I’ve never been an avid follower of the SATC series since I don’t have cable, but I do remember enjoying Season 4 (it was on basic TV in the UK), and other random episodes here and there. So I’ll admit that I was willing to throw down 13 bones to see SATC2 on Sunday night. That I was excited, as a single female living in NYC, to indulge in the hype. And sometimes, you just wanna go sit in the dark for a couple hours to mindlessly drool and expend mininal effort.
Some have called SATC2 unadulterated “female porn”. Yes, SATC has really always been about the fashion. And sure, I’m a clotheshorse with an unhealthy fixation on shoes and costume joorees. So I would have been content to just direct my eyeballs to a feature-length on that shit.
But THIS was the kinda FASH-ON we’re talkin bout here:
I could even deal with the lack of plot (see below) if I were compensated with some some snappy dialogue and a few chuckles. But in between the cringing and eye-rolling, I was pretty much bored out of my skull:
–Samantha: The gamey claws of doom (old age) won’t stop this crazy broad from horndoggin’ bout town!
-Charlotte: Chirruns is hard, even with a full-time D-cup, bra-less nanny (OK, that part was funny). Uh-ohs, will Hubby cheat with nanny?
-Carrie: Big likes to eat take out food and watch TV in bed. Boring! Marriage sux big time! Oh haaay what’s Aidan doing here?!
-Miranda: Lawyerly stuff!
When the gang arrives at Abu Dhabi, what follows is a long, masturbatory tour of the ree-dun-kulous opulence of their $22,000 a nite guest quarters. Massages! View of the palace! Personal chefs! Gold and jewel encrusted everything! Hunky Arabian butlers at your beck and call, one for each gal! They’d probably even wipe your ass for you if you asked sweetly! It felt like an overblown Conde Nast Traveler advert. We get it.
To me, none of the characters were likeable or had any relate-able qualities. For example, Charlotte and Miranda bond over cocktails how hard it is to raise a kid even with a full-time nanny, and they don’t know how in the heavens women do it without the help. Then they toast to THEM. TO THE WOMEN WITHOUT HELP. I don’t know how that scene alone didn’t incite a class riot.
I’m all for guilty pleasures and frivolity, but this went way beyond, y’all. I felt insulted that this is what the writers envisioned as the fantasy, the pinnacle, of your average 20-40 something female. Like I was being force-fed two-and-a-half hours of what some fat, rich 50-year-old suit thinks women desire, with lines that read like they were written by a 12-year-old (“Oh Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore!”). Remember when SATC used to be edgy?
I went with two friends, one who cradled her head in her hands the entire time, and the other who cursed the lame lines for interrupting her nap (“I’m trying to sleep, but Aidan keeps saying stupid shit!”).
But most disastrous was when SATC2 tried to venture into social commentary or be the voice of contemporary, urban Woman. Like the self-righteous and recurring theme of women’s empowerment.
SATC2 threw out a half-ass, lazy analysis on Arabian equality that basically boils down to: Arab women wear the burqa, meaning Arab men oppress women. Arab men: bad! Arab women’s freedom = garish designer clothes and fucking on whomever you want, whenever you want, just like American women!
Samantha’s particular demonstration of women’s lib and stickin’ it to the man was to disregard local custom by flashing her vagina all over Abu Dhabi, grabbin’ dick in public, and pelvic thrusting in the bazaar. You can’t hold feminism down, pigs! Ironically, the characters are critical of Arab “tradition”, while being so predictable and cliched in their self-serving definition of womanhood. Which they express through a glut of money, clothes, FUN!, money, men, and money. If this is the new girl power, I want out.
Lindy West, from Seattle’s The Stranger, does an excellent job of expressing what I could not immediately put my finger on:
SATC2 takes everything that I hold dear as a woman and as a human—working hard, contributing to society, not being an entitled cunt like it’s my job—and rapes it to death with a stiletto that costs more than my car. It is 146 minutes long, which means that I entered the theater in the bloom of youth and emerged with a family of field mice living in my long, white mustache. This is an entirely inappropriate length for what is essentially a home video of gay men playing with giant Barbie dolls.
Read the rest of her review here.
At least Lily — Charlotte’s adopted Chinese kid — wasn’t a complete mute in the sequel.