The Plank

A (belated) Word About "sex"

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 New York mag's "the Cut" has an item up about how designer Vivienne Westwood--whose wedding dress plays a key role in the first Sex and the City movie--is angling to write the screenplay for the sequel. "the Cut" is all for it, noting that, with actors frequently dabbling in design, turnabout is fair play; and besides, we all know that the main pleasure of the movie is the clothes "and it hardly matters what happens in the plot as long as there are some fun
montages involving clothes and shopping and hot shirtless guys."

Let me take this a step farther. I think Westwood should be given a shot at the sequel on the assumption that she could not possibly produce a bigger, steamier pile of crap than the first movie. Seriously, having been advised by multiple gals to avoid the film, I finally got around to watching it last week. Truly, weirdly awful in that can't-look-away-it's-so-tacky kind of way.

I'd heard much about the movie's label porn--which was indeed so egregious as to surprise me even with ample forewarning. You know a film is special when its most heartfelt moment involves a narcissistic, label-obsessed New Yorker presenting her spunky, label-obsessed Midwestern assistant with a Louis Vuitton handbag--a gesture of cultural noblesse-oblige that damn near brought tears to my eyes.

Beyond the relentless label pushing, I couldn't get over how mean the movie was to its main characters. A fat, sexually frustrated Samantha fighting with a flight attendant over the last bites of her desert. A hairy-crotched Miranda brittled up to the point of being a pure bitch who, apparently, deserved to get cheated on by her husband. Carrie morphing into some twittering society bride who lectures her groom in her best baby-doll tease about why her Vivienne Westwood frock demands that their wedding be turned into a circus. All the characters sniping at one another, ostensibly in a caring, sisterly way but coming across as something nastier and more tiresome. And the concept of Carrie and Big's reunion occurring only because she couldn't bear the thought of abandoning her brand spanking new Manolo Blahnik's in the gajillion-dollar closet he had designed for her might have been cute if only...I take that back. There is no circumstance under which that conceit isn't thudding and pathetic. At least poor Charlotte got away with only having to shit herself in public. (What are we,12-year-old boys?)

I'd give a more detailed accounting of what was so bad about it if it wouldn't mean watching the damn thing again in order to take it down properly.

I realize that SATC was a cultural phenomenon--a hip, stylish, candy-colored look at modern womanhood. But whatever it once was, the franchise has degenerated into a garish, vapid, mean-spirited parody of its former self. So why not give Westwood a shot at the sequel? At least then no one will pretend that the movie is about love or friendship or sex or anything beyond the closetful of labels its heroine cherishes above all.  

--Michelle Cottle

 

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