Four Reasons Why Sex & The City 2 Doesn’t Suck

by Andrew Osborne

I’ll admit, I had my doubts.

Based on the scathing reviews of SJP’s second SATC feature, you’d think it was the second coming of Showgirls (or at least the latest Katherine Heigl atrocity): a soulless broadside against right-thinking people everywhere and the feminist movement in general.

And yet, having recently returned from a nearly sold-out theater packed with a demographic smörgåsbord of women having the time of their lives oooooh-ing and awwwww-ing together at all the film’s cute babies, glistening biceps, extravagant pastries and over-the-top fashions (and then laughing at their own reactions), I gotta say…why the hate, haters?

Therefore, in honor of Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha, here are my Top Four Reasons why Sex & The City 2 doesn’t suck nearly as much as the critics are saying:


1. The movie knows it’s a cartoon. I mean, when rich Charlotte and rich Miranda complain about how hard it is to raise kids, and can’t imagine how mothers without full-time nannies manage, the scene is obviously a deliberate wink to the mothers in the audience without nannies, in the same way Homer Simpson’s congenital stupidity is a wink to all of us who aren’t congenitally stupid, but can still relate to doing goofy things sometimes.

2. The movie is funny. Y’know, because it’s a comedy. Remember that thing I just said about how the movie is a cartoon? Well…good cartoons are funny, and Michael Patrick King’s script has at least twice as many solid zingers and set pieces as, say, Date Night. And, sure, it’s over-the-top and ridiculous for menopausal sex-machine Samantha to strut around the Middle East in high-heels, summoning giant boners from a stud dubbed “Laurence of My Labia”…but how is that any more broad or indefensible than the critically beloved pastry-fucking scene in American Pie? I mean, for all the critics who slam Liza Minnelli’s performance of “Single Ladies” in the film’s opening number as embarrassing, sad and pathetic, I’m here to say: it’s actually pretty hilarious. And, sure, maybe Carrie’s ambivalence about her marriage to rich, handsome Mr. Big isn’t the stuff of Shakespearean drama…but as a plot to hang a comedy on, it’s at least as compelling a premise as whether some teenage nerd will pop his cherry at prom.

3. The movie isn’t a treatise on feminism; it’s a movie about women. When Danny Ocean and the guys dress up in fancy threads to rob casinos, it’s clearly escapism…yet when Carrie and the gals dress up and go to Abu Dhabi, the characters are slammed as crass, materialistic bubbleheads. When a workaholic male character (from Ebenezer Scrooge to Jerry Maguire) finally learns to stop and smell the roses, it’s considered a triumph…and yet, according to some critics, workaholic Miranda’s decision to seek a better work-life balance is really a sexist declaration that women should remain barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. Well, uh…no. But, sure, I get it: any group that’s ever been oppressed betrays the gains of everyone else in the history of their group if they ever stray from the party line (which is why Spike Lee, for example, is constantly slamming every black comedian, actor and director but himself as modern day minstrels in the pocket of the Man). And yet, whether or not the movie deserves the Gloria Steinem Medallion of Righteous Sisterhood, my wife Amy (herself an actual, bona fide woman) pointed out the most important thing about Sex and the City 2

4. It’s a story about four women in their forties and fifties! And besides Mama Mia! (another critically-derided box office “fluke”) and the occasional Diane Keaton/Meryl Streep vehicle, there’s really not all that much to choose from in the female mid-life/menopause genre. Even young starlets rarely appear in anything but girlfriend roles, but as Amy said last night (after leaving the Somerville Theater (which, again, was packed with women), there’s a huge void in mainstream (and even independent) American cinema when it comes to female characters in the dead zone between “ingénue” and “foul-mouthed granny” — so even if it was just a completely cynical, disposable hunk of Hollywood junk, SATC2 would still be way more defensible than, say, Prince of Persia.

And so, like Carrie, I couldn’t help but wonder…why all the hate, bitches?

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1 Response to “Four Reasons Why Sex & The City 2 Doesn’t Suck”



  1. 1 Andrew Osborne’s Best of 2010: Movies « Screengrab In Exile Trackback on December 29, 2010 at 12:19 am

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