It's a strange feeling to defend something that you've never been all that attached to in the first place, but that's exactly where I find myself when it comes to Sex and The City. After sitting through the first film and cursory glimpses of the follow up, Sex and The City 2, I'm wondering: what the hell has happened to SATC? I was far from devoted to the series, but I did check in on the show over the years and even though I'm not what you would call a Jimmy Choo kind of gal, I respected it. The HBO series had substance; there were some interesting things to say about female friendships, and you got the occasional funny observation about urban living -- but you would never know it from these movies.
Even if we are willing to give Michael Patrick King and the gang a pass this time around, I can't help but wonder if it's possible that these movies will taint the memory of the show that it's fans know and love (some critics have already answered with a resounding yes). The complaints have centered on everything from cultural insensitivity and consumerism to complaints that even the girls just don't look all that into it anymore. But there's always the chance that I'm being a tad unfair. After all, the movie hasn't even arrived in theaters yet.
After the jump; so-so reviews and three examples of how SATC on the big-screen has changed (for the worse)...
Unfortunately, it looks like there could be a dark cloud on the horizon; becuase the love hasn't exactly been pouring in for the follow-up from those who have seen it (including our very own Jenni Miller). Whether bad reviews are just the inevitable consequence of getting enough ticked off male reviewers to sit through a so-called 'chick flick' is helping to feed the hate, I don't know for sure. But, the cynic in me has another explanation: maybe the movie just isn't very good. What I can say for sure is that even as someone who only casually watched the series during it's original run, these movies look nothing like the SATC that was on the small screen -- and I just can't figure out why. But that hasn't stopped me from trying.
The Emptiness of a Full Closet
You can't have SATC the city without the clothes, and the shoes, and the purses, and the...you get the idea. But whereas the fashion and fabulousness was organically worked into the series, the films have turned into one long product placement. I mean, can someone explain to me what the point of the Vogue wedding gown montage was in the first film other than 'couture porn'?
I'll let you argue amongst yourselves about who is who in this particular comparison (but you know Samantha has to be Kramer), but one of the more endearing qualities about the show that (even as a non-fan) that I could appreciate were the forays into the world of modern manners among fabulous urbanites. In a strange way the show was a fashion-forward Seinfeld with plenty of romance, and episodes would revolve around a storyline about someone taking your shoes at a party or getting 'the look' from your ex's new gal. But those very relatable moments have been replaced with trips to Abu Dhabi and jokes about burqas and Botox...and that's not good.
The Moral of The Story
Part of what made the series so memorable for so many women was that in between the Cosmos and Samantha's bad sex jokes, there were some really interesting ideas about women and relationships -- and more importantly it was willing to be unflattering. Off the top of my head I can think back to an episode like the one in which Carrie expects her much richer friend Charlotte to help her financially, or Carrie's decision to become a cheater while dating Aidan the Carpenter (who is back for this outing, but this time as the other man). Those were the kind of complex moral moments that the show used to tackle, but it looks like the fluff and the frills truly have won out in the end.
Since I'm no expert on the fab four, I'm going to turn it over to you. Is it possible that the Sex and The City movies have ruined what the fans loved about the series so much in the first place?