Manolo says, it is Tuesday, time to see what the Manolo is…
The Manolo finally managed to see the Sex and the City movie.
His reaction: In the word, meh.
Although supposedly set in the present day, the movie seemed dated, as if it were the daguerreotype from the previous millennium, quaintly hinting at the outdated customs and obsolete mores of the distant past.
On the one of the hands, Carrie and her pals were sweeter and more vulnerable, more desperately romantic, than we have ever before seen them (although less funny). They were also more likable than ever, except for Cynthia Nixon, who should be dropped down the long mine shaft and left there until she realizes how truly blessed her cinematic life (with its great job, wonderful child, and good-looking if drippy man) is.
The girls were also, despite the smutty talk and Kim Cantrell’s absurdly sexualized character, entirely monogamous in their relationships, which was something of the relief to the old man Manolo, who believes that intense monogamous love between two peoples is perhaps the greatest of the Almighty’s gifts.
Yet, while there were good things, on the other of the hands, the movie dragged on interminably, piling up senseless subplots and meaningless details. Yawn.
Worse, the movie’s attempts at bringing the romantic longings of the characters (and the audience) to fruition were misguided and inadequate. Shaped as the semi-conventional romantic comedy, Sex and the City contained little that could be considered romantic.
Take for the example, Mr. Big, held up by the movie as the choicest piece of man meat to ever tread the earth, with his dyed hair, droopy jowls, shaped eyebrows, and his indecisive, dreary, somnambulantly sulky ways. At least he was rich, moderately available, tall, and rich (did the Manolo mention that he was rich? It was very important in this movie, the richiosity of Mr. Big, because it means he was able to buy Park Avenue apartments and fill their commodious closets with swag.)
Query: What is less romantic than the vacillating, indecisive, weakly lover?
Answer: The movie that confuses wealth for romantic desirability.
Oh, how the Manolo wishes he could have swapped Chris Noth for Tom Selleck!
Tom Selleck: charming, virile, decisive, funny, cheerful, and at 63, still the hunkiest man in Hollywood!
Chris Noth in Sex and the City: drippy!
But, you must play the hand you were dealt, and Mr. Big is apparently the only man who would have Carrie Bradshaw, looking, as she does, ever more like Miss Havisham…
I saw that the bride within the bridal dress had withered like the dress, and like the flowers, and had no brightness left but the brightness of her sunken eyes. I saw that the dress had been put upon the rounded figure of a young woman, and that the figure upon which it now hung loose, had shrunk to skin and bone. Once, I had been taken to see some ghastly waxwork at the Fair, representing I know not what impossible personage lying in state. Once, I had been taken to one of our old marsh churches to see a skeleton in the ashes of a rich dress, that had been dug out of a vault under the church pavement. Now waxwork and skeleton seemed to have dark eyes that moved and looked at me. I should have cried out, if I could.
~Charles Dickens, Great Expectations.
And frankly this is another of the problems of the movie. attempting to sell us lean mutton as plump lamb.
This is not to say that romantic comedies that feature middle aged persons cannot be good, and satisfying, and funny, only that Carrie wanted to play the part of the virginal ingenue, rather than the mature woman with the frightening romantic history. The potential for humor and romanticism was undermined by this insistence.
But, the Manolo is confident that the actor of Tom Selleck’s caliber could have convinced even the most skeptical, disbelieving audience that Sarah Jessica Parker is the hotty, could have convinced us that she is the suitable lead for the romantic comedy.
Ultimately, for the Manolo, the only romantic scene in the entire movie was the wedding at the courthouse, with Carrie in the demure suit, and Mr. Big finally wakened from his movie-long slumber. But, if Sex and the City were truly romantic, that would have happened in the first act of the fifteen minute long, single reel film, which would be followed by the feature length Tom and Jerry cartoon.