Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Oh dear.  The Girl power is gone.

For galpals who adore all things SATC and have been planning a night out to enjoy the second feature installment with bated breath, there are moments to enjoy in this estrogen-laden romp…Highlights? the hilarious first (and best) scenes at the gayest of all weddings, complete with Liza Minnelli singing Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” , an all male chorus, and white doves; what i call the “take a sip scene” between Miranda and Charlotte, so tender and full of womanly support; and of course the moments all 4 are together celebrating their lifelong friendship. These are almost worth the price of admission…

Unfortunately, for the less obsessed, more casual female filmgoer, these little screen gems are too rarely seen. SATC2 doesn’t have nearly enough substance or humor to be memorable, but holds much to criticize.

Enjoying this sequel requires more than a willing suspension of disbelief, it requires complete abandonment of political sensitivity, as the backlash calling it blatantly anti-muslim would attest. These are New York girls, and in the series they are sophisticated and worldly. This movie seems to forget all that, morphing them into “ugly Americans”, which is ironic given their gorgeous wardrobes.. My SATC girls would know there’s more to being beautiful, such as appreciating diverse culture and other world traditions. Not all women have to wear western fashion to celebrate their girlpower.

Clocking in at a whopping 146 minutes, you’d think there would be important matters to work out requiring that running time. Not so. This is fashion porn and about as deep as a Manolo Blahnik shoebox. The problems they dole out to each character, Carrie’s early marriage growing pains, Charlotte’s mommy woes even with a nanny and housekeeper, Miranda’s insensitive chauvinistic boss, and Samantha’s fight to minimize menopausal symptoms, don’t hook us into the storyline much. Thank goddess for the fashion! With a clothing budget in the millions of dollars, it’s more like a front row seat at an exclusive designer show, and if you go in thinking of it that way, you’ll walk out a lot more satisfied, and maybe even enjoy it. In my screening there was applause at the end, so someone was!

While Cinema Siren is a big believer in supporting the girlie counterpart to Diehard-esque shoot-em-ups and Hangover boys-will-be-boys hijinks, are slo-mo camera shots of our fave divas’ fashion digs the best Hollywood can come up with?
With such few feature films banking on female leads for ticket sales, there is much riding on every such release. That’s where this movie is most disappointing. The syndicated HBO series featured sassy, smart, supportive women calling each other on their nonsense and navigating life’s real challenges in meaningful ways. Where did all that go? Apparently it got lost in the sands of Abu Dhabi.

As to it’s potential for a straight male audience, when I was at the movie, I noticed about 5 girls with dates…They all looked like they were bravely bracing for root canals. Keep in mind bringing your male partner means potentially owing him either viewing a slew of Jerry Bruckheimer movies, or a month’s worth of sexual favors. The series would have either put you in the mood for, or been well worth both. This? Not so much.

A gaggle of girls next to me went out to a bar before the show and had themselves a healthy snort. Halfway through the movie I wish I had done the same thing. Think of this as the movie equivalent of a diet Cran-apple Cosmo, made with rail vodka. Only a girl would drink it. It might get her drunk, but she’ll still be sorry in the morning.