We don’t have HBO and so I missed the television movement that was Sex and the City. But because it was a movement, I can’t help but know who Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, Samantha, and Big are. I even knew about Aidan. And the dancer. And about Manolos and the nameplate necklace and you get the picture. So when the frenzy started about SATC: The Movie, I couldn’t help but tune in to the dialogue about it. Did it do the characters justice seemed to be a common thread of the conversations and, more globally, did it do women justice? Rapt by the dialogue, I asked a handful of women to share their throughts here. Below, you’ll find three reviews that show the range of reaction (read only at your own risk if you are spoiler adverse). Feel free to join the dialogue!
SATC Review by Icess in Shreveport
So what happens when your boyfriend of 10 years jilts you at the altar?
Go on your Mexican honeymoon vacation.
Seems kinda nuts? Well, yeah but not really. Not when your best friends, read: family, go with you for moral support.
And that’s what Charlotte York, Miranda Hobbs, and Samantha Jones do for Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City- The Movie. The tale of New York’s too-fabulous single gals continues- only this time they’re not so single and are a bit older to know better. It’s a chick-flick movie hands down- from the poppy pink title to the amazing wardrobe. But beyond the aesthetics is a story about the celebration of women and what makes us strong beyond our knowledge.
Let’s be truthful, we all had our reservations about Big. His on and off again relationship with Carrie was one that we never tired of watching because of its car crash-like quality. But, in the end, we knew that he was the one, even when he had his reservations. So obviously, at the beginning of the movie, he’s a good guy. And we knew, just like Charlotte, that Carrie “would marry Big.” But when he reverts to that indecisive, scared little boy, we see three women rallying around their sister.
It’s in Mexico where the audience sees that it is more than Manolos and Jimmy Choos. It’s checking the room for honeymoon paraphernalia and stuffing it into your purse, closing the blinds from the world when asked, even if they don’t completely think it’s a good idea. But the most heartwarming thing during the Mexico scene was when Samantha, who can be pretty self absorbed, spoon-fed Carrie in her hour of need. That is more than what a really good friend does. That is what a sister does. That is the gentle gesture of a woman’s power to recuperate.
Because of this time, Carrie is less sore on love. She easily could have traveled down the road of loathing and hate of all things romantic but when her assistant, Louise from St. Louis, comes to the rescue, she is open to Louise’s message of love. Instead of being bitter, as is expected from a woman in her position, she becomes a mentor to the 20-something Louise. Carrie becomes a friend in the big city who gives her incredible advice and Louise helps puts Carrie back together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Carrie sees herself in Louise, the young undamaged woman she once was. That’s when her assistant becomes her “St. Louise”.
The entire movie is a celebration of being a woman, the friendships that save us, the new friends that heal us, and the men we love, despite of themselves
SATC Review by Amanda in Irvine
Women for centuries have been thought of as a subordinate group, constantly fighting against sexism and gender role conflicts. As women we have come a long way in society. Sure, there are still issues we must face and many times we are held to a double standard, but with every passing decade, comes improvement. Being a woman in the 21st century, I am thankful for all those feminists who paved the way so that women are one step closer to being a forceful group in this nation.
Unfortunately, that constant drive to be seen as equal to men has left many women feeling as if being feminine is bad. That is what is so great about Sex and the City: The Movie. It allows women to celebrate their femininity, while still being powerful people. I am a huge fan of the show, and I was amazed at the crowd that this movie drew in. I went to the first showing at midnight. The town was dead silent, but as I emerged from the car I could hear the click, clacking of high heels across the parking lot. I giggled to myself, because only a movie like Sex and the City could encourage women, of all ages, sizes, and races to head to the movies at midnight dressed to the max. Sex and the City celebrates everything that makes us women and feminine. It allows women to feel comfortable with whom they are…women!
The characters show women that you can be sexy without being a sex object. Samantha and Miranda have some masculine tendencies, yet are not afraid to wear stilettos and hot pink every now and then. Even Charlotte, who quit her career to be a full time-mother, maintains a sense of self and strength. She demonstrates that women don’t have to have careers to be powerful, but the freedom to choose is what’s important. Many people were upset with how Carrie allows herself to be treated by Big, but she helps women viewers realize that although you may be an independent, professional woman, you can still fall victim to love. There is an image out there that women have to be hard, non-emotional, and even masculine to be taken seriously in society. Sex and the City shows women that we can be female, be feminine, fall in love, dress up, and still have the freedom to do as we please in life.
As I looked around the sold out theater, I thought “here are independent women, going out to a late show with their girlfriends, and being proud to be a female.” Sex and the City: The Movie gives women four beautiful, powerful role models who are confident with themselves and pass that confidence on to their audience. That’s empowerment – being proud of who you are and proud to be a woman.
Sucked in the City (and the Suburbs Too): A Disappointed SATC Fan’s Movie Review by Faye in Baltimore
I’ve always been an unabashed Sex and the City Fan. I never identified strongly enough with the show’s protagonists to start swilling Cosmopolitans or wearing Manolo Blahniks, but I was a faithful viewer, both during the show’s original run and when it came out on DVD. To me, when you stripped away all the fluff – the crazy clothes, the improbably wacky storylines – you were left with a moving portrayal of four friends who were a close support system for each other. But after seeing Sex and the City: The Movie, I have to ask: who are these women, and why on earth did the producers think I’d want to see two and a half hours of them?
My main objection to this movie was the producers’ decision to take the weakest plotline from the show, Carrie’s masochistic relationship with Big, and make it the focal point of the film. For the record, Sarah Jessica Parker may have been the supposed star of the show, but as the show progressed, Carrie became my least favorite character – which I attribute almost solely to the Carrie-Big relationship. Through six seasons, Big humiliated and hurt her in just about every way possible – refusing to acknowledge her place in his life to his friends or mother; moving to Paris with practically no prior warning; telling her that he would never marry again, and then turning around and marrying someone else about two seconds later; pursuing her when she found a decent boyfriend; encouraging her to open up to him when he was sick, only to reject her the very next morning; and chasing her all the way to Paris when it looked like she was finally over him. But every single time, no matter what he did to her, our “heroine” took him back.
Accordingly, the movie starts with Carrie and Big’s engagement, which apparently was supposed to make me squeal with delight. It didn’t, especially because the setup had Carrie basically proposing to herself. My misgivings were confirmed when –surprise, surprise! – Big leaves her quite literally at the altar, for a convoluted jumble of lame reasons ranging from an offhand comment of Miranda’s to Carrie’s desire for a splashy wedding. The viewers are forced to suffer through Carrie’s agony and shock, which in itself is absurd (was Charlie Brown ever really surprised when Lucy pulled the ball away from him for the fiftieth time?). Even then, a small part of me was hoping that we’d get to see Carrie grow up, realize that Big was the ultimate “toxic bachelor,” to use SATC-speak, and find someone decent.
But no! Carrie ends up blaming herself (and Miranda) for Big’s behavior and, of course, like the idiot she is, takes him back at the end. And THIS is supposed to be our happy ending! I couldn’t say I was surprised, but I was certainly horrified. Big treated Carrie with a complete lack of respect. Even during the show, he only wanted her when she was unavailable. Yet somehow, the fact that Carrie “snags” him is supposed to be romantic, something for women to swoon over. To me, if Carrie would have finally copped on to the fact that she was in a co-dependent relationship with a toxic, selfish user, the result would have been a lot more palatable. As it is, the show killed anything remotely likeable or admirable about her.
Unfortunately, she wasn’t the only one to undergo this treatment. The movie also managed to ruin my favorite character, Miranda. In the show, Miranda was admittedly cynical and could be prickly at times. But she was also clever, funny, a loyal friend, and by the end of the show, a great mother and wife. I like to think the real Miranda is off on an island somewhere with Steve and Brady, because the redhead I saw onscreen was a nasty, judgmental shrew. The movie opens with her constantly lambasting Steve, for no apparent reason; when he cheats (which show Steve would never do), she uses it as an excuse to excise him like an infected boil, never once considering his point of view or the effect their separation might have on their son. By the time she and Steve reunited at the end of the movie, I almost felt sorry for him.
I was hugely disappointed by the way the movie effectively ruined the relationship between the four women. In the show, the women may have had arguments, but they always made up in the end and they always had each other’s backs. It’s hard to remember those times when you see the movie. Carrie is the worst offender, doing everything from laughing at Charlotte (who’s a complete non-entity in the movie) when she has a sudden case of diarrhea, to blaming Miranda in the most abusive manner possible for Big’s defection at the altar, to making snide weight comments to Samantha because she’s gained a few (invisible to us) pounds. Miranda, who isn’t much better, makes an anti-marriage comment to Big at his rehearsal dinner and also joins in the hilarity of making fun of Charlotte and Samantha. Charlotte and Samantha are less offensive but are also pretty much marginal characters in the movie. For a show whose main selling point was the close and supportive relationship between its four main characters, these were pretty shabby moments.
There were so many more problems with the movie, including its reduction of its gay characters to one-minute stereotype appearances and the reeking racist overtones of Jennifer Hudson’s character. However, the movie’s most glaring failures were the promotion of a dysfunctional and hurtful relationship as some sort of romantic ideal, and the presentation of nasty, unsupportive women as “friends.” It’s an affront to mature, successful women with healthy relationships everywhere.
In the movie’s closing song, a peppy pop pastiche, Fergie sings about “Shopping for labels, shopping for love.” The show’s producers did an excellent job of acquiring all the latest fashions. When it comes to the “love” part, though, based on the product they showed, I think they should ask for a refund. I certainly wanted to.