June 7, 2008

"Sex and the City"

From my review in the new issue of The American Conservative:

On the last day of May, my younger son was flipping through the movie section of the newspaper when he looked up with sad eyes: "All month, we had good movies -- "Iron Man," "Speed Racer," "Prince Caspian," "Indiana Jones" -- but then … this," he intoned, unable to bring himself to utter the words "Sex and the City." "What happened?"

Indeed, across America, countless guys felt that the Manly Month of May, when the biggest explosion-laden blockbusters are unveiled at the multiplex, was being tainted by the long lines of ladies attending the film version of the 1998-2004 HBO sitcom. "Sex and the City" updates us on a coven of four skanky spinsters who, long ago, moved to Manhattan to find "labels and love" (there apparently being no stores or men in Minnesota or wherever).

Inside the theatre, the palpable affection toward the characters was reminiscent of a 1980s "Star Trek" movie, whose fans couldn't wait to hear Scotty exclaim one more time, "She cannae take any more!" Granted, the movie version of "Sex and the City" isn't as witty as "Star Trek IV." It's also grindingly long at 148 minutes -- the DVD ought to include a "Couples' Cut" with an hour edited out and a few dozen more jokes tossed in. Still, it's certainly no worse than the "Matrix" sequels and "Star Wars" prequels that males turned out to see by the tens of millions.

The stars aren't getting any younger, so sit in the back row. Hollywood has generations of experience lighting actresses of a certain age, though, and the three supporting women look passable, even Cynthia Nixon (who plays the prickly redheaded Miranda), whom I pointed out to my wife in 1998 was an obvious lesbian. (It took Nixon until 2003 to figure it out for herself.)

In contrast, "Sex and the City's" leading lady, purported fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker, who portrays columnist Carrie Bradshaw, looks ghastly, like a bulimic bodybuilder, Rambo after the Bataan Death March.

To read the rest of my rather extended abuse of SJP's looks, you'll just have to get the magazine.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

28 comments:

JMR said...

I first posted this comment on another thread, but its also appropriate here.

Since I discovered the Indian film industry a few years ago, I have pretty much given up watching American movies. "Bollywood" has much better looking actresses than Hollywood. The Indian actresses make their American counterparts look pale by comparison (pun intended).

Now we know why the ancient Aryans invaded India - they were looking for more attractive women.

dearieme said...

"the Manly Month of May, when the biggest explosion-laden blockbusters are unveiled at the multiplex" - but Real Men don't go to the cinema, do they?

Johnson said...


Still, it's certainly no worse than the "Matrix" sequels and "Star Wars" prequels that males turned out to see by the tens of millions.


Heresy!


Since I discovered the Indian film industry a few years ago, I have pretty much given up watching American movies.


Yeah...maybe in terms of female looks, but you're never going to find a 'fight club' or 'office space' coming out of Bollywood. The audience is too brainless.

Big Bill said...

Geez. Wouldn't it be cheaper just to browse for
Indian babe pictures on the Internet?

I couldn't get past the relentless singing and dancing and chaste pecks in Bollywood spectaculars.

It was like watching "Beach Blanket Bingo".

Anonymous said...

I went to see it the other night with my wife...way too long and I'm not sure if it was a editing issue or a projectionist issue, but what was the deal with the boom mics?

Just type sex and the city boom mics into google and here's a sampling of what you get...I saw Sex and the City The Movie yesterday and saw at least 30 scenes with Boom Microphones drifting above the actors’ heads

Sex & The City's Big Eff Up!

We've received quite a few emails from several PerezHilton.com readers who've been lucky enough to see the new Sex and the City movie.

They've all said the same thing — that boom mics litter a few of the movie's scenes!

WTF????

How could they let this happen????

Why wouldn't they fix such an obvious gaff in post-production???

In a scene where Carrie and Big discuss their wedding vows, a microphone is seen hanging down at the top of the screen the entire time!

We're sure SATC was given a huge production budget…so, why weren't the microphones 'erased' during the editing process?

Did they blow the editing money on wardrobe?????

Hibernia Girl said...

Ugh. We've been invaded by the Sex & the City film in Ireland, too.

A small observation that I babbled about the other day:

"The funny thing about Sex and the City is that, according to a survey @ Neuropolitics.org, it's not liberal women who have the most sex every week. Nor do they experience orgasm as readily as conservative women during sex.

"Gee -- I wonder why conservatives tend to have more children?"

Danindc said...

I always thought a lesbian was just a women who hadn't met me. Steve, what's your definition? Surely, it's not biological.

William said...

Still, it's certainly no worse than the "Matrix" sequels and "Star Wars" prequels that males turned out to see by the tens of millions.

Definitely not worse than those. The Matrix sequels and Star Wars prequels took great ideas and ruined them. "Sex And The City: The Movie" just gives us more of the same suck.

"Bollywood" has much better looking actresses than Hollywood.

I dated an Indian girl in college, who was very attractive, but overall I have to disagree. I think the rest of the world pretty much does, too.

Bill said...

Yes, Sarah Jessica Parker is ghastly. What man would want that?

It seems that this is what women's lib has come to. Instead of innocent, battered women being oppressed by a patriarchal system, we now have predatory, lecherous urban "professional women" who run in packs like hungry wolves.

My childhood friend Brent Kallmer just wrote a good piece for the Catholic Culture website that gets into this trend:

The Glamour of Evil

BTW, I had no idea until recently that Brent wrote a piece for American Conservative.

testing99 said...

It's a fantasy Bill. Actually, breaking down the cultural and story elements of Sex and the City, both the movie and the TV show, is fairly interesting in what it tells you about women in today's post-Sexual Revolution world. Who have endless choice but little framework to explore that choice.

For older women, the show and movie are a fantasy of always appealing to men, even if you're older and in competition with younger women. And not just any man, a "Big" man, who is rich, powerful, desired by other women (that last is the most important). Or maybe that the guy impresses your girlfriends (that might be even more important). He can't be Joe Average, he has to be a world-shaker.

For younger women, it's an orgy of fashion, shoes, and female friendships that never end. Like an extended Junior High but with unlimited credit cards that always get paid off.

For both young and old, it's the grasping, constant, status-striving materialism and rampant consumerism of luxury goods. "Big" is big because he buys Carrie a gigantic luxury penthouse with massive walk-in closet. Not for much of anything else.

Interestingly enough, many of the fans are younger woman and girls, who watched sanitized reruns on TBS. The Marketers spent a lot of money on MTV and CW shows (40% under 18 female, 23% under 18 respectively). It's not so much Cougars coming out to see the movie as young women who like the fantasy of no consequences for unlimited freedom.

A number of people have observed that the Samantha character (fifty, who dumps a great looking younger guy so she can sleep with lots of other guys) in the end is the big loser: her friends are all married and won't be clubbing or hanging out with her, they have their own families and CHILDREN to deal with. Meanwhile she's fat and fifty. No matter how hot she was while younger, she's reached the end of her sexual adventures.

Ultimately, this sort of fantasy is destructive for women, as it encourages the idea that women can play the field until their late thirties or early forties, then get married and have kids (IVF or adoption). Both of which require massive amounts of money, and are closing down (many nations are closing the adoption by wealthy Westerners). [It's stupid for men too, but even worse for women.]

That this movie/show is so popular is indicative of the strong element of denial of reality/fantasy-magical thinking among people.

agnostic said...

If your son is put off by the idea of having to watch SATC as part of courtship, let him know that he'd better find a wife early -- they enter their loony phase, as far as movies go, sometime in their 20s, probably a couple years after college.

Oddly enough, almost all of those movies from Manly May are huge hits among teenage girls, who in fact hate SATC, if the IMDB ratings are any guide.

Iron Man: under-18 females rated it a bit below the female average, but still high.

Speed Racer: under-18 females gave it the highest rating of any age or sex group.

Prince Caspian: again, under-18 females gave it the highest rating of any age or sex group.

Indiana Jones: under-18 females rated it higher than any other female group, and higher than all males 18+.

SATC: under-18 females rated it LOWEST of all female groups (at 5.4).

jem said...

Steve - What made you suspect Cynthia Nixon was a lesbian years before she came out?

Anonymous said...

testing99, you're missing the fact that the series (haven't seen the movie) is by and large a critique of womens' unrealistic expectations for the perfect, high status man, even while delivering the fantasy of clothes and shoes and great apartments and sex from attentive partners. The series ended with all four of the characters in monogamous relationships, and the two most sympathetic characters (the Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis ones) found themselves with unlikely "beta male" (to use your term) partners. The high powered career woman found happiness with a sweet, loyal, working class bartender from the outer boroughs, and the beautiful WASP ended up with an unattractive but kindhearted Jewish divorce lawyer. The whole message of the series ended up being pretty much the opposite of your contention, actually.

Xenophon Hendrix said...

>It was like watching "Beach Blanket Bingo".

Hey! The Beach Party movies are classics.

anony-mouse said...

Its a fantasy movie for women (or some women). "How to Marry a Millionaire" (Monroe, Grable, and Bacall) updated. Same location similar starts, similar endings.

Meena said...

Yesm do tell. How did you know that Nixon was a lesbian?

Of the four women, she has the worst figure. She's distinctly pear shaped with a long neck. But she's not fat.

She doesn't have bobbed hair.

She doesn't smoke.

What was it about her?

Anonymous said...

Have you read the book? It's very different from the show. Far superior really.

In the book for instance, you have plain women being used and discarded by wealthy women.

The women who sleep around are hardened, not hopeful and searching for love.

The older women are feel very insecure when wealthy men ignore them to try to sleep with pretty young things instead.

testing99 said...

Anon --

The lead character, Carrie, is basically as noted above, "How to Marry a Millionaire." Samantha has a fantasy that at fat and fifty young men will still want her, and her married friends will all be hanging out with her.

As for both Miranda and Charlotte, both are fantasies. The "nice" girl Charlotte racked up as many guys as Samantha one season, and it's a fantasy that she could either get married a guy in her own age range or adopt (lacking enough money for the latter). Miranda is the only one earning her own keep, and the fantasy there is that at her age she could conceive without EXPENSIVE and fairly ineffective for many women in their forties.

The series essentially presents a fantasy that women can pursue Mr. Big endlessly for about 20 years without any real opportunity costs.

Not to mention the frequent fashion/jewelry, and shoe orgies.

Anonymous said...

jmr:

"Now we know why the ancient Aryans invaded India - they were looking for more attractive women."

Or is that the attractive women are one of lingering throwbacks the Aryan invaders?

Anonymous said...

I always thought a lesbian was just a women who hadn't met me.

You're an optimist. I, on the other hand, always think that a lesbian is a woman who has met me.

JD

David said...

anon. asks:

what was the deal with the boom mics?[...]In a scene where Carrie and Big discuss their wedding vows, a microphone is seen hanging down at the top of the screen the entire time!

It's called phallic imagery, presented in a self-reflexive format appropriate to a narcissistic aesthetic.

hibernia girl said,

it's not liberal women who have the most sex every week. Nor do they experience orgasm as readily as conservative women during sex.

It's called compensation. Such liberal women pretend to be the opposite of what they really are. Just as communists talk about "liberation" but are actually slavers, so barren spinsters who have troubled psyche histories with their reproductive sides like to portray themselves as sexual goddesses. "Sex in the City" is a wannabe fantasy, utterly sad.

JT said...

Yes, Sarah Jessica Parker is ghastly. What man would want that?

Matthew Broderick and JFK, Jr., for starters. She's always punched above her weight, career and dating-wise.

Anonymous said...

The "nice" girl Charlotte racked up as many guys as Samantha one season, and it's a fantasy that she could either get married a guy in her own age range or adopt (lacking enough money for the latter). Miranda is the only one earning her own keep, and the fantasy there is that at her age she could conceive without EXPENSIVE and fairly ineffective for many women in their forties.

Didn't Miranda conceive in her late-30's? It's harder to conceive after 35, but it's hardly such an astonishing or unique feat as to be termed a fantasy. As far as Charlotte goes, she was an attractive, fit, wealthy (previous divorce settlement), socially "well-placed"/high society woman with an appealing personality - going by the marital habits of her real-life counterparts here in NYC, it required no suspension of disbelief that she married that guy.

David said...

jt said

She's always punched above her weight, career and dating-wise.

Good way to put it! Aggression counts.

Bill said...

david said...
jt said

She's always punched above her weight, career and dating-wise.

Good way to put it! Aggression counts.


I guess so. Maybe I should learn a lesson from that woman, but from the looks of her physique, she's got an extraordinary amount of energy and drive. Aside from forced labor in a salt mine, I can't see how else she could obtain those results.

Maybe she put JFK Jr. and Matthew Broderick in a full nelson and forced them to submit.

Anonymous said...

The ability of Hollywood to fool the public into thinking that Sarah J. Parker was EVER attractive, speaks volumes...

Truth said...

"I always thought a lesbian was just a women who hadn't met me.

You're an optimist. I, on the other hand, always think that a lesbian is a woman who has met me."

I think you're both wrong, I would define a lesbian as a woman who's met both of you within a week then ran into you a year later to confirm her opinions.

Josh said...

Had I been on that couch beween Steve and the Mrs that fateful night in 1998 when Steve pronounced that Nixon chick to be a lesbian,I would have nodded my assent immediately. "Good call,Stever!" I'd say.Something about her face,a boyish quality. You know where you see that a lot? WOMEN sportswriters and broadcasters. Yup. Er,hey Steve,uhm pass the guacomole?