01 June 2008

Review: Sex and the City


Genre: Drama / Romance

O, I knew it all the moment when I saw that horrible tagline, "Get 'Carried' away," and - believe me when I say - rarely in my life have I ever come as close to so accurately predicting the content and the quality of a new piece as I have done this time, for this sassy and unsubstantial adaptation of the popular former television series Sex and the City.
Indeed, Sex and the City the film(2008) was, as I entirely expected (see my post on this summer's most anticipated films from early May), nothing more than a slim and transparent excuse for the familiar girls of the series to get back together one last time, to hang out and to look fabulous amidst each other and their perpetual backdrop, New York City, and do absolutely nothing else. One half vapid to the extreme and the other half chokingly maudlin, the film if it means anything only downgrades the remembered regard for the series one may have had before venturing into the theater, and to be sure it did so for me to such an extent, that I doubt now whether any respect for the series as an artwork (other than a fashion venue) was ever appropriately held...by anyone...ever. I mean, hello - did they even try to write a decent screenplay, or were banal fashion montages, overshadowed by pop hits from the 80s and today, enough for the executives, who seem to have envisioned this project as nothing more than a for-sure cash cow? And the same sentiments go for the editing and the directing of the film as well.
In fact, the only intelligence/cleverness that I did see in the playing of the film was one which I'm not even sure was done on purpose - and, if it was done on purpose, the doing was sardonic and subliminal and probably by a resentful writer who foresaw that the intended degree of substance for the film was somewhere between lace and cappuccino foam: that is, the ever-dawdling presence of the children as aside and choral-like characters, silently commenting on and criticizing the whims and the fickle, unreasoned, and often unbridled emotions of these supposedly mature and cosmopolitan women who, having endured the many tribulations that trying to find love in the city over the years has impressed upon them, nevertheless whimper and whine worse than children and continue to parade about, after only glitz and glamor, as clueless and directionless about the real matters like themselves and their own identities as they appear to be about actually finding love and making a relationship work with another person. And therein likely lies the problem.
So, that said, after ten years of watching these characters fuck up, have experiences, and then never really learn or grow (as people who have experiences do), I'm completely done with and far beyond tolerating their at this point redundant mistakes and childish drama. As far as my opinion may go, they've worse than been static: They've actively regressed; and the fact that the one interesting part in the film is the twenty-something assistant (played well by Ms. Jennifer Hudson, a surprise as the breath of fresh air in a film) who offers sound advice to the double-her-age-also-her-boss-and-yet-somehow-still-less-mature 'icon' Carrie Bradshaw, is only further confirmation of this, the level of absolute silliness that the characters as creative media have reached. I mean, how on earth is Carrie with that temper and level of emotional awareness and maturity believably supposed to be making in her reality a living being a guru on anything even close to relationships? (Really, tell me; I'd like to know.) Ugh, grow up, girls; you're celebrating a 50th birthday as we last see you and that's about 20 years late to be still just trying on the big-girl shoes. Call me again when you actually buy a pair.

Grade: Abysmal but for the fashion (which was good, Ms. Fields, but frankly you've done better [e. g., in the TV series and in The Devil Wears Prada]), a woeful D+.

P. S. As a shockingly scary afterthought: O, god, what if the film's characters are accurate depictions of the average levels of emotional, interpersonal, and intrapersonal maturities reached by adult women today? A!

P. P. S. I'm recognizing that the more I think about this film, the worse I find it really is. It wasn't even internally consistent! Carrie cheated on Aidan years ago - where was Miranda's facistically extreme vituperation and extirpation then? Shouldn't one's moral principles and coordinated reactions apply to every and all situations, not just to some based on whether or not the situation be convenient? Furthermore, Carrie fucking threw up herself the first time when she was confronted with marriage; so, how could she seriously react so strongly against Big's comparatively civil qualms and uncertainty this time around? And - best of all - the woman who knows who she is and what she wants better than anyone, Samantha throws away her incredibly healthy relationship with Smith for the completely artificial reason that she's become psychologically confused as a result of his temporarily busy schedule?!? Absurd!! I'm officially docking my grade a fraction of a point: This film now ranks a D. Let's see if I find a reason to make it go any lower.

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