Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sex and The City -

I loved Sex and the City. I’ve got all the DVD’s (bar Season Four), and I watch them a fair bit. I loved the edge, the fact that the women were not house-wifey types and presented women in a positive light nonetheless.

So I was looking forward to the movie, I really was. I was surprised at the reviews, but was also surprised that most of the negative reviews were written by people who had not been fans of the show in the first place, so I was hoping it was going to be one of those frequent situations where I disagreed with the reviewers.

Not so, I’m afraid. I went and saw it over the weekend, and may I just preface this by saying I wasn’t in the best of moods when I saw this movie. For a start, we had to wait two hours to see it, as the venue of choice had sold out and I didn’t have the foresight to book ahead. Then, in the line on the way in to the cinema, the people behind me were standing so close they were standing on my shoes and jostling me.

I don’t do well in crowds, so that pissed me off to start with. Then, when we were seated in the cinema, the (predominantly female) audience was talking so loudly (and through the trailers, I might add) that I was somewhat put off before it began. My tolerance level was low.

The movie itself contained many moments that made me laugh. There was definitely some good stuff in there. But that was pretty much outweighed by the moments that made me cringe, or at one point, actually hit myself in the forehead.

*SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!*



Some points:

I thought it was fantastic that Samantha didn’t end up staying with Smith when she was clearly unhappy. I thought that was the only appropriate ending for her, given that it was consistent with her character throughout the show. It felt right.

I wasn’t pleased with Charlotte’s pregnancy story arc. For the love of god and all his tiny angels, she’s at least forty, supposedly infertile, she's gone through multiple IVF treatments, a misacarriage and she’s adopted a child. Sex and the City has never been a show that pandered to the “miracles do happen” shtick. Why start now? And it added nothing to the movie. It felt like a story arc created purely to give Charlotte something to do. There was so much more that could have been done with her character. Charlotte overcame her fear of running whilst pregnant. Kirstin Davis has always acquited herself well in the past, why push her to the side now? Charlotte was never one-dimensional in the show, but that’s how she came across in the movie (Apart from when she screamed at Mr. Big on the wedding day. Finest bit of acting in the movie. I know that scream. I’ve been that scream)

Miranda’s story arc. So much more could have been done with this, given that so many of us confront the infidelity of a partner. We’ve all been there, or will at some stage. It just felt like more time could have been devoted to it. And whilst I like the fact that they went through counselling to resolve the issue rather than just have everything magically heal, having them meet on the Brooklyn Bridge and run towards each other? I believe the word I used was hackneyed. And I’m standing by that.

And Carrie. Oh, Carrie. I can understand why you’d want the big dress. Hell, after seeing it, I wanted the big dress (In a different colour, without the bird on my head and without the wedding). I like the fact that Carrie didn’t just snap out of it, because you don’t when someone hurts you. Especially when you’ve given them that many chances. And I can understand the anger, I can. And you do tend to cling to people when you’re that down. But the bit where you give your assistant a – frankly vomitus - Louis Vuitton bag for Christmas? I believe that was when I checked out of this movie and just waited for it to end. You do not need swelling music when someone gets a handbag. A squeal - I'm fine with. I've done it myself. But that was not a monumental moment in cinema.

I know that it isn’t easy to transplant a show from television to the big screen. I know it must have been hard for Michael Patrick King to come up with enough story arcs to sustain a two-hour plus movie, but getting sucked into the trap of focusing on the fashion did the movie no favours at all. I love shoes and dresses as much as the next girl, but come on! The attraction of Sex and the City has always been that it combines the fashion with the realistic, edgy story-line. It wasn’t one or the other, it was both. I can’t think of a single story-line in this movie that was edgy, that was new. It just wasn’t there.

I mean, let’s take a quick example. The fabulous brown Prada dress Carrie buys when she takes Berger to Prada for the first time. Yes, there was the fashion. Her dress, his shirt. Both gorgeous, and worth showcasing. But there was also the story-line about a man who can’t accept his partner earning more money or being more successful than her, as much as he wants to. The fashion took a back seat, and it meshed well.

This movie didn’t mesh. The story-lines, for me, just weren’t there.

And now, I’m going back to Red Dwarf and thanking my lucky stars that the Red Dwarf movie project never got off the ground.

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