MOVIE REVIEW: Sex & the City

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Well, at least I’m not the only gay guy who’s a bit put off by this new Sex & the City movie.

But am I the only one who’s gonna complain about it, then be first in line when the DVD comes out?

Please. In the time it took to type that last remark I thought of at least four of ya’.

While Andrew Sullivan found it long, Anthony Lane agreed concluding it to be a "superannuated fantasy ("Don’t be a mother. And don’t work") posing as a slice of modern life," and Owen Gleiberman found it … just right … I find myself in the latter category, but don’t get me wrong: I did not love it.

The parts I didn’t like about the SATC movie were the gaggingly predictable ones, like when Big didn’t get on his knee the first time he proposed … and Carrie had no problem with it! You know she would have spent at least two episodes whining and crying about it, then, at the very end of the second episode she’d be all swept away when he finally did it so perfectly and formally – but probably in some weird unique setting, perhaps more related to the b-plot of that specific episode.

That little Asian girl was in far too many scenes. We saw less of little red-haired Brady than we did of her – and with him we’d a least invested a small amount of time these past four years wondering what he’d look like. How is it that Little Asia couldn’t go to Mexico but she could sit and watch her mom (and friends) get drunk the night before the wedding?

When Big was all "What’ll they think about me?" when they argued before the wedding: what was up with that?  All along throughout that film, he was all "I just want to be with you." Now, while I can understand how things got too out of hand too fast, there’s no explaining why he’d whip out some wimpy "what about me" argument. No explanation.

And when Miranda told him that marrying Carrie would be dumb: there is absolutely no way in this world she would’ve done that, knowing how non-committal he’d been the past ten years. Sex & the City is nothing without those friendships, so – regardless to what her husband, Steve, did to her (he being perhaps better known to America as Radar from M*A*S*H) – there is no reason why she’d stop and say that to him, of all people. (Hat-tip to Lane and The New Yorker for that “Radar” line. Take a moment now and just guess who he refers to as Dr. Evil.)

Charlotte soiling herself and the humping a dog seemed a bit juvenile.

Yet … close watchers of the TV show will recognize and, I will submit, we should have even expected these lapses. Remember when they tried to make "za-za-zoo" a catchphrase? Or that stupid shrieky side-of-the-mouth look that Heather Graham and her friend from SNL made when they met Carrie after she dumped Aidan? I’m surprised there weren’t more puns – they seemed to be an unrelenting hallmark.

Carrie sleeps for two days straight then unleashes the word “Mexicoma” on us? No, no.  All us girls are too smart for that. Ida’ been like, “either you go back to bed, or I’m bailing right now, and heading out to California to Samantha’s pad so I can make it with that hot STD-riddled neighbor of hers.  And forget about you.”

The relationship between Stanford and Mario Cantone’s character seemed oddly dubious, you think? They hated each other (we know this from the TV show), but they weren’t given enough scenes for us to figure out what was going on there, so I guess we’re to assume they became a couple?

And where WERE all the other gay guys? You know who I mean: the hot ones who have friends who are writers and PR mavens, perhaps even attorneys and gallery docents (that was the most recent thing Charlotte’s done, right?)  I suppose those uppity New York liberals who made this movie – yes I’m talking to you Michael Patrick King – were afraid to put their own lives on screen, thinking everyone outside NY and LA were homophobes. City people are like that. ‘Specially those liberals in the northeast.

Candace Bushnell was signing books in Nashville one time and lambasted the show — because she ain’t making any $$$ off it, right? — by saying it was written by "a gay man and two very unglamorous women." I thought that was funny.  Moreso now, because I suppose we’re free and equipped, as a community, to guess what sort of gay man Michael Patrick is.

For real: it is a great show about friendship, and it made for a great movie-update, set four years later. Maybe would’ve worked better as a TV movie, me wonders. This is exactly what we want from all our favorite TV shows.  I really enjoyed the way the film dealt with age in a way that made everyone of every age range feel good about themselves: the young girls who don’t know what they have to learn yet, the older women who appreciate what they do know now, and the women in their thirties in the thick of it all.

Yet, to be honest, the film made me feel a bit sorry for that 31-year-old single female BFF o’ mine who accompanied me to see this movie. I had to wipe my brow in relief, once we parted ways, as I drove home after.

Sure, it was entertaining … but it ain’t like I just watched MY sorry future unfold on the big screen.