Sunday, June 6, 2010

Thoughts on SATC2

So I have a confession: I've never been a tremendous Sex & the City shipper. I'd catch the (tragically censored) reruns on TBS; once in a while I'd watch it on DVD with friends (which was always better, with the abundance of hot male ass), but I never stuck with it, & so missed the end of the series & the first movie. But, you know, I can name the gals; I can generally follow the plot even if I'm coming into the middle of a storyline; but let's just say this movie was on my unconscious never-to-be-seen list. ANYWAY, ran into my fabulous roomie on the way home from the T last night; we grabbed a drink & a smoke, & she ended up asking me to see it with her (& with sister/sister's fiance). Since I only had the joy of apartment hunting & syllabus revisions ahead of me, I emptied a water bottle, filled it with white wine, grabbed my smokes, & we hauled ass to the theater.

Cutting to the chase...if you've ever wondered why multitudes of people around the globe find Americans so terribly repellent, just see the cultural icons that are most strongly identified with the US. Watch SATC 2 & tumble into 2.5 hours (MY GOD WHY WAS IT SO LONG?) of the most repulsively indulgent, extravagant, decadent, consumerist escapism of your life. The characters are so far removed from reality that you feel almost as if you're watching slightly different blowup dolls moan & groan about their phenomenally challenging lives. Everything is shimmering & polished; the fucking film opens with My Big Fat Gay Wedding (a contrived relationship, to boot, which I won't spoil here), replete with LIIIIIZZZZAAAAAA cameo (also, I don't care what people have been saying; Liza BUTCHERS "Single Ladies"--it was embarrassing to watch) & the most ridiculous displays of wealth you could ever imagine.

The show of course always adorned the ladies with glamorous wardrobes & Park Avenue apartments &co&co, but the movie takes this decadence to an entirely other level. At one point Miranda & Charlotte raise a toast to "mothers without full-time nannies"--but the moment falls totally flat and suddenly you're disgusted by the film's inability to consider anyone that doesn't have more money than they know what to do with. OF COURSE we'll all jump on the opportunity to have FOUR private vehicles in the Middle East, even though we'd all fit in one & this is supposedly a "gals-getting-crazy-together-trip." OF COURSE we'll take advantage of private butlers--what amounts to personal (and orientalized) slaves. OF COURSE we're only going to wear couture the entire movie (except when we get out of the shower, & are draped in 40k towels).

Toss this atop the rampant racism in the film's portrayal of the Middle East (much elementary commentary on the wearing of the veil--with the four SATC gals realizing that they're SO liberated in the US), blatant displays of disrespect towards non-Western culture which are never *really* reconciled (except in an almost ludicrous literal un-veiling scene), and conflicts & resolutions that seem so generated as to have come from a fill-in-the-blank wordgame--and you've got one of the most disingenuous & pathetic examples of film I've seen in years.

The show had a sense of whimsy, joy, tongue-in-cheek awareness of the extravagance & escapist tendencies; the film took everything jubilant & wrung it out until the interactions between the characters felt forced, the travels & the clothes seemed disgusting instead of glamorous, & the jokes seemed dried up & dejected. The writing was atrocious, the acting was mostly pretty terrible (the one great moment of the film was when Miranda & Charlotte admit to one another that motherhood is tough), the shine was too glimmering, & all in all, the movie infuriated rather than titillated me. Two thumbs way down, my friends.

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