by Marcus Sakey
I have a like-hate relationship with the show Sex & the City.
On the one hand, the four main characters are fractional, broken caricatures. Mash 'em all together and you've got an actual person, but as individuals, they're a joke. I also dislike the blatant product placement, the consumerism as religion, and the preposterous vision of sexuality. Are we really supposed to believe the average New York woman of 40 has had 75 lovers? Really?
On the flip side, the writing is usually pretty good, and it's easy to enjoy the sororital bond the four women feel.
Last week, a friend, who shall remain nameless, came into the bar with a DVD of the movie as a ball-busting gift for me. (I paid him back by bribing the bartendress to make him "the frilliest, girliest drink imaginable." When it arrived, it had so much foliage monkeys could have swung through it.) Anyway, I brought the DVD home, told my wife about it, and next thing you know, we're watching it.
Now I know a lot of women, a lot of people, loved it. It made good money, and they announced a sequel. And as I said, while I enjoy the show okay, I'm not a rabid fan.
But I thought the movie was a fucking abomination. The last time I'd seen such a mistranslation was the movie version of Jarhead which took an astonishing memoir and turned it into a steaming pile of dog shit.
The Sex & the City movie destroyed, almost systematically, the things that made the show interesting. Instead of being about a friendship of equals, it made the three other women into Carrie's bitches. They may have been caricatures before, but at least each brought some real human component. In the movie, they were reduced to the shallowest of plot motivators.
Then there was the offensive consumerism. Before I fell asleep--it was that or claw out my eyes--I counted three separate fashion shows, each treated with the lasciviousness of pornography. At one point Carrie orgasmically whispers the names of fashion designers.
And of course there's the vapid Cinderella angle. These four smart, successful women are valueless without their men and their marriage. And when marriage comes about, despite all the purple blatherings about love, the focus isn't the couple--it's the society pages, the dress, the limo. I was happily snoring by this point, but my wife, who also hated it, God love her, tells me at the end Carrie says she is finally happy--married, and "dressed head to toe in a label that never goes out of style: love."
I'm amazed I didn't vomit in my sleep and choke to death.
I realize I'm probably talking to the wrong demo, but did anybody out there like this abortion?
And if so, for heaven's sake, why?