I saw the Sex and the City movie yesterday. With someone who liked it more than I did. :)
It's hard for me to understand why people are enjoying this movie. It's all very unhappy. The characters are all very unhappy, their friends don't really seem to ever make them feel better, and the point of the story seems to be that love is the ultimate goal, because being single is terrible, but, wait, love is terrible too, because men are terrible, and so every option is terrible, and so life is just terrible regardless. But at least you can laugh when your friend has diarrhea and can't get to a bathroom in time. I have no objection to potty humor -- there's potty humor in most of the things I write -- but here it's just a bizarre choice for the writer to make. This is the funniest thing you can come up with? You have a world of opportunities here, you can set up any sort of funny, clever, relatable scenario you want, and you're going to spend real time in your movie dealing with the comedy of diarrhea? There are movies where the juxtaposition of highbrow and lowbrow humor work. This is not one of them. This is a writer making stupid choices.
It's not just about the random potty humor. What frustrated me the most about the movie is that it's built on completely shoddy plot-work. Both of the main storylines -- I'm trying not to spoil here -- are the kinds of things that could easily be resolved in five minutes. If I was desperate to talk to someone and she wasn't picking up her phone, it might cross my mind that maybe she doesn't have her phone with her. Or that the ringer's turned off. And so I might call someone else she knows -- like, maybe one of the three friends permanently attached to her side -- and try to reach her that way. Or I might actually try to find her in person. You know, instead of doing something that will obviously screw things up irreparably. (And, similarly, if I were the girl, maybe I'd take a deep breath and try to figure out what's going on before I start doing dramatic and drastic things. You know, because I'm not a three-year-old.) So we have two people who actually do want the same thing, and love each other, but we need unbelievable plot machinations to keep them apart for a couple of hours -- literally, a couple of hours. This is the slowest moving plot engine ever. The movie feels like it's twelve hours long, and that's pretty much how long it actually is. The other main storyline? How about throwing the viewer a few more details so we can really understand what the transgressions was, and let us see them fight about it instead of just pulling them apart. Characters who are kept away from each other and not allowed to address problems are, to me, less interesting than characters who have to deal with things. Two hours of keep-away does not make for a fun movie. To me. Two hours of "let's distract the audience with poop jokes and fill time before we actually address what's going on with the characters" is a pain to sit through.
But all this is nitpicky, because it assumes I actually cared what was going on with the characters, and I didn't. These are four unpleasant people, living unpleasant lives, and treating each other -- and the cardboard-cutout men in their lives -- fairly unpleasantly. They also don't do anything besides complain to each other. No one works, no one engages in any activities at all, no one has any responsibilities, no one has any family members, and no one goes to the bathroom except the one who poops in her pants.
This movie has nothing real to say about anything. It has nothing real to say about women, men, love, work, money, sex, New York City, modern society, culture, or diarrhea. It is a waste of a writer's opportunity to have a point of view, to add something to the world, to be funny or interesting or compelling or even just entertaining. To actually bother trying to make a good movie. This is a purely commercial play -- how much money can we make selling garbage to an existing audience that will go see a Sex and the City movie regardless of whether it's any good. I can't fault them for making it, or releasing it, or promoting it, because clearly there is this audience for it, and it's earning an incredible amount of money. But it's stupid, and way too long, and seriously lacking.
End of rant.