Last night I watched Sex and the City, but hey, only the first movie! I know, I’m late… Everyone is talking about the second movie at the moment. Which is probably why I watched the first one. A friend of mine was talking about going to see the most recent installment, and since she had a DVD of the first one, she lent it to me so that I could see it and decide for myself whether I wanted to venture out and watch Sex and the City II. Truth is, I have never watched a single episode of the TV series. What a dinosaur, I hear you say! I just don’t watch much TV at all, and even less series, so I suppose it explains why. Anyway, I didn’t want to feel stupid, so I did end up watching the movie (The DVD was a cheap copy, the quality wasn’t great, but it’s not as if this is the kind of movie you have to watch on a wide-screen).
The story is not new: relationships that come and go, how to be happy, to marry or not to marry, to forgive or not to forgive, can one be happy without a relationship…. Four stereotypical characters, the filthy-rich sex maniac, the career woman, the happy mum, and the writer who’s successful but doesn’t know what she wants out of life, except being happily engaged/married/in a relationship. Where does that leave us? A weak story and plot, little emotion, boring scenes, and a movie that seems to never end. It should have been cut. The mid-movie climax is so much bigger than the final one that you can’t help feeling cheated. For a bloke, the whole wedding preparation episode is excruciating, but then again that’s the whole point. The real highlight for me is the friendship between the four protagonists, four women in New York City. It’s just another kind of relationship, of course, but one that I find is not celebrated often enough. Four women, united across their differences, geography and beliefs, is a strong basis for a story. It couldn’t – and wouldn’t – happen anywhere else. New York is the quintessential city for this kind of refined, posh, meet-at-the-restaurant, gossipy relationship. It wouldn’t happen in France: girls compete with each other in the Hexagon, they don’t bond in the same way. Have you ever noticed how French girls seldom go out together? In any case, almost never more than two at a time. In Australia, girls do build strong bonds and support each other against the male hegemony, so it doesn’t feel so out-of-place, although the level of sophistication would not reach what is depicted in the movie. Can it happen in New York? Can four women who are so different keep meeting and loving each other, discuss their affairs, one or two kids at their side, keep a job and remain sane at the same time? I doubt it, but this is where the magic of fictions kicks in and where the series/movies find their strength. The guys don’t matter, the relationship with the male species, so coveted, is not really what’s at stake here. The cornerstone of the story is the love between these four women. Dot point.