I must be the only person in the world to say this and I mean it in the nicest way possible – the SATC movie made me actually want to go out and buy the TV series DVDs and watch them. Not again. But at all.
No, I’m not a complete loser. I have watched the series before. Some of it.
But I was never totally charmed.
Because it’s not so much that I could not completely identify with Carrie and bunch as that I could not like them. It’s fine to be a bitch. I love bitches. I even am one. But deep down you need to be nice. And that did not come through for me in the series.
There is something self-centred and selfish about them. Which I am told is very New York. Admittedly I get the same sense when wathing Seinfeld. That these are people to whom their own convenience comes first. And because I come from a culture where putting other people’s convenience first is prized, nay drilled into you, I am uncomfortable with this self-absorbtion more so because unlike in the SATC book, which I have also read and enjoyed, the women in the series have the air of wanting to be seen as human even if they are over-id, all of them not just Samantha.
But the movie humanised them. A couple of the most moving parts of the movie for me were when Samantha spoonfed Carrie, when Carrie ran across town to be with Miranda, when Charlotte yelled at Big. Because one of the big draws of the SATC concept is not so much sex and the city but the age-old formula that we know and love from Little Women of four girls, each with their own personality and how they are best friends.
And of course, these being girls and this being now, there were the clothes. Which were of course, over the top and of course, noone dresses like that (our fashion editor’s two bits). But who cares? Even my mom leaned over to me within five minutes of the movie starting and said “what beautiful clothese, no?” I didn’t say – yes, this is why women pay thousands of dollars for one dress, because only dresses crafted not made have that flair and that je ne sais quoi and it’s that little extra finesse that they give you in the way they drape that you pay all that money for even if your neighbourhood tailor could probably copy the pattern.
Ditto for shoes though I didn’t (gasp) like the blue Manolos.
Only certain kinds of women can carry off those clothes – even though Charlotte is an inspiration to us all. And it does help if you’re a thin woman. SJP reinforces my argument that ugly women look better thin. Though I couldn’t decide whether her body was sexy or repulsive. I think the latter though I guess she would have to be that bony-sinewy to enable those cheekbones – her only feature apart from her eyes which could be fake – to shine through. The film even had a bit where they got into sticky waters with the Samantha’s gut thing. Honestly she didn’t look that bad too me… and of course, they then bailed themselves out somewhat by saying “it doesn’t matter about the weight, but are you happy?” Of course, who could be happy if they weren’t stick thin…(I mean this ironically before you starting ramming this down my throat).
The contradictory thing about SATC is that it can’t decide whether it wants to believe in fairy tales or not. There is a bit where SJP tells Charlotte’s kid not to believe in fairy tales but then the movie itself goes on to provide fairy tale endings – replete with framing Carrie’s tale as a retelling of Cinderella – which is all very sweet but really, we all know that it’s all not going to tie up so neatly for us in the real world, don’t we?
But anyway, that’s why we go to the movies. To watch fabulous looking (or made-up) women in wonderful clothes live the glamourous life and find themselves the happy endings that we probably won’t have and managing to do so in a way that makes us believe that it just might be possible for us too. In that sense, SATC completely works.
PS: And did I mention, the Samantha funny bits are hilarious!
PSS: I loved Miranda’s look best. Now I don’t mind so much that I came out as her in an online quiz.