Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Have you ever been in love?

I went in fully prepared not to like it, really. I never watched the series on its first run on HBO and while I enjoy catching episodes of it now and then on TBS, I always thought that making a full-length movie out of what was entertaining- sometimes in inspired ways- in short 30-minutes doses was just going to be a prolonged fashion show at best, and a disaster at worst. I know it made huge profits at the box-office over the weekend, but critical reviews have been lukewarm; in fact, the NYT gave it a scathing review (I believe the exact words were: "the movie that she and Mr. King have come up with is the pits, a vulgar, shrill, deeply shallow — and, at 2 hours and 22 turgid minutes, overlong..."

But despite myself, despite all preconceived notions of what I was walking into, despite the fact that there were all of 5 men in the movie theatre (my husband thankfully not being one of them), and despite the fact that there were so many moments in the movie that would have made me keel over and gag from sheer absurd cheesiness in any other movie, I enjoyed Sex And The City. Thoroughly.

I mean, no one's calling this Oscar material, and unless Fashion Week has a movie category of some sort, it isn't going to win any awards. But the movie doesn't set itself up that way in the first place. Sex And The City the movie is what it is- an opportunity to recapture something about the female psyche that the series managed to tap into- hope, some might call it; empowerment, perhaps; desire, possibly, and of course, that elusive, magical thing called love. There were moments throughout the film where there was genuine emotion- sadness even- and there were enough ardent worshippers in the theatre- my friends included- who made the experience feel more like a reunion with dearly-missed old friends than an extended ad for all that is glittering and glamourous about New York (because really, do we all have friends who will help us pack our apartment bearing 2 bottles of champagne and wearing Gucci?)

I'm not saying everyone should run out and catch the movie right now and I still won't recommend it to anyone with dominant testosterones coursing through their body, but I was honestly pleasantly surprised- cheese and all- and you just might be too.

Some people are settling down, some are settling and some people refuse to settle for anything less. Than butterflies...
-Carrie Bradshaw, Sex And The City

5 comments:

srah said...

I'm in the same boat as you (never watched the show the first time around, have seen many out-of-sequence episodes on TBS) but I really really really don't like Carrie and the only reason I liked watching the show was for Miranda's (and occasionally Samantha's) subplots. Does everyone get their own subplot in the movie or is it just about the repellent Carrie finally snagging the repellent Mr Big?

Dark Orpheus said...

It's certainly not high culture. But it would be too hasty to dismiss Sex and the City - because it's success does say something about women.

SATC - for me - is about woman's friendship. Because in this world we are often taught to bitch about and backstab other women. It's a wonderful (if OTT) story about 4 very different women who are friends. They came together in each other's hour of need. Life and love is difficult, but it's easier - and funnier - because you always have your friends around you to make wise-crack.

Mr Big deserves Carrie, because he sees the importance of the friendship between the women:
"A guy can only hope to be number 4."

serene said...

Srah- everyone has their own subplot in the movie (some better than others, if you ask me). And if you like Miranda, you'll actually like the movie- I thought her story was the strongest and most heartfelt. I have to say that there is ALOT of Carrie-love though...

Yes, Stella, it is about the friendship and the movie is sweetest- although sometimes corniest- when it focuses on that.

srah said...

I haven't seen the early episodes. Is it ever explained how these four very different women met?

serene said...

Neither have I, and nope they don't say anything about how they met. The only kind of recap is of their recent past, i.e. Charlotte and Harry adopting a child, Miranda moving to Brooklyn, Samantha to L.A., and of course, Carrie and Big still in lurve...