It would be easy for me to mock the film of Sex and the City, but it would also be unfair. I’m not a member of the audience it is meant for and it is reasonable to expect many people to approach this film with real anticipation and for them to get a lot out of it. I’m not narrowing this field down to “women” or “gay men” or whatever, I’m narrowing it down to a highly specific demographic: fans of the original series. I don’t really think there is a more general appeal – if you didn’t watch the series, there is no point in coming to these characters so late in the game and expecting to feel much of anything for what goes on.
I didn’t watch the series – well, almost. I saw one episode, or some of one, which I still remember quite clearly and which I thought was rather good, all things considered. The story – at least, the bit that stuck with me – concerned the slapper… okay, “Samantha”, I know her name, sue me …met her actual perfect man, fell in love with him before having sex, only to discover his penis was so small that she couldn’t detect penetration; and the ramifications where powerful for her because, with sex such an important aspect of her relationships, she felt shallow (no punning please, I am actually trying to be serious) being unable to commit to him when frankly she wasn’t, as I imagine many people might feel the same. Well written, I thought way back then; but even though the small willy episode was now safely out of the way, I didn’t feel the need to tune in again because it didn’t really speak to me that strongly. I felt exactly the same way about ER: it seemed like quality, but not really my thing.
So, what do we have now? Well, superficially, SATC * is a bog-standard Romantic Comedy, but one with surprisingly little romance after the initial burst and a serious dearth of comedy – I didn’t actually laugh (at, that is, an intended humorous element) until 1hr 45mins, and although I timed it so I wouldn’t forget I can’t for the life of me remember what it was (correction: it was a ringing telephone). But, in a nut shell, this is the story of the luckiest little girl in the world, who nearly doesn’t get everything she ever wanted, but then does. Wish fulfilment? I think it might be. Does it have any depth or lessons to teach us? No.
What it DOES have, and what I practically howled at the screen over, is a spectacular contrivance without which the film would end within the hour – reason enough right there to excise it, in my humble. Just… PATHETIC. And, even allowing the *cough*CONTRIVANCE*cough* to occur – as if, in this day and age, and in New York, which is hardly the fucking wilderness, a groom couldn’t find a way to contact his bride on the big day, even if two of her friends weren’t fucking obsessed with making it go smoothly, what, does he only have ONE number on his mobile? AS IF the redheaded one wouldn’t have had a fucking SWAT team shadowing his every move, AS IF she wouldn’t have had THIRTY fucking mobile phones grafted to the face and hands of all involved weeks in advance, JUST IN CASE a little girl possessed by Loki, the trickster God on the Norsemen, deliberately hid a vital piece of communications equipment on the big day – OH, PISS OFF. As a piece of “plotting”, it’s so weak as to deserve the writing team to receive an elephantine violation of the anal tract, or oral tract, or both, at great length, and at great breadth.
The upshot of which is an extra HOUR AND A HALF of feminine moping prior to the inevitable wedded climax and hugs and kisses all round and please GOD tell me this shit is finally finished. Plus there is the ludicrous apparent message that “labels don’t matter”, after we sit through extended labeling scenes. The first time we see the heroine, she’s wearing the most fucking ridiculous dress, it looks like it’s got a dried white poppy the size of a wagon wheel on the front, probably made of the tanned hide of some recently dead fashion designer’s back. And from that moment on it’s all, “Yves Saint Vuitton and Louis Laurent, blah blah blah, and OH WAIT, labels don’t matter” – Fuck Off.
Or, is that message “happiness is a warm Sugar Daddy”? My special lady was getting annoyed from the outset; how do ordinary people relate to these people who casually buy penthouse suites with their pocket change and have fucking designer wedding dresses GIVEN to them, by the designer herself, at the drop of an exquisite hat? she was effectively saying in her sexy accent; but she was preaching to the choir – I didn’t want to watch this nonsense in the first place. The whole thing is just a big fantasy, designed to make the girls feel happy.
…but then there’s the body fascism. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I look at what passes for a belly on my girlfriend and I think, “mmmm” and then I look at it some more. Samantha appears with a near identical bulge (I can’t think of another word for “bulge” to do justice to the smallness of the overhangs in question) and someone screams “you fat cow” in her face. Is it any wonder I spend my evenings saying “No, you aren’t, you look great, and No, it’s not too big, it’s bloody magnificent, bring it here,” and so on, but in vain, in vain… And there’s the much repeated bikini line hilarity, look, body hair – so funny… Man, I’m so pissed off just thinking about it all again I’m going to have to start taking the piss out of it.
But before I do, HERE’s the real problem. This isn’t a film. And, it isn’t an episode of Sex and the City stretched out to the length of a film. What it is, is an entire series of Sex and the City, which at 20 plus episodes per season amounts to something like ten hours of material, crushed down into about 130 minutes. I’m not exaggerating. There is the pregnancy storyline; the moving in together storyline; the infidelity storyline; the on-off-on wedding storyline; the holiday in the sun grieving interlude storyline; the new ethnic friend and colleague storyline; and the post-menopause, post-romantic-satisfaction, uncontrollable-fuck-urge storyline (which belongs to… well, guess) – all roughly kicked together until they fit, except they couldn’t possibly. It’s like if you sit on a hot dog and all the good stuff squirts out both ends, leaving you with a squashed, soggy, empty bread roll. Unsatisfying. This “film” should be Season 7 of the series. If it was, it would probably be bloody brilliant. But as it is, it is very not.
* Oh yeah – giggle: when the film’s logo-title sashays onto the screen, letter by letter, all pink and glittery and swirling all over the place, I could have sworn the first four to appear were S, H, I and T… they weren’t, but a boy can dream, oh yes, a boy can dream…