Note: This entire review was written as it always is: me, in front of my uber-stylish mac laptop, drinking coffee, biting the end of a pencil, and talking to myself in punny, pseudo-insightful voiceovers.
Ah, we finally know summer is upon is, because wave after wave of the BIG BUDGET SUPER EXPLOSION SPECTACULAR keeps pummeling us as we lay sunning on the shore; loud movies for loud times. Superheroes, action stars, and the occasional Adam Sandler debacle have become de rigueur for the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
And then there’s Sex and the City.
The big screen version of the TV show, set at a reported budget of $65 million, is essentially that: The TV show on the big screen. One wonders where the money went, because you certainly can’t see it on the screen. But the audience doesn’t want production values, they want to laugh, cry, and live vicariously through the lives of the four ridiculously professionally successful and ridiculously romantically challenged women on the show.
Although you can’t start a film with something so overt as a deep-voiced announcer saying: “previously on Sex and the City”, you CAN start the film with Carrie Bradshaw(Sarah Jessica Parker) recapping exactly what has happened in the four years since we last saw all the characters. It’s a good thing there wasn’t a show for those 4 years, because nothing much at all has happened to any of the characters. Carrie is still dating Big(Chris Noth) after his Big Romantic Gesture in Paris, Samantha(Kim Cattrell) is still overly horny and managing Smith(Jason Lewis) in LA, Charlotte(Kristen Davis) is in Wasp-y/Jew-y domestic bliss after adopting a baby, and Miranda(Cynthia Nixon) is still excelling at being a huge heartless bitch to her loving husband with the weird baby-talk voice, Steve(David Eigenburg).
In fact, everything is fine and dandy, and everyone is fine and dandy until Big and Carrie, in very business-like fashion, decide to get married. Then, as the pieces to her pre-wedding fall into place, Carrie just gets happier and happier. She finds the perfect apartment with the perfect closet, the perfect place to have the wedding, and she gets the perfect wedding dress which is gifted to her, by no less than Vivian Westwood after wearing it in no less than a Vogue photo shoot. If you have any experience with the show, as I do*, you are just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Nothing is perfect, and Big never fails to be a huge dick to Carrie.
*I have seen every single episode of this show, and against all better judgement, I do enjoy it.
The other story lines are about the same; Samantha & Miranda go through a crisis of some sort with their respective partners both having to do with lack of sex. Miranda’s being that she doesn’t ever want to have any; Samantha’s being the fact that she hasn’t had any strange dick in awhile. Charlotte’s big crisis? She can’t decide whether or not to keep running. Yeah, she gets short shrift in this edition.
The movie essentially plays out as a five or six episode arc of the show would. In fact, I was wishing we could hear the stupid theme song and see the opening tutu credits about every 25 minutes or so, just so the movie wouldn’t seem so disjointed and episodic. I suppose there’s really nothing different about watching a bunch of episodes on DVD, but it felt weird to me in the theater.
No matter, because I felt weird just walking in the theater, sitting in an audience that consisted of me, one other dude, and about 40 women. And, as I sat there, trying to figure out why the film did so well at the box office, and why women are drawn to this movie(the ticket sales have reportedly been 85% female) I realized something. Sex and the City, for a majority of American women, is a superhero movie. Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda ARE superheroes, but instead of carrying guns and dressing in body armor, they carry Louis Vuitton clutches, and wear Vera Wang cocktail dresses. They are the women men want to be with(in the film, at least), and the women women want to be. And you don’t EVER see that in a Big Budget Hollywood Summer Movie, where women are so often relegated to someone’s wise-cracking assistant, cold-hearted villain, or unattainably beautiful love interest.
So take note, Hollywood, the ladies of America have spoken. Now, I pray to Jeebus that we can get the rest of America to speak up and stop paying to see Adam Sandler movies.
My reaction: pretty good(3.5 out of 5)
Next week: speak of the devil: Adam Sandler still isn’t funny in You Don’t Mess With the Zohan. Til then, I’ve gotta get all this residual estrogen out of my body…Stay fabulous, kids.