After the first film, I feel some apprehension about seeing it. There’s been much media attention garnered over the film after the Ms. Big box office success of Sex in the City with $152 million earned domestically, plus another $262 million internationally. And, frankly, I’m concerned this movie is simply about money.
In a time when people are desperate to find jobs, pay their mortgages, keep their relationships together and their self-worth intact, it is a perfect time to feel empowered by the strong and successful friendships of four independent and intelligent women like Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte.
However, the last film was contrary to the ground-breaking feminist notions of love and sex in the series and we accepted it, because in essence, the film was about forgiveness (why shouldn’t we?). And, who didn’t want to know what happened to the characters once they received their modern version of a happily ever after in the Big Apple. As for round two, there are few reasons why I feel nervous to watch this second film.
First, I hear that the new film’s wardrobe budget was $10 million in a time when even fashion magazines are cutting back and providing “recessionista” options for readers. As a fan of the show with an affection for fashion, I want to see how these leading ladies are pinching pennies and staying fab on a budget. But, according to Michael Patrick King, that’s not what the new movie is about.
“I sat down to write in what was the beginning of an economic downturn, and we’re still in it. Like in the Great Depression, I thought Hollywood should take people on a big vacation that maybe they couldn’t afford themselves. I wanted to make it a big, extravagant vacation,” says Michael Patrick King at a Bergdorf press conference.
Yeah, but just because historically, lipstick sales were up during the Depression, it doesn’t mean the sale of designer bags worth thousands of dollars are up now too. At the time, maybe wearing lipstick was about feeling fashionable, special and confident (for a small price), whereas buying thousands of dollars worth of clothes and handbags without job security, would just be stupid in our current economic climate.
Plus, the average woman who watches the film can dream about wearing the clothes, but doesn’t the extreme level of luxury and escape from reality, seem a bit much? And weren’t these characters all about facing reality, even in the harsh light of their mistakes?
I think the wardrobe budget is especially contrary to our current times knowing that the actors who play these extravagant roles aren’t necessarily on a budget and they get to keep the clothes from the movie. Doesn’t seem fair, when they could auction the $10 million wardrobe and donate the proceeds to a women’s charity or an education fund. Now that would be empowering.
In addition to the $50,000 outfits, it’s as if the promoters of the film are banking on the idea of fantasy to get women to buy more clothes and movie tickets with a virtual closet of Carrie’s Upper East Side walk in that features outfits from the film you can buy, even though, she doesn’t live in that apartment anymore. Now, if the virtual closet included a retrospective of her iconic clothes of the series, it would be a more interesting and glamorous for viewers to explore. As is, it’s a sad attempt to get people to buy a couple outfits the characters wear in the SATC2.
And, who can ignore the horrific airbrushing on the movie posters — they are unbelievably disturbing! Isn’t Sex and the City about embracing who you are and what you look like at any age? It’s illogical, and insulting to the women stars to make the cast look like Barbie cyborgs, especially during a time when some women are shunning the photo retouching practice in order to portray real beauty. SATC should be on the cusp of what’s going on with women, not retreating to conventions about age and beauty.
Look at these photos. Sarah Jessica Parker is a force in the fashion and film industry, they do not need to over-edit her face to look like that. People know what she looks like and that’s not what matters. It’s her talent, business savvy, courage and style we admire.
These edited versions don’t look like actual women, it’s like a hollow shell of what their characters — and the story — used to be when it was a TV series. The whole point of the show was to deny and usurp the traditional pressures women face, but now they look fake and their movies characters have turned into the cliches they despised.
And, aren’t we supposed to appreciate their 40+ ages in the film? Photo editing their faces and bodies to make them to look virtually younger than when they were in the show, puts even more pressure on women’s appearance in their 30’s and 40’s. Sigh.
So, needless to say, I’m concerned that this movie was created to make money, rather than empower women. I love Sex in the City and I appreciate the integrity of the show even though I was dissatisfied with the first movie, but this antithetical publicity is an even bigger disappointment. Now, maybe the wardrobe, photoshopped posters and plot rumors are not a good representation of the movie and my thoughts on this topic won’t matter.
Will I see SATC2? Of course, in hopes of being proved wrong.
Let me know what you think of the movie after you see it! Come back and post your thoughts about the film!