Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Sex and the City, Part Two

Before I saw Sex in the City II, I imagined writing a long, insightful post about it. Instead, I came out of the movie not feeling much of anything. Then I forgot about it.

But I made a commitment, so here's as much energy as I feel it deserves. This movie took a stab at showing that motherhood is hard, every married couple is different and gets to make their own rules and getting the "sparkle" back in a relationship isn't easy. But it missed an opportunity to comment on immigrant workers, showed three women in their 40's and one in her 50's trying too hard to look 30 and was full of so many bad puns, I was wincing ("This isn't an intervention. It's an inter-friend-shun.") The ridiculous costume changes didn't bother me nearly as much as the hyper-self-absorption of Carrie and the way her friends prioritized her relationship angst over their own self-preservation (Miranda is working to keep Samantha out of an Arabian jail and Charlotte and Carrie are talking about a kiss with Aidan?). I know the TV show was always centered on Carrie, but the TV plotlines didn't have someone's dire circumstances competing for airtime. This movie took the Carrie-focus too far.

The biggest missed opportunity of this movie was the chance to show women aging gracefully. When your 40-something body looks like it's been over-exercised and starved to fit into size 2 clothes, it's time to switch from a sleeveless sheath into clothes that flatter your body, rather than contain it. All those scrawny (yet sagging) upper arms looked painfully worked out and the clothes didn't look comfortable at all. I'm 43 (44 later this month) and I felt a bit insulted. Is it not okay to look middle-aged? Samantha has been a champion of high self-esteem all along. Was it all based on her youthful looks? How disappointing if her unflagging confidence falls apart when she can no longer pass for 40.

But I doubt we'll have to witness that since they'd be crazy to make a third film after the sad showing of this one. And now I'm done, having spent way more attention on this film than it deserved.

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