Saturday, May 31, 2008

"Sex and the City" - All the Razzle Dazzle Not Real Life

As an on-again off-again viewer of the original tv series, I find myself not particularly rushing to see the film version, whose reviews range from everything from, "bigger not better," to "shallow and vulgar," to "a satisfying movie," to, "wildly entertaining." Maybe it's because 4 years have gone by, but to me, the suspense is really over. It was clear from the last episode that Carrie and Mr. Big end up together, (oh, and she has her writing career), whether they get married or not. Charlotte ends up happily married, Samantha has her man, and Miranda has Steve, the baby, and her crazy law career.

What is peculiar is the tremendous media storm over this movie, from literally every sociological angle possible. The New York Times basically demolishes the film in its review, and then features an article on the effect of the movie in the outer boroughs of New York, where certainly the average viewer cannot afford Jimmy Choos, much less going out to lunch. The interesting news? Many economically challenged women still related. O.K. Next, I read an AARP online link that talks about how the aging of the women is handled in the movie, aka Carrie and Big in bed sharing reading glasses, whereas they used to have know what. Next, Slate features an article on the exploitation of the fashion labels in the movie and whether it was overdone. Probably. Next, on Oprah, a reunion show, of course.

While the television show echoed some of what single life was like in New York, for every resonant chord it made dating losers or elusive men, dealing with issues of illness or pregnancy, intrusive inlaws,etc., the show constantly took us in and out of reality. Many have said that the heart of the show was the friendship between the 4 women, but sitting around talking about men and relationships, is not the same as talking about a lot of other things. Moreover, this friendship was rarely tested, except for an episode where Carrie ends her date with Big early so she can help Miranda through her baby delivery. Miranda's water breaks all over Carrie's designer shows, but she grins through it. Hmm.

I was single for years in New York, and neither I nor my friends ever had the experiences depicted on the show. Most of us cannot afford to drown our sorrows in designer clothes or forget out troubles by showing up at a club opening. Many of us stayed home on Saturday nights, maybe with a friend or maybe not, and for those of another generation, watching "The Mary Tyler Moore" show, which "gave them permission" to stay at home washing their hair on Saturday nights if that was how the chips fell. So they woke up with newly conditioned hair and hope for tomorrow, without all the razzle dazzle. Now, that was a real life show.

And anyway, Manolo Blahniks aside, wasn't Carrie pretty much broke for most of the show?

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