When people ask me what type of films I like to watch, my usual response is “I’ll watch anything”. It’s a small thing to be boastful of, but I pride myself on being able to sit through and find something to appreciate in just about every film I can get my grubby little hands on. Well, dear readers, today is the day that hubris finally came back to bite me in the ass. Charlie from the office (she of the Kids Film Friday DVD stash in my desk drawer) asked me that question a couple of weeks ago, and got that answer. So she decided to screw with me.
Sex And The City
Shoot me. In the head.
Four entirely pointless human beings swan about doing nothing for TWO AND A HALF FUCKING HOURS! Thoughts of suicide ensue.
Before we get started here, I have accidentally caught maybe four or five episodes of this series over the years, which is just enough to know the names of the four leads and be able to describe them in one word – the chirpy one, the slutty one, the angry one and the narrating one – but not enough to have formed any strong opinions either way. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. It just was. But after sitting through those two and a half fucking hours, I hate it. I hate it with the fire of a thousand suns. It has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
Let’s talk about the characters, shall we? First: Carrie. This film makes a big deal about her being forty years old (yeah, and the rest) yet she behaves like an idiotic, spoiled teenager the entire time. There’s only one point in the film where the Vaseline has been wiped off the lens and she looks like a real person, and that’s after she was left at the altar and ran off to Mexico with the rest of her coven. Now, I know some people are prone to making gags about the somewhat equine features of Sarah Jessica Parker, but I cannot hear the name Horseface without thinking of the inimitable Charlie Scalies from season two of The Wire. How’s that for some fantasy recasting?
And then there’s Charlotte. If my life depended on picking a favourite out of these four, I’d pick Charlotte, mostly because Kristen Davis has the cutest smile. But then this is the woman who, on that little jaunt to Mexico, consumed nothing but bottled water and chocolate pudding cups that she took with her because she was afraid of getting food poisoning. If they were staying in some back-alley joint in Tijuana I could maybe appreciate her concern, but this was a five-star beach resort with private villas. Was this meant to be endearingly naïve? Because I couldn’t decide if it was ignorance or just clumsy racism. Either way, not flattering.
Samantha. Samantha, Samantha, Samantha. You are not a 13-year-old discovering the twin joys of the opposite sex and onanism. Stop acting like it. Keep it in your damn pants. Finally, Miranda. She’s a total harpy, but I didn’t even care enough about her to work up any vitriol. The worst part of it is, these four exist in such a superficial and economically rarefied world that I do not understand how viewers can find them remotely relatable. They might as well be aliens.
New York is supposedly the most ethnically diverse city in a country that proudly calls itself a “melting pot”, yet the only non-white character in the movie with any presence was Louise, played by the very talented, very beautiful, Oscar-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson. Who is Louise? Carrie’s assistant who comes into her life when she is at her lowest ebb and brings her back up to be better than she was before, AKA, well, this. Really, Michael Patrick King? Has the world not moved on from this ridiculous concept yet?
Speaking of Michael Patrick King, he might be an okay TV director, but features are not his forte. The pacing is terrible, the camerawork is flat and unimaginative and the film is so completely episodic it actually feels like watching five episodes of the series that have just been cut together. And for a supposed comedy, I didn’t laugh once. The closest I came was a meta gag right in the very last scene, where the ‘girls’ are sitting in a restaurant drinking cosmopolitans when one asks why they never drink these anymore. The response is “because everyone else started drinking them”. It wasn’t quite enough for a smirk, but the little voice in my head told me it was a vaguely funny. The thing that will stick with me the most about this dreck is the irony in the fact that the cast member whose character had an assistant is the only cast member who didn’t actually have an assistant named in the credits. If that is the most entertaining moment in a movie, you know it’s a piece of shit.
Is a story with fully rounded human beings – of both sexes – just too much to ask for? Is the sequel any better? It sure as hell can’t be any worse.