Much like I approach everything else in my life, my expectations were low, excitement high for the Sex and the City movie. It is most definitely my favorite show EVER—I have the fabulously hot pink velvet box set and can pretty much recite every episode by heart—and I knew the movie could never be as groundbreaking and outrageous as the HBO series, but I also knew seeing the characters five years later would be tons of fun.
What I wasn’t prepared for were some of the reactions to the movie and its success. Why is the media so shocked that it beat Indiana Jones in box office sales? Indiana Jones has been open for a week, and Sex and the City fans have been counting down the days until the SATC movie premiere for years. Matt Lauer, who I normally love, annoyingly told Meredith Vieira on The Today Show this morning that he thinks he’s figured it out: Men must have bought tickets to Sex and the City with their wives and girlfriends and then snuck out and gone to see Indiana Jones instead. I guess that’s supposed to be funny?
Why do so many men hate Sex and the City so much? This blog goes through a list of things men would rather do than go see the movie, which includes being mauled by one of Michael Vick’s pit bulls, although it stops at being shot: “We would definitely choose seeing Sex and the City over being shot. Sex and the City promises to be a somewhat tacky, thoroughly ridiculous movie that we would like some parts of and hate other parts of. Getting shot is scary and can kill you!” (Okay I admit that is funny.) Another article gives guys five excuses to get out of seeing SATC: “If you go see Sex and the City in theaters you’re going to be laughed at by all of the guys who managed to get out of it.”
I guess I’m surprised by these reactions to the movie (probably shouldn't be) because when it was just a crazy little show back in the day, guys seemed to like it … or at least the guys I hung out with. I remember turning the show on at a party in high school and heard no protests. The guy who was throwing the party (i.e., the guy whose parents were out of town) said he liked watching it because he could find out how girls think (I guess that could be problematic as well, but I appreciated the enthusiasm). And my college boyfriend loved the show. He even downloaded the intro music to be my ringtone on his phone :) Actually, I got a text message from him Friday (Well technically Saturday morning. There may have been alcohol involved...) asking me how the movie was, assuming I’d gone on opening night. He wanted to know what happened because he was pretty sure he wasn’t “allowed” to see it in the theater, being a guy and all, no matter how metrosexual.
The only explanation I can think of is that Sex and the City got too big. When it was on the cutting edge, maybe Average Joe found it to be an interesting peephole into a certain kind of woman’s psyche, but as its popularity exploded, it became clear that A LOT of women connected with it, and for some reason that’s scary—that it’s not just about “a certain kind of woman.” Or maybe it’s just the knee-jerk reaction that anything labeled “feminine” must be hated by “real men,” while women are considered “cool” for liking stereotypically “masculine” sports and movies, which is why women aren’t embarrassed to go see Indiana Jones, but men are embarrassed to go see Sex and the City.
Nevertheless, women did “flex their box-office muscle” with its $55 million opening weekend, which might help begin to convince the movie industry that half of the population should not be considered “a niche market.” Now, if only we can come together like that for other, perhaps more productive endeavors… Cosmos & Campaigning has a nice ring to it…