Sex and the Shitty 2: A Movie Review

May 30th, 2010 → 5 Comments

                                                          Kill them now.

Spoiler alert.

I caught on to Sex and the City the way I caught on to New Kids on the Block, way after everyone else. Specifically on DVD, long after the series ended.  Watching those DVDs on my laptop was a gold mine of chick crack– fashion, friendships, and Carrie’s snappy articulations on modern relationships.   Still, I am not quite the SATC superfan.   (I am an undersexed version of Samantha, with the neurotic tendencies of Miranda, the naive life experiences of Charlotte, and the writerly curiosity of Carrie… but NOT a superfan…. ahem…)  Real SATC superfans are the women who gathered in packs of four, toasting cosmos and wearing Manolos for the midnight premiere screening of the first SATC movie.  Need I tell you that Sex and the City is to single women what Star Wars was to male virgins?

I couldn’t help but think as years later I watched this staple of 1998-2004 pop culture on DVD that I had missed out key rite of passage for American women.

Why’d I miss out on SATC in real time?  Because from 1998-2004, while women everywhere were living their lives through Carrie, I was hawking the clothes off my back on Ebay to pay my gas bill.   Cable TV was a luxury I couldn’t afford because unlike Carrie, my writing career didn’t buy me Versace bags, 24/7 cab rides to the best restaurants in Manhattan, nor the apartment on the upper west side.

But now, six years later, I’m making a living wage and living large in a condo in Koreatown, I’m finally getting around to pretending like my life is a non-profit version of Sex and the City (sans any decent dating options).

Shitty trailer and all, Sex and the City 2 was my last chance be part of the SATC phenomenon in real time. At long last, I would be initiated into the frivolities of pop culture womanhood I’d been denied for so long. Marie Reine, my only single girlfriend available for a Friday matinee (she’s a Miranda, btw) proceeded with me on our pilgrimage to the Regal Cinemas where we waited in line with quad sets of women hobbling along in heels, waiting for our passage to the other side.

What we got instead of our anticipated rite of pop culture passage was two hours of a Manolo Blahnik being pounded into our heads, then a 3rd hour of drowning what was left of our souls in a Cosmo—but far less pleasant.

Yes friends, if you include the trailers for movies of Drew Barrymore and Katherine Heigl whining/acting and Julia Roberts finding herself in India (where else do depressed white women go to get found? Duh.)… you have the three-hour SATC 2 escapade into the End of Days.

Somehow the same cute Carrie that got puddle water splashed onto her tutu during the opening credits of the SATC TV series has turned into Skeletor.  Just as we all have, the Fab Four are definitely getting older.  Except for Kim Catrall who has inexplicably frozen in time. I’m not one to hate on other women for succumbing to age, but when Carrie and Big are pining about buying a third apartment in the City for him to escape to two days a week, when Charlotte’s biggest dilemma is how she can’t stand her baby daughter’s crying even with the help of a full time nanny who lives in their ginormous Central Park condo…. I couldn’t help but notice how the grotesqueness of these characters’ non-existent problems were as exhausted as the lines on their faces.  After all, I did have three hours to look at their faces since there was no plot to follow.

Oh but there are so many layers of poetics, literary metaphor and irony.   Like how… like… um….  Well, ok there is fashion!  Or maybe there is no fashion.  Somehow the signature SATC wardrobe must have been having an affair with the story editor because an hour in, and still there was no plot nor interesting fashion.  I found myself wishing days to go by faster in the movie so the actresses could put on new clothes and I’d have something to look at.  But nada.  A few gowns that were cousins of dresses from old episodes… but nada.

There are attempts at being edgy.  Most are overdone.  There is the grand gay wedding which was as provocative as a limp wrist joke.  They did attempt a brief wow with Liza Minelli (!) singing Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” and it’s great for the initial gay kitsch factor.  She’s not a half bad dancer too considering she’s 64.  But it all feels so forced.  And… offensive.  Those “gay best friends” were tiresome in the SATC TV show,  and I’ve lost almost all compassion for them now.

An hour in and the girls seem to have not left town as per the trailer. Samantha manages to score the fab four a free trip to Abu Dhabi (God forbid they actually spend their own money).  Samantha declares, “I want to go somewhere rich!” (as opposed to their lives of abject poverty in Manhattan). After a little bit of wiggling around the problems of their real life obligations (which consist mostly of exercising their wealth and privilege in America), they are off in a first class plane to exercise their wealth, privilege and whiteness in the Middle East.  Nevermind the political particulars that come with Americans in the Middle East (we’re at war there, did you know?) because Abu Dhabi looks like Oprah and Bill Gates did the boogie and made diamond encrusted architectural castle babies in the sand!

The women arrive in Abu Dhabi (I wish it was Abu Ghraib instead) and their arrival is punctuated with 15 straight minutes of oohing and aahing.   A constant orgasm of them being wowed at their privilege, but more specifically all the free shit and servant/slaves they get. Kristin Davis widens her eyes so much I swear I can make out part of her skull.

Still no real plot.  But there is the unmistakable smell of a Razzie nomination.

I imagine the SATC 2 writing room.  A crack pipe going around then a game of double dare then triple dare and five hours later they emerge with a script on binder paper and ready to snatch the studio checks:

“Let’s make these women so unaccessible that everyone will hate them!”

“Let’s have them sing ‘I am Women Hear Me Roar’ because we want to unintentionally diminish any significance the song might have left.”

“And throw in a few more hundred cracks about the burkahs!  Have Muslim women strip them off to reveal… Prada!!!”

“Fuck it!  Fuck it!  Fuck it!  Just shit on the script and let’s shoot the thing!”

Into hour 2, we are still missing a plot.  There’s a semblance of one… Let’s see, what was it?   Oh, that Samantha’s hormone cream got confiscated at the Abu Dhabi airport?  Or was it the plotline about Charlotte trying to get cell phone reception?   Miranda doesn’t have a plot line.  It’s ok, I wouldn’t have been able to track it what with watching Sarah Jessica’s Parker’s face melting off her bones.

Into hour 3 and I’m on the floor of the theater… shaking, groaning, pleading to my heart to stop beating.  Is this what it feel like to be a woman well versed in pop culture?  Like I am craving death?!?

And then it was over.  Big takes Carrie back after her brush with infidelity.  He holds out a big black diamond for her (not because her soul is black like Carrie thinks he thinks it is… ha ha ha, pass the pipe writers) and they renew their vows.  And Cyndi Lauper gets residuals for True Colors which plays through the credits.

Marie Reine and I left holding each other upright on our way out of the theater.

When we got to the parking lot, Marie Reine looked at me and said quietly, “I feel like my eyes got raped.”

I comfort her, newly initiated woman of pop culture that I am, “Don’t worry honey.  We did it to be ironic anyway.”

Category: Blog, hollywood wong

5 Responses to “Sex and the Shitty 2: A Movie Review”

  1. robin says:

    Thank you Kristina for reminding me why I hate SATC. I hope you have recovered from this terrible ordeal.

  2. Colleen Kane says:

    I am a a S&TC fan, having accepted the fantasy factor of a writer in NY who can have 1 never mind all pairs of Manolos, and I’ve appreciated the times it has rung true, and was proud to recently be revealed by a quiz as a Carr-anda despite being afraid of being a Charlotte . But this just sounds embarrassing.

    Having said that, I am super proud that you’re wearing my scarf on your website icon! See you soon for brunch sans Manolos. xoxoxox

  3. Brandy says:

    Thanks for this, Kristina! I was wrangled (read: DRAGGED) into seeing the first Sex and the City Movie with my girlfriend, Lupita, and HATED it. It was so god-awful, even SHE, who insisted we squeeze into a way-too crowded theatre on its opening night, hated it. I have not a shred of doubt in my mind that this review you’ve written contains more wit, creativity and substance than all three wasted hours of flick I’ll never (Thank you, ‘Pita for being on vacation!) have to endure! :)

  4. Loved this. I never saw the first installment, and don’t have plans to see this one. BTW SJP is past the age of wearing little girl tutus. really. She did it well in the last episode of SATC, but hey like my mom says “you can’t repeat that great picnic so get over it”.

  5. Thank you Kristina for reminding me why I hate SATC. I hope you have recovered from this terrible ordeal.

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