Friday, May 28, 2010

To NOT like Sex and the City 2 is sexist?

What do you think? That, anyway, is the charge of blogger Richard Drew over at RemotePatrolled, based on the fact that most of the reviewers who have savaged the film (and, boy, has it been savaged) are men. Some big whacks:

Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times: “I wondered briefly whether Abu Dhabi had underwritten all this product placement, but I learn the 'SATC2' was filmed in Morocco, which must be Morocco's little joke. That nation supplies magnificent desert scenes, achieved with CGI, I assume, during which two of the girls fall off a camel. I haven't seen such hilarity since 'Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion.'”

Kyle Smith at the New York Post: “As tasteless as an Arabian cathouse, as worn-out as your 1998 flip-flops and as hideous as the mom jeans Carrie wears with a belly-baring gingham top, 'Sex and the City 2' is two of the worst movies of the year.”

Michael Phillips at the Chicago Tribune: “Why have these women, photographed drearily and insanely costumed, become full-on drag queens?”

Well, I haven't seen the sequel, but I didn't much like the first. Neither did I develop a shine to the TV series at any time during its storied run, when every girl and fag around me was hyperventilating over it. So don't ask me what I think of the whole franchise, because I admit to bias, or at least indifference, to it.

My larger point is: Is it possible to not like a film headlined by four power women and marinating in “women stuff” simply because the film is just that--pangit, vapid and stupid--and not because you look down on women in general (the definition of sexist)?

Can straight men (I'm out of the running, see?) evaluate the movie for what it is and be able to arrive at an objective verdict about its merits? Or is that a hopeless thing because, as the blogger put it, “for some reason a lot of straight men feel incredibly threatened by the whole 'Sex and the City' phenomenon--and just love to attack it?”


Straight men out there--holler! We want to hear from you. And women, too--because I believe they can also distinguish between good movies and bad. To believe otherwise--that they'd blindly gush over anything that purported to be “about them” onscreen, no matter how lame and vacuous, simply out of female solidarity--is the greater condescension, I think.

The gals who are the natural demographic of Sex and the City are no simpering, simple-minded violets. They, too, can recognize crap--or excellence, as the case may be--when they see it. So let's hear it from them, and never mind the damn critics. Dearies, how are Carrie and company this time around?


Guyrony said...

To put it simply: it's a chick flick.

And no straight guy would ever want to be associated with chick flicks unless, they're like us or just admires the likes of Jimmy Choos, Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Prada, Gucci, Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, D and G, etc, etc.

But then again, why would they even get straight men to review films like these?

Gigi said...

I watched the movie last night: it was fun, fabulous, and funny (OK, funnier than the first one). I saw it with a girlfriend, and around 144 other women in the 150-seater theater at the cineplex. The other four were men -- dragged in by their wives, I suspect.

It's not a film I'd suggest that any of my guy friends watch -- and that's OK. Lord knows how many testosterone-charged movies I have no intentions of ever watching.

I don't know if I'd describe these males reviewers as sexist necessarily -- perhaps stupid. If they can't view the movie in context of who it's made for and what it is, then that's their shortcoming I feel. I mean, it would be like an opera critic trying to review a Britney Spears concert without taking into account who her audience is and what her shows are about, right?

But I'll tell you what REALLY bugs me: it's been all these comments I've read about the women being too old to be sexy (or have romp-in-the-hay kind of sex), and to do the things they do. Sorry, but that's downright misogynistic. And so we wonder why we women feel all that pressure to get botox'd and lipo'd just so that we still have a right to our sexuality and femininity in our 40s and beyond? Bah!

Tristan Tan said...

I had really high expectations of this film - maybe because I love the franchise and the first installment. But, after watching the film earlier today, there's something off about the whole thing. I loved looking at the outifts, the nice looking guys, and the storyline as a whole but, maybe the fact that the movie has a somewhat political angle to it - a tirade against the situation of women in "Abu Dhabi" - made SATC2, for me, quite divisive.

I wish that SATC2 stuck with the whole girls with great outfits formula instead of a very "in-your-face" empowerment angle. But, hey, that's just me.

Thad said...

I haven't had the chance to watch the film yet, however even the reviews written by women all criticized the movie.

Apparently SATC2 really is a movie "made for the fans, not for the critics"... Anyone who expects something deep will be extremely disappointed :-)

Anonymous said...

I'm a straight guy, so needless to say I thought it was awful. I only went to accompany my wife. I have enjoyed some chick flicks before but this one is just so empty and an affront to Muslim traditions. Oh yah, my wife did not like it either.

Anonymous said...

For me, di ko sya papanoodin kung walang sex sa movie.

Anonymous said...

straight guy here too, i watched the series before, it was wittily written. aside from my gf explaining that those were brand names of shoes or clothes. ehehehe

the first movie was disappointing and i guess the 2nd one will suck too, but i guess seeing the 4 ladies again is OK. :D

beektur said...

straight guy here, too............with me. he said the movie's soooo fab but he kept wondering when will the girls roast their gay beauty contes consultant or lick imaginary giant phallic ice-cream cones. ooops....

Anonymous said...

I watched a few episodes of the series and also the first movie. I have no intention of watching the second one. My main problem with SATC is that the four characters are essentially unlikeable.

They're whiny and self-centered, and the endless display of luxury brands is sickening and smacks of crass materialism. I'm a woman and I'm all for female empowerment but what they're portraying is nothing more than a cheap and shallow brand of feminism.

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