Friday, 30 December 2011

Selfish And The City

This week, out of a mix of boredom and curiosity, I watched Sex and The City 2 (2010).

My sister was given the DVD last Christmas, not that she asked for it, and it has been lurking on her shelf ever since. Sex and The City has been about since 1998 and with my interest in female/feminist issues, my thoughts were that this would be interesting research into modern female icons.  The television series ran for 94 episodes, with 4 million viewers in the UK tuning in to watch the season finale in 2004.
So I watched the whole film. Within minutes I had grabbed a pen and paper and started making notes. This film gives women a bad name on so many levels it is insulting. I remember seeing the first film with my three female flat mates and I was the only one who was bored and disgusted by it.

I shall run through the issues that cropped up with SATC2; a few of them female stereotypes, others ridiculous plot lines:
1-Carrie walks out of a building with her sunglasses already on, takes them off, smiles and return them to her face. Dick.

2- You never randomly meet a friend in the street, let alone your three best friends.

3- Women do not squeal when they meet each other. This is ridiculous and pathetic behaviour.

4-Not all women have gay best friends.
5- We don’t all lead stupidly glamourous rich lifestyles that revolved around branded clothes.
6- Unlike SJP and gang, women CAN be funny. The jokes in the film that are made by the quartet stretch as far as someone having a camel toe and a poor Jewish based joke with Jude Law as the punch line. Thank god Kirsten Wigg is a rising star in film to show that women are funny. Bridesmaids put to shame the constant Adam Sandler and Hangover dribble
7- The jokes are so bad I am making a point of it by mentioning it twice. The start of the film revolves around a gay wedding, and the girls are firing out camp jokes faster than they can raise their botoxed eyebrows.
8- Someone needs to tell SJP crimping hair isn’t cool, let alone on a 40-something women.
9- Liza Minnelli? Singing Beyonce’s Single Ladies... WHY? Minnelli is very much a camp icon, so I can see why she would appear at a gay wedding. But the performance is so over the top, making her sing and dance to Beyonce with two dancers just made me cringe. She is like an aging family relative that is intent to embarrass you.

10- A mother of two exclaiming ‘ewwww’. Act your age.
11- If people don’t want children, they don’t have to. The world is over populated enough anyway. A discussion between two couples whilst at the wedding, one of which looked down on Carrie as they have decided not to have children. The moment was fairly tense as the women pulled a face. This is the 21st century, and many women are choosing careers over children. How could Carrie possibly afford it with all those  and dresses?
12- The women are obsessed with slowing down aging. Sex-obsessed Samantha reels off products and pills that help her try to hold onto her youth. We all know you are in your 50’s, stop fighting it. Stop pressuring women to feel like they need to spend silly amounts of money to attempt to look as perfect as you do. What normal women fail to realise, is that the make-up artists on films know lots of tricks to hide unwanted wrinkles and blemishes and really make the stars shine.
13- No film, under any circumstances, requires a bra-less women running towards the camera.

14- Hiring a nanny when living in New York shows wealth. The film shows a mother, in this case Charlotte, doing nothing whilst her hired nanny works on raising her children shows poor mothering. You never see Charlotte working or too busy to raise her own children. To make things worse, motherhood and children are dismissed in the film by Samantha as she doesn’t want them having breakfast with the quartet. Why is it acceptable to show such a negative idea about motherhood and show no real interaction with Charlotte and her children. The only interactions you see between Charlotte and her offspring, show the children in a a very negative way - one child not being able to sleep and screaming her head off whilst the other scene shows the older child putting red hand prints on Charlottes favourite vintage skirt. This concludes with Charlotte crying in a cupboard; Man the shit up woman. No one wears their favourite outfits whilst in the kitchen! This wouldn’t have happened if she was a better mother and gave them some of her attention. And if this woman has the money for a nanny, she has the money for dry cleaning or at least a new skirt.
 To be fair, there is some positive light on the relationship between a mother and child. Lawyer Miranda quits her depressing job to spend time with her family and makes it to see her child win a first prize at school. A small victory for motherhood.

15- SJP is a selfish bitch. She is ungrateful to her husband for a thoughtful gift. She whines and moans about her perfectly normal relationship. She is a complete cow to her husband and I am not surprised to tried to leave her for a couple of days a week.
16- This film totally glamourizes the rich lifestyle; the ability to lunch with your friends, decorate your apartment whilst also having another one lying empty and unused. This adds to magazines and TV shows that expect you to be able to afford the best of everything, to make you feel like you should always look your best. Brand labels that are featured in the film merely show off where the ladies stand in the money hierarchy. Never does the film address the issue of whether they can afford these luxuries of second homes in New York or the price of their outfits.

17- How many dress changes does a woman need? Carrie changed outfit getting on and off a plane! These women only seem to care about themselves and what they are wearing! I change my clothes less in a year than those women did in 148 minutes!
I could rant on, but I feel that this is enough to safely say that Sex and the City represents the smallest minority of women, glamourizing a lifestyle of no worries about money. These women show barely any love for their partners or children, you see Carrie and Miranda briefly working before meeting up for lunch with the girls. No one lives this lifestyle. The money is run on money and unless you are Tamara Ecclestone, us real women have to work hard for our lifestyles, to have the chance to even pay off our debts and mortgages.

Maybe I am wrong and Sex and the City is all about escapism for the real everyday woman and is fun. Or maybe I am right, along with all the film critics and it just mocks the real issues-raising children, paying bills, working to make ends meet..etc- women face.

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