Sunday, May 30, 2010

michael patrick's cinematic train wreck

As incompetently made as it is insensitive, "Sex and the City 2" is a disaster of singular distinction. It is entirely unto itself.

I'm not even sure it could be called a movie.

Candace Bushnell's scrappy career girls, so outspoken in their preoccupation with both penis size and shoe size when their sexcom first aired on HBO about a decade ago, have been redefined and deconstructed into a quartet of aging cross dressers for the big screen.

Now they dress in a series of veritible Halloween costumes pawned off as Haute Couture, as if the model of "glamour" here was Baby Jane Hudson.

Of course, Bushnell's supposed gender-bending outragousness was hardly envelope-pushing when it debuted. After all, it was predated on TV by Susan Harris' "The Golden Girls" (1985) and in film by James Ivory's "Slaves of New York" (1989) and Forest Whitaker's "Waiting to Exhale" (1995), all blessedly restrained and intelligent in comparison.

Less reserved but certainly much more fun are Stephan Elliott's "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" (1994) and Beeban Kidron's "To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar" (1995).

If the makers of S&TC2 were intent on so completely fetishizing Bushnell's characters into creepy Barbie dolls, Elliott's and Kidron's cross-dressing romps should have been used as templates.

But, frankly, friends, one comes away with the distinct impression that no one involved with S&TC2 had ever even seen a movie.

Note in Passing: That new genre, The Bromance, continues to stride ahead of The Chick Flick, in terms of quality and humor content. Case in point: Todd Phillips' "The Hangover" (2009) pretty much is the same film as S&TC2, only done with guys and done much more effectively. It is genuinely witty and, hard as this may be to fathom, much less offensive.

Go figure.
Above: Most Cringable Outfit - Sarah Jessica in an oversized skirt that seems to have a life of its own, worn with a tight tee, emblazoned with "J'adore Dior," and accessorized with a lorgnette sunglasses (i.e., a pair of spectacles with a handle). Honest.
Below: Most Cringable Moment - Four terminal narcissists wising up the people of the Middle East with a karaoke rendition of "I Am Woman." Honest.


J. Kaiser said...

Just as I was shocked by the making of "MacGruber", I was shocked when this was announced as well.

wwolfe said...

The two S&TC movies have had the surprising and sad (for me) effect of ruining the TV series, which I genuinely liked. Maybe some day, years and years (and years) from now, when memories fade of these awful movies, I'll be able to watch and enjoy the TV show once again. But not any time soon. The movies strike me as cinematic DeLoreans: shiny, overpriced, and badly made.

alina said...

totally offensive on so many levels and yet fascinating as a commentary

joe baltake said...

wwolfe- I agree. The two films have detracted substantially from the TV show, which made sense only because the women were young (well, relatively) and struggling in their lives. Sex and clothing were their release. Now that they're allwealthy matrons, the material as lost its appeal.

Jessica said...

Right on. I cringed in so many moments of this movie. It's just so wrong on so many levels. I would cross the street if I saw these women in character..let alone lunch with them. What used to be endearing and likeable is just plain annoying and infuriating. Patrick will be known as the man who killed the SATC franchise.