Monday, June 2, 2008

SATC movie satisfies, SATC media coverage annoys

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…

7 comments:

Katie said...

I knew you were going to post a blog about the movie! I blame the CW and TBS for allowing SATC to become too big. Replaying nightly episodes and cutting out storylines and hilarious sex scenes has devalued the true meaning of the show. I too own all the dvd sets but rarely want to reach for the dvd player when I can catch the 10pm showing on tv. Even my 15 year old cousin watches it. I would also like to add a comment to all the girls that dressed up at the midnight showing on Thursday, that wearing a sun dress from Express does not make you "fierce!"

Amy said...

LOL! What's up with those dresses? Suddenly Express thinks it's Ann Taylor Loft ... weird.

You are so right about the watered-down episodes on the CW and TBS devaluing the show. I didn't even think of that.

Abby said...

OMG. You'll love this article. It agrees with all your points and even finds a way to bring your girl Hillary into the discussion.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/139889

Amy said...

Sexism and the City! Can't believe I didn't think of that headline!

Thanks girl :)

Dr. Bob said...

I found this article interesting and compared it's theme with my male friends (since I've been told I'm not a traditional male). I see a lot of truth to what the author says (and he's from Madison). But you will all blow a gasket when reading the comments by Neanderthals:

http://www.madison.com/wsj/whatcounts/views/290203

Amy said...

OMG yeah... interesting argument, but wow, those comments... I mean there is no denying the hatred this movie brings out in neanderthals, similar to the hatred Hillary brings out. And I only read a few:

"Rapport is the reason men hate this series/movie?? Well, as a man, I'll argue that the reason men hate this series/movie is because men have no interest in watching a series/movie about four whores in the city... And, what a coincidence, the ugliest of the bunch is, in real life, a lesbian..."

"You can't honestly believe that men would want to see this movie or for that matter, really support the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. The only reason one would vote for Hillary is to try and achieve four more years of Bill."

Dr. Bob said...

I love the implication in the first quote that somehow, the women are singly whores with no condemnation of the men. Sounds close to the laws in some Muslim countries...

And the explicit assertion that men not seeing SATC is equivalent to not supporting Hillary Clinton. And ALL men feel that way. Oh, and no man would want 4 more years of Bill Clinton. Apparently, real men favor what GW represents: idiocy, killing, profiteering, higher gas prices, economic ruin - all the good things in life.

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