Poppy-Fields Movie Couch Of Fame: Sex & The City
In which my love-hate relationship with the Sex & The City franchise may finally pay a dividend.
I don't know what it is about S&TC, show or movie (for the purposes of this nomination and also our collective cultural self-esteem I will continue to pretend that the second movie never happened, because egh), but I can never not watch it — even the chopped-up, bleeped-over, boobless rock block of old eps that air on E! at lunchtime. I kind of don't really like any of them, except sometimes Charlotte; the portrayal of the freelance-writing life makes me want to hit someone with a bag of the pennies we lot actually get paid (suuuuure, gigundo UES-brownstone 1.5 BR writing one — crappy, PS! — column a week! except fuck off!); our "heroine" is usually ten pounds of cutesily unethical shit in a five-pound YSL clutch; etc.
But every now and then, it got the city, work and lady territorialism in the city, and group friendships exactly right…and the fact is, this Sarah has had a crush on Chris Noth for 20 years and wanted Carrie to end up with Big against all logic, all feelings I had about the character, and everything I've ever said on The Vine about amour fou. Fairytales persist; I forgive myself.
I'll forgive myself even more readily if the S&TC movie — really one quintuplisode that writ everything fun, fucking annoying, and otherwise familiar about the TV show on the big screen — squeezes onto the PFM couch with a Cosmo.
(…Ugh, goddamn Cosmos. And goddamn cupcakes!)
It isn't great; it isn't even good, quite, and some of it is not credible (Miranda's role in Big's ditch-out is horseshit, from his taking the grouching of a recently cheated-on wife seriously to Miranda actually blaming herself to Carrie blaming her instead of realizing Big is a neurotic fucknuts). Jennifer Hudson gives it a hundred and ten, and she almost pulls Louise out of Magical Black Womanville, but she can't quite, because she's a token. And the gay characters get the usual shrieking-cartoon treatment, though compared to bullshit they have to play in the sequel this is practically Ingmar Bergman. Free Cantone!
Anyhoodle. I can never not watch it. Let's run the numbers.
- lengthy? Yes. Two and a half hours; usually runs three to three and a half on basic cable.
- familiar/frequent? Yes. A Saturday-afternoon staple of late.
- classic/award-winner? Hee! …No. No nominations for the "majors," no wins anywhere else.
- "Greetings, Professor Falken" (big payoff/long-shot victory a la WarGames)? Yahtzee! Carrie and Big work it out; she gets to keep those rad blue pumps AND that penthouse apartment in the sky; everyone has wedding brunch and gets along; marriage, credits, yay.
- "Wanna have a catch?" (Pavlovian tear-jerk)? I don't get teary, but Big's extremely pleased-with-himself "…so I invited them" and Carrie's wail of delight brings me joy.
- quote-fest? Maybe for some, not really for me, although I have been known to howl "I am HUMILIATED" at the cats.
- caper-ish or -adjacent camaraderie? Again, not really, but if you feel strongly that the closet montage or the "friend-eymoon" are capers, I'd allow it. Strictly speaking, nah.
- "forget you, melon farmer" (you own it, but will still watch bowdlerized TV verzh) The basic-cable cuts don't do much harm, but I do own it on DVD thanks to my favorite flea market (you wouldn't believe the other turds in that seven-for-$10 punchbowl; stay tuned) and I still become becalmed by it every time I see it on the onscreen guide.
So, there you have it. Generous scoring gives it a 5, so now it's down to who else knows it's bad; keeps a finger on the PREV button in case their spouses come in and catch them; and still watch it for the fashion porn and foxy Noth. Discuss.
Update 7/17/14: It's a certain Samantha fan's birthday today, so why not induct this puppy into the PFM CoF.
The Poppy-Fields Movie Couch Of Fame is here. To nominate your own PFM, email bunting at tomatonation dot com with a rundown of the criteria and your argument for why it deserves a cushion. If I use your entry, free loot shall be thine.
Tags: Chris Noth Cynthia Nixon famous boyfriends Jennifer Hudson Kim Cattrall Kristin Davis Magical Black Men Mario Cantone movies poppy-fields movies Sex & The City