Friday, May 30, 2008
Vexed and the City
This has been bouncing around in my head for a while now, and it's probably too late in the day (and the week) to really dig into it properly, but all the hoopla (and it's been one hell of a hoopla) over the Sex and the City premiere has adopted an odd tone from the start. Which is understandable, considering it's the movie version of an incredibly polarizing TV series. I know women who love it, I know women who loathe it. I know gay men who view it as guilty pleasure, as gospel, and as the grime on the bottom of their shoe. I know straight guys who hate it and straight guys who REALLY hate it. And given the fact that I can't seem to make up my mind as to whether I want to see it or not, I'm certainly not about to cast aspersions on people for feeling either way about it.
But in some circles, the movie's being treated like it's an invading army of strapless dresses and bad punchlines that needs to be endured until it goes away. There's much speculation as to what kinds of audiences will show up (hell, I linked to one such post myself) and how many straight guys will be dragged by their girlfriends and how much you'd have to pay certain people to go see it. And if this current election year has taught me anything, it's been to look for sexism and misogyny at every turn, so I began to feel queasy at the idea of a pile-on simply because a female-centric movie has the gall to have "event movie" aspirations.
I tossed it around in my head for a while -- haven't I, in the past, blanched at certain explosions of Straight Guy Pride masquerading as summer blockbusters (The Dukes of Hazzard, say)? Isn't the Sex and the City movie kind of the girl/gay equivalent of that? This is a guilty pleasure movie, after all, and if you don't happen to get the pleasure of it, aren't you just left with a guilty verdict? Didn't I similarly look down my nose at those who would line up to ogle Jessica Simpson in her eponymous Daisy Dukes?
That being said, I find myself in the position of rooting for Sex and the City to succeed this weekend and surpass all expectations. Not only to keep the gloating hordes at bay, but also in the hopes that a Sex success might open up doors for movies whose core audience doesn't necessarily have to include 15-24-year-old boys. Or boys of any age, really. At least not more than 10% or so. Carrie and Big and company might not exactly be my dream flick, but damn it, that Maude movie could still happen!