Monday, May 31, 2010

Carrie Bradshaw, SHUT UP!!

SATC, as a franchise, is dead. Instead of a being a funny & possibly touching reunion of aging girlfriends, SATC 2 turned into an episode of The Real Housewives of Abu Dhabi where the moral is: All women adore fashion, fries, Suzanne Summers, & karaoke. Wow, that’s deep. These women have become caricatures of their already outlandish selves. Listening to them complain from the comfort of their all-expense paid luxury vacation was nauseating. Carrie, who was upset with her marriage dynamic, inadvertently nailed it when she referred to herself as a bitch wife who nags Big. If my husband bought me a new flat screen TV so we could watch black & white movies together & spend more time in bed, I’d be happy. Carrie, would you have preferred a man who didn’t want to touch you or stopped coming home at all? Oh, that’s right. You might have, since that would have given you a topic for your column. Seriously, it wasn't a vacuum.

I actually liked the men better in this movie than the women, except for Miranda who tried to make the best of everything and wasn’t the typical, obnoxious American tourist. Big, who is, God forbid, tired from working all day & wants to relax, tries to accommodate his bratty wife, who only softens at the sight of expensive shoes or jewelry. Smith, who’s very famous, makes sure Samantha is credited with establishing his career. Steve is Miranda’s cheerleader, supporting her career move & being a good father. And Harry is there as always. Only Aidan, the proud papa of 3 boys, is made to look a little foolish, which made me angry. Aidan was always too good for Carrie, who repeatedly mistreated him. I don’t believe he’d kiss Carrie like that even far away from friends and family. Spurned lovers can carry secret torches for old flames, but rarely expose themselves to that pain again. Aidan has too much self-respect for that scene.

So why did I see this movie? SATC was never about feminism, unless you think feminism is about self-indulgence & consumerism. Before the HBO version of SATC, we had Ally McBeal, which often had funnier & more compelling characters (especially season 4 with Robert Downey, JR), and BBC’s Absolutely Fabulous with Jennifer Saunders & Joanna Lumley which parodied rich, alcoholic “bitches” in a much funnier and realistic way. I cherish my own group of girlfriends (and you know who you are) who have supported me through relationships, career changes, family issues, & fun, and are much more complex women than these 4. The SATC women were barely 2 dimensional. Miranda was the “neurotic, career-driven woman”; Samantha, the “sex kitten”; Charlotte, the “good girl” (though she got more bone than any Episcopalian I ever met); and Carrie, the what? I was never sure. A whiner in search for the perfect cocktail & lay?  She was never satisfied with anything or anyone—just like the men she supposedly hated. Nonetheless, SATC was fun for several seasons. I enjoyed the frank talk about sex, the NY scenes, and the fashion. That’s what I was looking for in this movie and was deeply disappointed.
At the risk of sounding like Amy Poehler & Seth Meyer’s SNL Really? skit...Stanford & Anthony marry. Really? They tried dating at one point during the series but never really made it as a couple. Guess it gave Liza Minnelli a chance to attend another gay wedding and get enough screen time to keep her SAG card. Islamic Fundamentalism vs. these 4 ladies. Really?  Sounds more dangerous than funny. Why couldn’t they have stayed in NY to show us current, hip clubs or restaurants? Carrie’s big hats, turbans, and 80’s inspired clothes. Really? So ugly. Couldn’t Carrie have become friends with Christian Siriano, our favorite Project Runway winner, so we could have seen his showroom & new line? That would have been a hoot. Samantha makes fun of Ricard Spirt’s name (Dick!) and makes pipe smoking phallic. Really? That would have been funnier in season 1, but is tired & unoriginal now. They should have asked Chelsea Handler, Tina Fey, or Sarah Silverman for some current one-liners. And Charlotte. Really?  If you’re going to wear Valentino while baking cupcakes with your children, you deserve 5-year-old red, candied handprints on your ass. Seriously, people, didn’t you see that one coming?

There were a few genuinely funny & touching moments. Like when Charlotte & Miranda commiserated over how hard it is to be a mother. Or when Aidan talked about his boys. Or the caricature of Carrie Bradshaw in The New Yorker. But that brings me back to my original point: SATC, as a franchise, is dead. Michael Patrick King, who isn’t that inventive of a director, can’t find anything new to say about these ladies. So I suggest he stops so I can remember the nice, tidy way HBO ended the show on the series finale.

Monday, May 10, 2010