Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Movie Review - Sex and the City 2

Sex and the City 2

Dear Reader, I rarely show enthusiasm for anything.  I like to blame it on my heritage and upbringing – because being stoic is considered a virtue.  But in all fairness, being stoic does not appeal to me; for example, if I was really a stoic, I would be even tempered.  No, I rarely show enthusiasm because I am afraid that once when the world learns of my excitement, the world – like a cruel lover, takes it away and sends me an invoice for the balance.  But even operating under such a paradigm, I had to admit, I was damn excited for Sex and the City.  So excited, that I even tried to corral legions of fans to a watching with me.  Like a lovesick teenager waiting in homeroom for her crush, I was eagerly anticipating the sexual exploits of Samantha, the Pollyanna chirps from Charlotte, the cosmopolitan insight of Carrie, and the bitchy but familiar vocal ejaculations of Miranda.  Well Dear Reader, none of that occurred.  All that waiting was all for naught: there was no “City,” for most of the movie inexplicably took place in Dubai; and there was no sex – any burning in one’s loins was replaced by a mild stirring in a teapot.  I wish, oh how I wish that this movie was taken away from me. 

I have two rules with movies: make me care, and the characters must be consistent.  The first rule is probably a universal rule between all moviegoers.  If you don’t care about the characters, you don’t care about the movie.  A recent example where I stared at the screen agog with adoration for its characters was Pixar’s “Up.”  The movie had me at its first fifteen minutes.  I was particularly invested in one character that had ten lines for a brief period.  When she exited the stage, I was an emotional wreck.  The dust and cobwebs that clogged my tear ducts were actually washed away.  My body was warm, my chest heaved in anticipation.  Please live.  Please.  "Up" made me love. 

On a more personal rule, and one that I am sure not everyone holds in high regard, is that the characters of a story must be consistent.  Now you think this would be a universal rule, but Dear Reader, please explain the inane popularity of “Will & Grace.”  Karen was usually the greedy harlot with very little redeeming quality, until the writers need a plot foil, and then she was as pious as Christ.  Or Will, the level headed attorney who always placed profession before romance.  Unlike Jack, Will was the stoic homosexual who could never get a date because of his social awkwardness.  Well, that is Will, until he consciously makes a bevy of poor professional decisions and seems to get a date betwixt every episode. 

These are my rules.  Oh sure there are other things, like my disdain for cookie-cutter plots (See anything Michael Bay), or illogical plot devices (See another Michael Bay movie, “Transformers.” Why the Decepticons should choose to engage in a war rather than just buy the glasses through Ebay still gives me conniptions).  But there are often times where I can disregard an inane story and still watch a movie with rapt eyes and captivated attention (See most Stephen Chow movies, especially “Kung Fu Hustle”).   My rules are simple, make me care, and respect my intelligence by being consistent.  Sex and the City 2 violate these two rules.

I just don’t care about characters' problems.  I don’t care if Miranda has a bitch boss.  I don’t care that Samantha is having menopause problems.  I don’t care about Charlotte’s children.  And I don’t care that Carrie is having buyer’s remorse.  But here is the rub, under a more skilled hand, I would have cared.  We have all been placed in those situations (maybe not menopause, but there are universal and parallel similarities that could be used as an example).  But the problem with this movie is that all those universal and weighty issues, are manifested within 2 minutes.  Miranda doesn’t like her new boss, so within the first 15 minutes of the movie – she quits.  Charlotte is having all these problems at home, so she goes to Dubai for a trip.  Nothing in the movie is fleshed out.  One may argue, if we were to engage in a detailed character exposition, the movie would last forever.  That may be the case, but “The Queen” starring Helen Mirren, which was essentially two hours of character exposition, never seemed to linger - and I was more familiar with Miranda than I was with Elizabeth!  More importantly, the argument that the movie would be too long is a specious one at that.  In 15 mins of “Up” I cared, why couldn’t I care about Carrie in two and a half hours?      

Yes, the writers could have fleshed out the lives of the girls we loved so much.  We haven’t heard from them in years.  But instead of catching up with dear friends at a coffee shop, the writers tried to give us sexual rendezvous between two horny homosexuals.  And what a fag’s wet dream this movie was.   Liza Minnelli inexplicably spent a good 5 minutes singing “All the Single Ladies” at a stereotypically gay (there were fucking swans!) wedding.  Five jokes were puzzlingly wasted on Samantha’s servant, an ever increasing effeminate one at that.  And the most gag inducing were the countless times men were enigmatically seen waving at the girls whenever the camera would pan out.  I understand the spirit of “Sex and the City.”  Its qualities naturally appeals to the gay aesthetic: Gucci, abs, bitchiness, and sisterhood.  But when you sacrifice the important things, when bitchy comments are sacrificed in lieu of what an adolescent homosexual would consider entertaining, we no longer have “Sex and the City;” we have “Queer as Folk.”        

And consistency – my God!  Carrie, mysteriously changes.  She doesn’t want to stay at home. She wants to maintain the “sparkle.”  Forget the fact that she selfishly wants Mr. Big to go to a party on a MONDAY night, she doesn’t even want to stay at home with him at all.  Forget Seasons 1-3, 5 and 7, where all she wanted was for him to spend the night.  Or what about Charlotte, who finally gets the children she wants, but then finds out it is kind of tough being a mother.  So what does she do?  She agrees, after 30 seconds of goading from the other girls and goes to ever woman-friendly Dubai.  The mythos was destroyed.  Sure there were nice clothes, and hot men, but the characters were no longer the characters I watched for a decade. This movie was a cancer, an irrevocable and terminal one at that. There was no Sex, there was no City;  just a bunch of teenage fags writing a script. 

1 comment:

  1. Gee, Eric, you saved me $10! I didn't like the first movie for many of the same reasons you detailed above and think I should just start re-watching the series rather than go see the new movie! Though I am worried that if my teenage roommate watches too much Sex and the City it could have serious consequences!