Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


We don’t have to change at all!

Filed under : Movies
On June 10, 2010
At 2:45 am
Comments : 6

I’ve resisted adding to the mountain of bad reviews of Sex and the City 2 and by now you’ve either already seen it or have read all the rotten reviews or both. That is, assuming you’re the sort of person who would see this movie or read its reviews. And it was an awful, awful movie and every time I discuss it with someone, we manage to bring out more of its terribleness. But I met up with KP last week and I think we niggled down to the thing I disliked the most about it. In order to get there, I first have to tell you why I actually saw it when I knew it was universally panned and I am so not a current movie person that if I see one movie in a theater all year, it’s a big year.

So I knew before I even spent twelve dollars on the ticket that it was going to be atrocious and yet I whipped out my credit card nonetheless. That’s because I watched the show since the start and I grew to feel for the characters, as obnoxious as they can sometimes be. I mean, I regularly cringed over something one of them did or said every single week but that was OK, they were human. And despite my not having a life like any one of them, they often faced situations and had feelings similar to those I do as a single woman in New York. My favorite episode is A Woman’s Right To Shoes where Carrie’s shoes are stolen at a party for a friend’s new baby and the friend chastises her for how much the shoes cost when she tries to reimburse her. “She shoe-shamed me!” Carrie declares to her friends. Now, I am not a collector of shoes or purses; I mostly wear the same shoes every day (Privo flats) and buy maybe two pairs a year, mostly when mine have worn out. But the indignation Carrie feels at having her lifestyle choices belittled because her friend has “a real life” with husband and kids resonated with me. Even more so when Carrie adds up how much she has spent on wedding, shower, and birth gifts as well as travel and expenses with no return at all. Gifts are, obviously, just that, and no return is expected. But it’s hard to give gift after gift and never, ever be registered yourself. So I got that and lots of other things.

Over the years, the characters did develop, especially in the last season as Carrie hooked up with an older man, Miranda had a child, got married, and moved to Brooklyn, Charlotte converted, married, and struggled with infertility, and Samantha had the fullest relationship of her life. But somehow, in the intervening close to ten years between that end and this movie (and I leave out the first SATC film, although I didn’t love that one either), they haven’t changed a bit and in some cases have reverted. I have to think that the filmmakers drew women in on the basis that we have stayed connected with the characters and want to keep up with them. Do they think we have all stayed the same in the last ten years? Because these women seem not to have grown emotionally or intellectually. They are in a constant self-involved, memememe, what am I going to wear, what about my needs kind of space that seemed OK in the first couple of seasons but at 45 or so seems a bit of a stretch. It just doesn’t ring true and is almost insulting. Do they think that’s how mature women act? Or are they saying that these women we’ve connected with never mature?

I’ve read a lot about how some people feel the real issue was 40-something women trying to act sexy but I don’t think that hits it at all. I think, rather, that it’s not sexy to act 10-20 years younger than your own age. These women are like parodies of their former selves. It was a lazy cop-out to not develop them and then market the movie like it was a reunion between us and our friends. How could it be when you freeze-dried them? We have moved on but they remain the same in older bodies. That’s what’s not pretty.

Oh, and also, Anthony and Stanford? Yeah, no.

Title comes from:
Diana Ross – When We Grow Up


6 Comments for this post

Irishelena says

I may be the only woman over 20 and under 70 who has never seen a single episode of the show nor either movie, so I can’t make any intelligent remarks about the show or movies. But your final paragraph sounds really good, about what was REALLY wrong with the movie. I have seen other long-running TV shows where no one ever ‘grows up’. It’s one thing to keep a youthful attitude, but most of us mature to some degree. One hopes.
But I can really relate to the episode you describe, where Carries talks of giving and giving and giving gifts and never getting anything back, being an unmarried women with no kids. It does get old after a while, and is one of my well-known pet peeves. I don’t mind giving gifts for special life occasions to friends and relatives I’m actually close to and actually like, but those are few and far between.

wicked-witch-west says

I haven’t seen this movie yet (I never really watched the show except for a few times) but I do understand what you’re saying about women not acting their age. I have one or two acquaintances who do things sometimes and I wonder, shouldn’t you have left the low self esteem-related behavior behind in your early 20′s? I’m talking about begging men for attention and that sort of thing. It’s too bad this movie went there but I was always under the impression that part of SATC’s appeal was to people who looked up to those women, and part of it was people who could watch them and feel really self righteous and superior, too.

KP says

I loved these characters (except Carrie)and laughed with them from first to last episode, as well as repeatedly in repeats. I think I was always struck by their genuine love for each other through the most intense and ridiculous of situations, but I was happy with how the show ended and could have lived without the first movie.
I am saving my 12 bucks thanks to you Bec. I shall spend it instead on cupcakes and Starbucks.
Okay, well, in NYC that will probably only get us one cupcake and a tall iced latte, but we can get a knife and two straws.

Becca says

Elena, since I know the chances of you seeing the episode are slim, I’ll give away the ending. Carrie, whose shoes went missing because her friend insisted she take them off so as not to bring dirt in that her kids could eat (or something), “registers” for a pair of the same. In the scene where the friend is buying them, the saleslady chides her for letting her kids touch the display items. While it was definitely a feel-good ending, it didn’t solve the problem of singles having to buy a lot more gifts than they’ll ever receive.

WWW, re: “self righteous and superior,” that’s interesting, I hadn’t heard that. But while in some ways it was a train-wreck, the women were enough different that you had to find something to like in at least one of them that kept you coming back, I would think.

Of course, when Carrie can’t afford an apartment because she’s spent 40k on shoes, I did feel a bit self-righteous and superior, I admit.

KP, I’ll drink (and eat) to that!

Brother2 says

Haven’t seen the movie but … I watch reruns of the show because it makes me laugh (the shoe-shame episode is a riot). Character development? No thank you.

Becca says

Yes, but you’re a GUY.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.