There’s a point in the film You’ve Got Mail where the Tom Hanks character talks about how enmeshed The Godfather is in our culture, how its quotes are the answer to so many questions. This is how I feel about the whole Sex and the City phenomenon, be it the television series or movies. Many women will tell you they reference it at least once a day.
There lies the true beauty of Sex and the City. Sure, there’s a lot of pomp and circumstance around the fashions the characters are adorned in from one scene to the next. But anyone with a discerning eye or an ounce of self-awareness knows that’s just the icing.
In light of this and having just seen Sex and the City 2 at the strike of midnight on its opening day in New York, here’s my message to the folks -- mostly male but not exclusively -- who can’t seem to get past the fact that Sarah Jessica Parker isn’t classically beautiful or how “old” the women are or whatever – Don’t watch it!
Goodness gracious. There are so few movies targeting a female audience that make it into major theatres. Give us a break. Dudes, you’re not in the demographic on this one. Get over it and buy a ticket to some action flick involving guns or college guys getting drunk.
There’s no need to concern yourselves over how the SATC stars stack up in your eyes. You missed the memo. The series and the movies are for women. We relate to these characters because they’re not exotic and don’t have perfectly chiseled features. We relate to the way they relate to each other and the men in their lives.
No, gents, it’s not about you.
Do you know how many women have watched Dirty Dancing dozens of times? Many, many, many women. Do you know why? Because the hot blonde doesn’t get the guy. The cute little girl-next-door type does. Another on women’s much-watched list – The Big Easy. Ellen Barkin plays an uptight, over-achieving suit and the charming Dennis Quaid character woos the tight bun right out of her hair. We dig that.
Advertisers know it. The last two weeks whenever I’m watching TV I’ve been thinking this franchise has become like the Super Bowl. It seems everybody wants to be the official something of Sex and the City.
Guys, it’s not you who are buying Marie Claire because Sarah Jessica Parker is on the cover. It’s not you begging Envite.com for VIP status on Twitter and Facebook for the Christian Louboutin flash sale this weekend. And it’s not you crashing that same site with your unbridled enthusiasm and credit card. What does that have to do with Sex and the City?
Trust me. If Carrie Bradshaw hadn’t stared longingly at a pair of the designer’s shoes in a shop window and uttered the infamous words “Hello, lover” at them, the red-soled sensations wouldn’t be nearly as coveted as they are so many years later. She is, in fact, wearing a sparkly pair in the opening scene of Sex and the City 2 and, yes, they’re spectacular.
This happens to be Fleet Week in New York, so what did one of my female friends post on Facebook?
It’s Fleet Week!
Samantha: Ladies, seamen, 12 o’clock!
Miranda: I pray when I turn around there are sailors, because with her, you never know.
It’s a woman thing.
Years ago, when someone I was dating seemingly fell off the face of the earth after a month, I wrote him an email saying, “At least the guy on Sex and the City left a Post-It.” Almost every woman reading this is laughing right now.
It’s the female go-to. Again and again. And it’s not just about surface. Quite the contrary.
After I saw the first movie, I wrote a Game Plan called “Life Lessons Abound in Sex and the City” and it prompted a number of people to say they needed to go watch it again because they didn’t see what I saw. That’s because writer Michael Patrick King glams up the message with eye-popping accoutrements throughout.
King doesn’t do flimsy storyline, so it’s no surprise Sex and the City 2 has some heft behind the delicious backdrops and garb. There’s no need to give away plotlines at this early stage, but let me just say for a while there I was wondering if he was going to leave me feeling a little sad instead of the usual uplifted after watching these women. But, alas, there was satisfying resolution rooted in growth.
Ultimately, women of many stripes will relate – the ones who are best not tied down, the ones who are childless by choice, the ones who chose motherhood. And the often awkward and judgmental interplay when they all collide is central to the storyline. There is conflict about honesty, commitment, culture and, yes, sex. My takeaway line from the movie:
“You have to take the traditional and decorate it your way.”
I don’t recall that one in The Godfather.
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