Thursday, February 14, 2008

We Can't Wait #10 Sex and the City: The Movie

Directed by Michael Patrick King
Starring SJP and the girls
Synopsis The plot is secret -- as it should be
Brought to you by Darren Star Productions, HBO, New Line and the collective public inability to let go
Photos in this post from Just Jared and google searches
Expected Release Date May 30th, 2008

Nathaniel: Sex & The City: The Movie or as I like to call it Season Seven. In which Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha (Kim Catrall), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) deal with their husbands, boyfriends, children and (presumably) Carrie's wedding.

Naturally they're guarding the plot details but it's never really about the story anyway. I often think that it should be Patricia Field's name above the title when it comes to Sex & The City rather than whoever is directing and starring. So, this post will be illustrated with costumes from the movie.

A strange thing happened when I asked my guests to choose costumes and play dress up. I thought they'd have fun with the assignment. Instead they ignored me, opting to renew the primary debate about the series: are these women for real ??? My blog buddies got so into the debate, ignoring my joy at the frivolous fashion eye candy that I eventually lost the thread of who was saying what to whom. But here's most of it...

MaryAnn: I can't freakin' stand Sex and the City. I hate those women, I don't know any women like them, and I desperately want to smack them all.

All of these photos (except 7/8 -- 7's kinda nice, and I could probably actually pull that off) prove that fashion is a scam pulled on women, a joke by men who hate women to make women look ridiculous. No. 9 is what I'd wear if I wanted to feel like an awkward, uncomfortable teenager again, like everyone's looking at me and laughing at me.

Gabriel: MaryAnn, you're under the mistaken impression that Sex & the City's four female characters are women. They are not...or at least, not women in any sense of reality; the world of the show and the movie is brilliantly and blatantly fabricated, a weaving of iconography and fantasy (and let's admit it, stereotype) into a big, gay, silly, romantic, fabulous comic confection.

And as an actual gay man -- albeit a sartorially-challenged one -- I I love S&tC's excesses, its totally rejection of reality, the mythic New York it barely conceals as a sugary fantasy playland for adults...like Oz or Middle Earth, but with great restaurants. The actresses are great, the clothes are jaw-droppingly out there (bad AND good), and the writers remember the all-important rule to avoid taking itself too seriously.

As for which outfit I want to wear, I'll take #3...I love flowers that are bigger than my head, that look more like physical defects than fashion accoutrements.

MaryAnn: Well, yes, I know that the women are actually gay men. But not everyone realizes that. You can't believe how many people think that my life -- because I'm a single woman in New York City -- *must* be like that of the characters on this show. Fairly or not, these characters have come to be symbolic of my generation, and I hate that.

Glenn: My email browser isn't allowing me to open the Sex and the City entry so I can't see the fabulous/hideous costumes that Nat prepared for us (seriously, why do I still use Yahoo? seriously, why does Carrie wear the things she does?) But I will say this - As a young gay Australian who has romanticised New York City to the point of exhaustion - even I can realise that the series was, for the better part, not exactly accurate. But there I think is where lies the charms of the show. Who wants to watch a show about four moderately interesting women who maybe go to a bar once a week and who - SHOCKHORROR! - wear the same outfit more than once? Not I! I approach the movie with trepidation because, let's face it, it's entirely unnecessary, but then I watch an episode of the show and it's like "THAT is how you write a comedy, folks" and get all excited. I'm so easily swayed.

Joe: Oh I don't think it was a very well-written show. So many groaning punchlines and Carrie's bizarre borscht belt tendencies and those endless goddamn puns. To the degree that I enjoyed the show (and I did) it was definitely a guilty pleasure.

Glenn: But a "guilty pleasure" implies that it isn't particularly good and the general consensus with Sex and the City seems to be that it was indeed very good. I guess I just like artificiality. Don't get me wrong, I like a gritty realistic drama as much as the next person, but if I wanted everything I watch to be a true reflection on real life then I'd pretty much have to stop watching films and TV altogether except for perhaps the occasional Alkinos Tsilimidos movie and documentaries, which is not something I particularly want.

MaryAnn: Is there no middle ground between absurd, outrageous fantasy and gritty reality?

Glenn: It reminds me of the people who have complained that the character of Juno doesn't sound like anybody in real life. Well, I can't imagine anyone saying something like "fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night," but I don't see people complaining about that. I'm sure there could be a great show about NYC women who aren't Carrie Clones but would people watch it? I imagine Sex and the City without the ridiculous fashion and the barhopping would be like Law & Order without a murder. Not very interesting.

MaryAnn: I live in New York and I get tired of seeing it romanticized -- not that I don't love this town to bits, but, you know, not all of us live in 4000-square-foot apartments on the Upper West Side -- and I'd really like to see a show that's realistic about women's lives. I think real women can be more than just "moderately interesting" without being gay men in disguise.


Nathaniel: And the conversation continued from there with some good points made, splintering off into various e-mails not all of which I seem to have been copied on and trying to piece them together I became completely confused. Oh Carrie, you troublemaker!

Soooo, readers. Will you be Carried away this summer? Get out your deepest feeling about the divisive series in the comments or choose a costume to imagine wearing - Tell us which one (hence the numbers), how it makes you feel, and where you'd go when you're wearing it ~ You know you want to!

the countdown
#1 Synecdoche, New York / #2 Burn After Reading / #3 Australia / #4 Milk / #5 Blindness / # 6 Doubt / #7 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button / #8 Revolutionary Road / #9 The Dark Knight / #10 Sex & The City: The Movie / #11 The Lovely Bones / #12 Wall-E / #13 Stop-Loss / #14 The Women / #15 Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince / Introduction / Orphans
*

35 comments:

Nick Davis said...

I would wear #1 over to MaryAnn's house to tell her how much I completely agree with her about this show, and how utterly un-charming I have found it almost every time I have tried to watch it. (Admittedly, I liked when Samantha kept that baby asleep with the vibrator.) But if you take Cynthia Nixon outta this thing, I'd have literally no one to be interested in, and even with her, I'm beyond tentative. But I guess I'll see it. And then I'll sprint to MaryAnn's review.

Anonymous said...

I'll probably skip this one. I'd go the other way around and see a TV series of a movie I'd like to see more of, but a 2 hour version of something I've already seen hours of?

One thing I never realized watching the series is what a fabulous narrator Sarah Jessica Parker is. Other narration can be so bad (like the insufferably twee Desperate Housewives narration). Parker kept it fresh and lively for a long time.

I

James Henry said...

I've never seen an episode of this show, but I'm definitely seeing this one. Why? Because Miss Jennifer Hudson makes her post-Dreamgirls appearance and I am pumped. I just hope she has a big-ish role and completely nails it to silent the nay-sayers. Is no one else excited for this?

Anonymous said...

What I'M tired of is women who are critical of this show because it's not "realistic" enough. It's not SUPPOSED to be realistic. No one watching it ever thinks so! I was a naysayer along with some others, but then I watched the show from the beginning and got really invested in the characters. The reason it was such a success (other than clothes, etc) was because women could sometimes relate to the situations the 4 women found themselves in. It was funny as hell, too!
That being said, I absolutely can't wait for this movie!! I don't even care if it's terrible, I'll still love it!

par3182 said...

i loved the show when it was on but i really have no desire to see the film (not even for a cynthia nixon fix). even the reruns seem incredibly dated to me now

steve said...

Ah, I loved the bad puns! Felt exactly like some jokey sex column that would show up in "The New York Sun" - that's what the paper was called, right?

When I lived in NYC, I thought the show was the shit (I still do) - it nails the aura of the city, even if the particulars aren't quite right. Although, I lived on the Lower East Side, so the atmosphere was a little different.

Anyway, I'm excited for the movie, but I can't imagine what they could do for dramatic tension that wouldn't piss me off. Charlotte and Harry break up? I'll be pissed. Miranda and Steve break up? I'll be pissed. Samantha and Smith? Pissed. I guess I'm not really married to the Carrie-Big relationship, so whatever happens there, happens.

steve said...

Yikes, I just remembered that "The Sun" is a real paper. So I think the paper was "The Star"?

jessica said...

This kind of reminds me of when British people complain about all those Hugh Grant movies because they're 'fantasy' and 'nobody really acts like that here.' On the one hand I can sympathize with not wanting something close to you to be portrayed in an unrealistic way. But on the other hand, these are the types of movies/TV shows that most people realize are not realistic, wherever they're set. They're meant to be fantasies.

adrian said...

it's totally unnecessary and I am nervous it will be horrible but I'll be there front and centre on the first day in outfit number 3. It's a pretty darn fab wedding dress (but pity the poor person sitting behind me in the theatre). It's the one show i really really miss and i can't wait

E Dot said...

Love it. I did a thorough analysis of a good chunk of the outfits on my blog last month. Stop by the following link for my analysis.

http://mzrevenge.blogspot.com/2008/01/fashion-road-kill.html

Anonymous said...

My feelings about this movie: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

- cal roth

Michael Parsons said...

Lets face it. We will have this or Norbit 2 to choose from. AT LEAST THERE IS AN OPTION.

Anonymous said...

well believe it or not sex and the city was a groundbreaking show..it showed sex in comedic way, it showed fashion in a comedic way too, it gave new york a soul...I think that it gave new york a bigger grandeur than what it is famous for..and that is something.
sorry for my english, but I am not from america.

Kat said...

I'm very much in agreement with Adrian. Not sure why they're making a movie now, but I'm still going to show up. At the very least I have got to see it so I can judge in what context outfit No. 9 was deemed to be acceptable fashion for Carrie!

Julia said...

The part of me that loved the series back in college is DYING to see this movie. I loved the fashion and thought the writing was hilarious (even if a bit cliche). And yes, I was even able to look beyond the problems with the unrealistic nature of the program to find a genuine portrayal of friendship between women.

AND THEN...I moved to Manhattan. As a 20-something female in NYC, I realize that many within my age group are desperately seeking to be "Carrie"...they quote SATC relentlessly, wear ridiculous heels & cultivate obscene shoe habits, and essentially try to pigeonhole everything in their lives into the series. So, while I still enjoy the series, the love has diminished because of the way I see it bastardized everyday.

mrripley said...

how dare someone compare the brilliance of bette davis as margo channing to bloody juno,margo channing does not speak like that all the time it is a claim of defiance and foreboding,juno just speaks hipster speak the entire movie is the such a word as "expenentially" as in 1 the worst lines of the film "all those thing would be expenentially better".

Catherine said...

Mrripley - the word is exponentially.

I'm not as terrified/excited about this as everyone else, because it was kind of before my time. I don't have any great affection for it, but I do enjoy the occasional rerun when I catch them. SJP sometimes does my head in, but I have to give her props for making herself into a fashion icon with such ...unusual features.

The Liz said...

The best thing about SATC was the female friendship. No one wanted to admit it, but those women really loved each other and unfortunately weren't lesbians, so they had to go look for men to scratch their sex itch. That said, their dating life is my idea of hell. How did no one on that show have an STD (besides Charlotte with the crabs)???

Whatever, it's complete fluff. And I covet Carrie's shoes in #1. Good Lord those are hot.

Anonymous said...

I loved "Sex and the City" when it was on the air, I still adore the show now, and I'm pretty much on pins and needles waiting for the feature film to come out in May. I have the complete DVD set that I watch whenever I'm in the mood for some biting comedy or just miss the gals. The pictures look amazing -- Patricia Field is a rock fashion goddess. Haters be damned, bring on the movie already! I need Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte back in action strutting down Manhattan in their Manolos again!

Anonymous said...

haha, e dot, i went to your page and loved your breakdown of the outfits. hilarious!!! i agree with our love/hate relationship with the outfits.

- jen

Anonymous said...

#9 better be some kind of joke or decoy to throw people off with. Love ya Sarah Jessica, but jeebus, that's a hot mess of a get-up. That's not even "Project Runway"- worthy.

mrripley said...

exponantially what does it mean and who in the world apart from some hack trying to write hip dialogue use it in a sentence oh my god i am exponentially rambling i am so exponentially sorry but i s til ladore the exponentially gorgeous nat and his exponentially hip website!

Anonymous said...

when people say gay men dress up women to look hideous i hate it is patricia field's a woman or is it just me!!!

Alex said...

No offense, but except for Stop-Loss this series sucks so far. And how can it be a "We Can't Wait" list when it's clear that not all of the panel is excited to see it, and clearly can wait for it.

NATHANIEL R said...

Well, Alex... Obviously in a group situation not everyone will agree. It'd be kind of boring if they did.

Alison Flynn said...

I adored this show. I'll probably see the film.

No, it's not realistic for someone like me. But it is realistic for people in a certain social class and circle, with a certain amount of income (or a trust fund).

It all depends on your point of view.

sean said...

im only excited 2c this 4 jennifer hudson to be honest! cant wait 2 find out if she was a one trick pony or if she has stayin power!

speakin of this show being unrealistic, as some1 from ireland iv always heard that apartments in manhattan are wickedly expensive so is it totally ludicrous that these 4 have such amazing apartments??? thats always bothered me so any new yorkers wanna help me out??

NATHANIEL R said...

the apartments they live in are ludicrous yet. Those are easily million dollar apartments.

but other than Carrie they all were fairly well to do even towards the beginning of the series, so it's nothing like the FRIENDS business where you have 2 bedroom apartments with a view shared by intermittently out of work people. that was insane

NATHANIEL R said...

rent in manhattan is all over the map of course but it's tough to find a studio for less than $1000 a month... and most of the apartments you see in movies are 2 or 3 bedrooms which means they would be going for thousands.

NATHANIEL R said...

SORRY god i'm chatty today. basically that apartment at the end of ELECTION (1999) that Matthew Broderick lives in. That's more realistic for big city living ;)

Anonymous said...

Uh, doesn't Carrie look a little like "Gozer" from 'Ghostbusters' in #9? What a shit-eous outfit!

I remember one episode where Carrie said she paid $750/month for her rent-controlled apartment. While that's a bargain rate for a spacious midtown flat -- and it didn't seem like she made all that much from her column (at least until the book and movie deals) -- I never doubted it since she probably lived there for at least a decade (when rents were still relatively affordable).

Miranda and Samantha were obviously successful in their own right, but how on earth could Charlotte ever afford her place? Art curators don't earn that much money, do they?

M

steve said...

Wait... when did 'exponentially' become anything other than a normal word?

Rich Aunt Pennybags said...

I'm not excited for this film even though I did enjoy the series from time to time because there just doesn't seem to be a need for it other than maybe an excuse to look at the outfits again. I thought that all the storylines were pretty much wrapped up at the end of the series, and have no desire to see a relatively conflict free film since if they do try to break up any of the couplings, they'll just be back together again at the end of the movie.

Plus, while she was fine during the first part of the series, somewhere along the way, Carrie became one of the most annoying lead characters ever. I mean she's totally up there with Dawson Leery and even Lana Lang (although the latter technically isn't the lead character no matter how hard the writers of that show try to convince everyone sometimes). I don't expect it to be realistic about how they can possibly live that way, but at least make Carrie less of a selfish person, so I don't wonder why she has three great friends when she's such a bitch to them like the whole "paper covers rock" episode.

Anonymous said...

I watched the show to be 'carried' away, live a fantasy, etc. But after watching the extended trailer, if they really are planning on breaking up all the relationships, I'll save my money and watch something else. There's enough 'real' life crap going on in the world, without having to pay to see it happen in a movie.

Anonymous said...

Any word on the street yet re: the premiere or special events surrounding the movie? My daughter & I will be in NYC at the end of May and hope to see it while there.