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