people aren?t, so the fantasy argument stands.
This level of frivolous admiration for material goods and gorgeous bodies on attractive, successful women definitely existed in the movie as well. Only it was taken to absurd extremes that made it more ridiculous than fun. The label whoring was as in my face as a Fergie video and it became borderline obnoxious. I was tempted to lambast the admittance of humans as consumer driven maniacs, and yet, I took some deep breaths and admired the fun clothes hanging on the gorgeous bodies of these women. I mean, watching pretty people is fun, period, and frankly, if I didn’t have that to fixate on, the movie would have been a total wash.
Where the movie went way off base wasn?t in its fashion-centric smorgasbord, but in its blatant disregard of previous claims to being a subversive, empowering show for women. I hesitate to drop spoilers in here, in case you’re one of the women who hasn’t seen the movie yet, but I think if I say *spoiler alert* then I am allowed. So, don?t say I didn?t warn you.
My main beef with the storylines:
1-Miranda being cheated on by Steve and her decision to take him back. Now, I am all for forgiveness and believe in circumstantial situations, but what about all the crap in between with Miranda being reduced to a pathetic, lonely character without her man by her side? And this is the same Miranda who in the show was arguably the most ballsy, independent character in the cast.
2-Carrie taking Big back. Again. After he ditched her at their wedding. WTF? I just could not get behind this. After 6 months of ignoring him, she lets him back in her life and every time they shared a scene together where Big was begging for her back I found myself silently chanting, ?say no, just say no, be strong!? But, did she say no? No, she said yes, and it was lame.
I would think this show would tell me that life isn’t all fairy tales, that prince charming doesn’t always pull through in the end, that sometimes the hard choice is the right choice, that I don’t need a man to be fulfilled, etc, etc. But, I didn?t get any of that. And, I will say here that I am a pretty forgiving person, that if SATC never claimed to enter into a cutting-edge, knock your socks off, feminist dialogue, then maybe all this Hollywood mumbo-jumbo would be cute and awwww….a happy ending! But to the contrary, it has made those claims and consequently, the only thing this movie did was take the stock the television show had so successfully accrued and blow it on lame plot lines and sexist role play.