Monday, June 02, 2008

Sex and the City

Of course I saw the Sex and the City movie this weekend, because (didn’t you hear) all gay men were required to do so by law. I’m all about the rules, ya’ll.

Since this blog is a spoiler free zone, my reactions are after the jump…

I hate to be predictable, but I loved it. Since I know you’re not surprised, I’ll steer this towards the stuff I didn’t like about it. Keep in mind that all of these quibbles are just that… quibbles. I LOVED the movie and everything it is and everything it tried to be.

I thought some of the clothes were ATROCIOUS! One of the biggest cogs in the hype-machine for the movie was the costume design shenanigans of Patricia Fields, and she certainly didn’t disappoint. It was definitely a spectacle. While the fashions on display were inspired, some of the clothes were so out there, so unrealistic, so bizarre, that I couldn’t help but open my eyes wide in shock. Frankly, I got distracted from the plot. The worst offense, in my opinion, was the styling of Samantha. She always seemed to be in massive shoulder pads and garish colors. She looked like a fluorescent linebacker. A friend of mine has a theory that they put her in those dramatic, shoulder-enhancing silhouettes to distract us from her apparent weight-gain (which I didn’t notice{mission accomplished?}). Later in the movie, the plot actually draws attention to her paunch – you see, she’s eating all the time because of the sexual rut she’s in with Smith. Yeah, Ok. So maybe there was a point to the GIANT shoulders, but that doesn’t mean I liked them.

Carrie had her fair share of awesomely bad looks, including the blue-feathered monstrosity she put in her hair on the day of her wedding. Remember when those leaked photos came out and everyone was talking about how ugly it all was (not the dress, but the styling), and the PR people tried to tell everyone it was a dream sequence or something. Well, nope. Carrie Bradshaw, a character who supposedly has taste, showed up to her wedding with a giant blue bird in her veil. I know it’s a movie and all, but I KNOW Carrie Bradshaw, and she would never do this. First of all, it takes attention away from her fabulous gown (a Vivienne Westwood). Second… oh screw it, there is no second. It was just ugly. There, I said it.

Anyway, I suppose they had their reasons for that whole wedding scene. Did I mention how awful the other girls looked in it? Maybe the gowns were commentary on the whole affair. They were grotesque, over-the-top, out-of-control… all the things Big couldn’t handle represented in fabric and high heels. If that was the point, then… well played, but still… it hurt my eyes a little bit. They bled fugly, fugly tears.

Alright, alright…let’s not argue (because I know you want to). Yes, Sex and the City is supposed to be fantastic and dramatic and out of this world… an urban fairytale, so I expect the fashions to be challenging and very forward. But where’s the line? I mean, I don’t think any of these women, if they actually existed, would ever want to look goofy… and I’m sorry, sometimes they looked goofy in Pat Field’s creations. Goofy might be an understatement.

Maybe my real issue is how fashion was used in the movie. Obviously, the clothes and the shoes and the labels were hugely important to the show, and I fully supported the obsession, but I can’t recall the show ever being bogged down in it. If anything, fashion was a prop or a symbol, something used to ingratiate the audience into Carrie’s world. Even when Carrie looked, as I said, goofy, it was never so awful that I couldn’t concentrate. (Actually, that’s not true, but I didn’t seem to care. Maybe I’m more immune to hideous clothes in small, 30 minute doses). I felt like the movie was soooo wrapped up in the clothes, that for the first time, the story actually suffered. Basically, it all kind of got out of hand, and if the costumes had been less obtrusive (read: if Pat Field had done a little editing), I might not have been so bothered.

Weirdly, I had no problem when shoes,clothes, or accessories were used as plot devices: Louise’s (from St. Louis) Louis Vuitton (WE GET IT!), Carrie’s apartment-squatting Manolo’s, Samantha’s MASSIVE peeping-tom hat… that’s the stuff I like, and it seemed more in tune to the spirit of the show.

Next! I was slightly disappointed in the treatment of the secondary characters. I mean, I know we can’t really focus on Stanley, or Tony, or Harry, or Magda… but they were used so sparingly, I felt teased. Like, I would have rather not had them at all. No. I don’t really feel that way. If they hadn’t been there, I would have missed them and this would be an entirely different paragraph. And this IS about Carrie and her friends, after all. I guess it’s a huge compliment I would miss the second fiddles so much, while also recognizing the fact that they couldn’t be around because it would take the spotlight away from who really mattered. I will say that I DID NOT appreciate the implication that Stanley and Anthony were now good friends (if not lovers) because that’s… just wrong. On the other hand, if that’s the only way they were going to make it into the movie… so be it.

Can we talk about Jennifer Hudson for just a quick minute? I loved her character. I loved the idea of her story. Buuuutttt, I didn’t like her. It felt uncomfortable, like I was watching a high school drama student bomb in her first production. The acting was soooo bad. I kind of felt sorry for her. On the bright side, she looked fabulous.

Ok, briefly, the things I loved!
1. The clothes (when they were good)
2. Charlotte’s bull-dog face after Carrie assaults Big in the street
3. Charlotte (again), but this time, I’m thinking of her face while she craps her pants
4. The final scene in the closet (I cried a little bit (not gonna lie))
5. Carrie calling Miranda out on the whole forgiveness thing
6. The girls calling Samantha fat
7. The wedding dress montage
8. One word: Dante

Really, I loved every minute of it. I don’t even know why I complained before. I take it all back. So CHEERS Queers, and all the drunk, middle-aged women who got tanked on Cosmos before coming to the theatre. Can’t wait until next time (you just know there’s going to be a sequel).


Erin G said...

I'm not ignoring this post, I just haven't seen the movie yet, so I have to come back and read it later. They made such a big deal about keeping all the secrets of the movie that I'm there really ARE good surprises in there, and I don't want to find out about them early. I'll be back, chica, I promise.

Erin G said...

you think there will be a sequel? I don't know....

I just watched it this afternoon, and I didn't find the clothes (except the bird) distracting at all. I didn't LOVE them, I just didn't pay attention to them that much.

I have to say a couple of things:
1.) I'm almost disappointed that carrie and big worked it out. I liked seeing them happy at the beginning, but when big flipped on the wedding day, it seemed more true to character. if they had eneded up together, I wish it hadn't been in such concrete terms.

2.) I love that charlotte got so pissed a big. but seriously, she's the only one in the movie without a "problem" to overcome (learning to run while you're pregnant does NOT count). I feel like the writers jilted her a little. her biggest problem was pants-crapping.

3.) I don't understand stanley and anthony. are they together? I liked the grudging new years kiss, but NOT if it caused a lasting romance. ick.

4.) My jaw dropped to the floor. TO THE FLOOR. when steve said he slept with someone else. did not see that coming. kudos to the surprising (yet believable) plot twist. not so much the brooklyn bridge scene. a little over the top.

5.) I reallt liked carrie in the movie. she was kind of annoying me by the end of the show (too flirty, too girly, acting too young and thinking it was cute when it wasn't) - and the movie WAY corrected that. I liked seeing her act like the capable intelligent grownup that her character was supposed to be.

Anyway, LOVED it. You should buy me this dvd for christmas. and I will buy it for you too.

Reeva*Dubois said...

The Christmas DVD exchange sounds like a plan!

We'll pour a glass of wine (or 12) and watch it together!