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Sex and the City in Mexico

Sex and the City in Mexico

Mexico is hard to describe.  It is so different from where I grew up, but in some ways it is so the same.  Just like in New York, we couldn’t wait for “Sex and the City” to open!

June 12, 2008

The gals.  From the S&TC movie trailer.

The gals. From the S&TC movie trailer. The movie is like this photo. All pose, no substance. Omar doesn't agree with me, but all he cares about is seeing shoes anyway.

Okay.  Everyone on earth is writing about their Sex and the City experience.  How could we resist?  Plus we share everything, right?

The movie opened here in Mexico on June 6, last Friday.  Omar had an exam to study for over the weekend, so we decided to wait until Wednesday—it being two-for-one day having NOTHING to do with it.  Yarightwhatever.

Tochimani was unfaithful and went without us on Saturday, but she repented and repeated with us yesterday and she described all the good parts to us ahead of time so we forgive her, this time.

We also went with Nena and Reina, the gals who went with us to Mexico City.  If anyone knows shoes, it’s Nena.

So the movie.   Bottom line—I’m glad it exists, and you have to see it to catch up with the girls.  It’s plenty good, but is it as good as the series?

No way.

In the old days the studios used to take their 15 part action serials—about 225 minutes altogether—and edit them down to hour-long feature films by taking out all the character development and plot and stringing together the high points and the cliffhangers.  Audiences had no idea what was going on in these films, but they sure were exciting.

The Sex and the City movie sometimes feels the same way—all high points and cliffhangers and no substance.  Carrie kisses Big [cut] Harry smiles at Charlotte and Lily [cut] Miranda picks up her son for a hug [cut] Samantha and Smith in bed exchanging appreciative looks.  People who haven’t followed the series are going to ask “Who are these people?”  We get the point—it’s a happy moment for our celluloid friends.  But the movie relies too much on shorthand, too much on our love for the characters.  It gives us gorgeous tableaus when I, for one, want more meat and potatoes.

Steve tells Miranda he’s been unfaithful and he’s really sorry.  Other than the fact we know that their sex life hasn’t been very active in the past several months, there is no lead-in.  Just Steve suddenly at the table, looking anguished.  And Miranda doesn’t have time to be shocked or confused.  She immediately hates Steve, moves out, and works up a sharing schedule for the baby.  We feel like Magda, tugged by the hand through the streets of Manhattan, wondering just what the heck is going on.

Charlotte (who has aged the best of the bunch) is too over-the-top sweetness and light.  She needs more surprising moments—remember the hand and tongue signal she used when Richard cheated on Sam?  More of that.  Charlotte did have the strongest moment in the film, though, when she is rushing a crushed Carrie into the cab and turns on Big like a grizzly protecting her young.  “NO.”  The audience laughed—especially since immediately after she does a very Charlotte wiggle in her tight-fitting dress to cross to her side of the cab—but I thought it was very touching and illustrative of the loving friendship these women share.

Just from the movie, you’d have to wonder what makes Miranda lovable.  She’s overstressed most of the time, and even causes trouble for Carrie when she gives Big her opinion on marriage.  She also looks older, with lots of wrinkles on her upper lip.  When she says she’s 41, I thought “Ouch—she don’t look so good.”

Kim Catrall as Samantha, on the other hand, looks fabulous at 50.  She looks 50, but is gorgeous.  We all voted, and she was right to leave her long-term and almost perfect relationship with Smith.  She feels smothered and as if she’s lost herself on the wrong coast, devoting her days to a man.  I was the lone dissenter, and worry about Sam’s future.  The looks won’t last forever, and once the sex drive slows down, she had better have another passion to fill her, uh, time.

Carrie is great.  She also drives me nuts because she does so many things I would advise her against.  Sarah Jessica Parker looks her age as well, but she can sure still dress it up.  You have to give her credit for the courage to look horrid in Mexico after the breakup.  It makes her beauty in the wedding dress montage even more remarkable.  Her chin mole is more pronounced in the movie, but maybe that is because it is magnified to the size of a dinner plate in her loving close-ups.

The materialism bothers some reviewers.  Man, it is a fantasy!  How often do you see movies with cash-strapped normal folk?  People want escape.  They want to see the Manolos.  That designers are name-dropped like raindrops in an April shower—what’s the beef with that?  That impressionable young women with no income will move to Manhattan and think they will fall into Vera Wang and a penthouse?  Doesn’t a baseball movie do the same for young boys—with a few alterations, of course?  Did “Field of Dreams” send a cadre of athletic young guys moving to Cooperstown or Yankee Stadium or wherever they do baseball?  I don’t think so.  If a movie does inspire someone to greatness, that’s wonderful.  If they fail, that’s life, try something new.

I know I’m a dinosaur, but I didn’t like the music.  I suppose it was used to bring in a young crowd—Generation (what letter are we on now?).  It was loud and abrasive and has a place in some movie, but not this one.  S&TC is a love affair with NYC after all—where’s Cole Porter?

The guys don’t get much airtime.  Big and Steve do okay.  (Another strong moment—an anxious Steve finding that Miranda is waiting for him on the Brooklyn Bridge).  Harry gets a few lines, but is emasculated—where’s the boorish Harry we love?  And speaking of emasculated—I kept waiting for Anthony to break out in something from “Annie.”  All the bitchiness washed right out of him.

Poor Stanford.  Does he say a word, or is he just the third friend on the left?  I don’t care much for Stanford as a character, and I like Willie Garson even less since he had a hissyfit that people think he is gay just because he plays a gay character, and he don’t like that.  He can get over it.  Maybe that’s why he’s there just to swoon over Carrie’s clothes and gets like no lines.

Stanford and Anthony together?  Stranger things have happened, but I don’t think so.  I don’t want to imagine their offspring.

One real male standout was Dante, standing out in his deck shower.  I’d like to say you’ll being seeing more of him, but there really isn’t much more to see.  How Sam must have suffered watching him every day, starving at the smorgasbord.

There are a few too many fawning, extended close-ups, especially of Miss Parker.  We love her, already, and shooting her in Dior through Vaseline-covered lenses in lengthy shots designed to give us time to gape and gasp feels pushy and manipulative.  We’re a bright bunch, you don’t need to tell us what to do.

For all the dissing, I’m glad there is a Sex and the City movie.  They did a poll several years ago and asked women what they were most jealous of from the series?  The shoes, the clothes, the apartments, the steamy sex?  And the majority of women said no.  It was the friendship.  Everyone needs loving friends who are there no matter what.  It is one of the things most lacking in our high-pressure lives—time with good friends.

That’s what Sex and the City gave us—six years with passionate, funny, smart, silly friends.  It is incredible to be with them again.

Dan and Omar

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A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.