Four things I already hate about ‘Sex and the City 2′ (Spoiler alert!)
I have a love/hate relationship with Sex and the City. Loved the show. Hated the movie.
Despite the opinion of a few fellow members of the True/Slant community that Sex and the City is largely responsible for the continuing decline of Western civilization, I still think that the series was a high point in late ’90s/early ’00s TV entertainment.
So why did I dislike the first movie so much? It has nothing to do with the actresses being too old for the antics, a point of view that strikes me as incredibly sexist, or the fact that the series, and thus, by extension, the movie, painted an unrealistic social and economic portrait of life in New York City. Unreal NYC doesn’t exist only in Sex and the City reruns; it’s also in Friends and Will & Grace as well as movies like The Brave One and The Day After Tomorrow, films that present such a frightening and menacing Big Apple, where deadly dangers — including impossibly bad weather — lurk around every corner, that it’s a wonder anyone still wants to live there.
Or to use another example, is Grey’s Anatomy an accurate depiction of what goes on in medical circles? Anyone who has a fear of hospitals and would thus risk life and limbs to avoid checking into one would probably be even less likely to seek medical treatment after watching Grey’s ultra-violent May 20 season finale. Does that make Grey’s Anatomy socially irresponsible, or simply drama that alters reality for the sake of entertaining?
My problem with Sex and the City, the movie, had nothing to do with social context but rather was all about plot and story specifics. For one, marriage and babies is never a recipe for urban excitement. Also, by moving too much of the action outside of the titular “City,” it downgraded the all-important fifth character, New York City — a large part of what made the series so special — to the level of glorified cameo. I understand that the focus was supposed to be on the friendships between the four ladies, but I can think of few things I’d rather see less than a movie celebrating female friendship (sorry, ladies).
Bring on the booze. Bring on the nightlife. Bring on the sex. Bring on those eccentric peripheral characters. But please, no Jennifer Hudson.
Despite my excitement for Sex and the City 2, which opens May 27, my hopes have never been high for it, and after hearing a full report from a writer friend who saw a Thursday screening — “It’s EXACTLY what you’d think. I’d give it 2 1/4 stars” — they’ve been lowered dramatically. Here’s why.
Carrie Bradshaw’s still being Carrie Bradshaw Charlotte York was always my least favorite of the fabulous four, followed by Carrie. My biggest problem with Carrie is that she’s too self-involved (remember the scene in the series in which Stanford Blatch let Carrie have it after she glossed over his request for an opinion of his hunky new boyfriend because she was so wrapped up in her own shit?), which might dead accurately reflect classic NYC narcissism, but that doesn’t make it likable. “Don’t even get me started with the idiocy of Carrie’s behavior,” my friend says. “She is 44 going on 13. Tragically, she still looks 44.”
The return of Aidan Shaw “I liked seeing Carrie and Aidan together,” says my friend. “They still have an interesting dynamic. Big had a little more to do here, too, which I didn’t mind.” Hmm… More Mr. Big sounds promising, but Aidan never clicked with me. He always struck me as the kind of clichéd guy’s guy who makes fun of chick flicks and shows like Sex and the City. Plus, unlike Big, the only guy who never tried to change Carrie, he was always trying to turn her into something she wasn’t. I’ll take him over Burger or the Russian guy any day, but I’d prefer Carrie’s romantic focus to remain squarely on Big.
Bad musical numbers and other assorted hokey goings on Check this out: “There are some scenes where I covered my eyes and wailed ‘Noooo!’ A scene in which all four women karaoke to ‘I Am Woman’ in the Middle East comes to mind. As does the scene in which four Middle Eastern women take off their robes/black cloak things and reveal to the girls that they’re actually wearing couture. And then they all take out Suzanne Somers’ book about how to stay young forever. You just won’t believe it. The puns belong in the Catskills and all land with a thud.” I’m already reaching for the barf bag.
Penelope Cruz Unlike the rest of the world, I don’t understand her appeal. Neither does my friend. But she does give Cruz’s SATC 2 cameo a positive spin: “Penelope plays an investment banker who flirts with Big in front of Carrie at Smith’s movie premiere. Just two minutes on screen, and she looks gorgeous. It’s a good scene. Trust me.”
I do (our taste in movies is scarily in sync — we both favored Up in the Air in 2009, Sideways and Before Sunset in 2004), and I’ll still go to see the movie with a twinge of excitement, thanks to my friend’s parting words. “The best news of all: No Jennifer Hudson!!!”