| The Red Right Hand
SEX AND THE CITY
Michael Patrick King
Sarah Jessica Parker
Just to step out of myself for a second, I don't want people to think I'm slating this film because a.) I'm a guy or b.) because I'm a negative cynic. I already know I will receive a whole hoard of emails from outraged women, saying "How dare you!" and "Of course you didn't like it! You're a man!" as if defending one of their nearest and dearest. I honestly, desperately tried to enjoy this film, I really did. I just think it wasn't very well made.
My ex-girlfriend forced me to watch Sex And The City about a year ago. Sure, it's a little ostentatious and crass but it was witty, fairly accurate and somewhat satirical - not dissimilar to Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert. Having said that, I would still regularly complain about the writing of the characters, explaining how each one annoyed the piss out of me; Carrie [Parker] was self-centred and childish, Charlotte [Davis] was a prissy, na´ve control freak and Samantha [Catrall] was an annoying tramp who despite being a good friend, had one signature tone of voice and that was it. The only character I genuinely liked was Miranda [Nixon] because she was a cynical workaholic (that and Cynthia Nixon is the only New Yorker of the cast) and even that was ruined because like her chums she was too bloody demanding and the only reason they're single and flirty is not because it's hard to find a good man but because they're all neurotic, self-absorbed, diva bitches! But that's getting just a tad sexist so lets wind it down a bit (but lets face it, if a girl said that she would get a fucking round of applause).
But enough of such silly angry mutterings! On to the review!
At this point I would usually explain the plot but this film genuinely doesn't appear to have one. The whole ordeal could be summed up by throwing my hands up and squealing, "Oh my God! Wedding! Shoes! Dress! Eee!" Just a long string of events that loosely follow wedding preparations whilst reprising as many characters as possible. For those that are unfamiliar with the term 'fan-service,' allow me to explain. When writing a script, a good writer should always make sure they're not just writing to please the fans but to primarily create a solid project, otherwise you just end up with a tatty homage - kind of like the Star Wars Holiday Special. I am quietly confident that this film will stand as a prime example.
I don't know if this a completely unfair thing to say (which is unusual for me - not knowing, rather than saying mean things) but the entire cast just look a little too old. Again, I know that sounds a little harsh but the series ended in 2004, it is quite apparent that the four years have not been kind to our leads, not physically (because that would just be shallow) but internally; every single one of them, bar Chris Noth's Mr. Big, acts completely out of character and has been reduced to over-the-top lewd jokes and brand worshipping. Another issue is that a movie littered with scenes of women running flippantly from store to store buying elaborately expensive items and outlandish (not to mention a couple of hideous) accessories worked in the late 90's but has no place in a film appealing to audiences experiencing a credit crunch recession. Yep, it's the hollow montage scenes like these that are going to frustrate your female audience and deter the males from enjoying an unabashedly entertaining series. Again, if it wasn't just a badly written, two-and-a-half hour piece of fan-service, the film may have opened itself to a wider market.
It's not all bad, the film looks incredible and still manages to bring back some of the witty banter and sassy attitudes that made the series so unique but in the end it all seems too little too late. In summation, I wouldn't really call myself a Sex And The City fan, per se, more a distant uninterested admirer, like a really tame stalker or bothersome neighbourhood pest. Despite this, I feel incredibly let down and disappointed by what was eventually churned out.
I was going to write an additional paragraph trying to describe the effect this film had on the female members of the screening - both during and after - with drones of, "You're not the right audience," "You're not a fan" and "It wasn't that bad because..." but I'm not even going to bother as I tend to defend Episode I; in other words, some fans will simply never admit this is a crappy movie.
28th May 2008
The Scene To Look Out For:
There was this one scene which was a rehash of an earlier exchange in the TV series. I can't recall exactly but because they were in a hospital or around Miranda's kid they had to talk about sex and relationships discreetly. For whatever reason, this conversation was re-written (quite badly, I might add) with colouring-in being the playful euphemism for sex. Naturally, Miranda's response is "I don't colour enough" and Samantha says with a raise of her eyebrows in that stupid voice, "I like all the crayons" or some crap but then Carrie refers to Big by saying "He doesn't stay in the lines" ...what the hell does that even mean? Are we to believe this is a typical Sex And The City line designed to shock us? Does that imply he often misses the vagina because he's confused? Is it a metaphor for him not playing by the rules and confusing girls (well, obviously)? Or does it literally mean that he was born with some sort of defect that prevents him from shading in large cartoon ducks? See what I did there? Loads of questions with an obvious answer that never really gets answered in print? It's just like Carrie's column.
Stanford [Willie Garson] and Anthony [Mario Cantone]. For those unfamiliar with the series, this is going to sound meaningless but the interaction between Stanford and Anthony was absurd and completely turned its back on the entire series. Other than that little frustration, the addition of Jennifer Hudson seemed a little pointless but she managed to pull a fairly good performance out of a dire script.
"Dressed from head to toe in love - the only label that never goes out of style"
In A Few Words:
"It felt like a dick-and-fart joke/early Adam Sandler movie for women or the bitter, twisted side of a rom-com that focuses on the heartbroken female as opposed to the stupid male who has to fix things. Oh how the mighty hath fallen... well, not mighty but certainly better than this"