Thursday, 19 June 2008

Work! and the City


Here's something that's been on my mind for a few days:

Went with the Frenemy crowd to see "Sex and the City" film on Friday night (I know, I know, but no one else I know wanted to go). On the way Frenemy declared she'd never watched the series because she thought it was "vacuous" (but can she spell it?). And this from a woman with closet full of fur coats who buys her "fashion" from QVC.

But I digress.

So the lights go down in the cinema packed full of women and two men. The movie bores me slightly until they go to Mexico. For those who haven't seen it, there are some very funny lines about waxing and pooping in your pants.

But before it picks up, we hear Miranda -- never my favourite character -- moaning about how hard her life is as a working mother of one (with a Ukrainian nanny and supportive husband). "After all," she says approximately, "it's not like I sit at home all day. I WORK!"

In the darkness next to me I hear my friend J. go "Uh huh."

Since then I have pondered why that line was in the film. Was it pandering to what the producers perceive to be its target audience? Did the writer believe that is a line that Miranda and Miranda act-alikes would say?

You see, I'm a bit sensitive on this matter because I don't WORK! And I don't have a Ukrainian or other nationality nanny. And though hubby is around the house a LOT these days, for much of my children's childhood he has not been.

Miranda, I believe, is an alpha male in drag. There's always the hype about how Samantha thinks and behaves like a man. But I think it's really whiny Miranda who thinks and acts like a man. She's some sort of high-powered lawyer married to a beta male who happily or not fills in the gaps left by her busy career.

Her hubby could be me. Yes, he has a job too, working in a bar. But it's not a CAREER or WORK!

I just get annoyed at women like Miranda who look down their noses at women who stay home with the kids. We may not WORK! but we work because raising a family properly is hard work, but also sometimes or even most of the time rewarding, fulfilling and FUN!

I've also been pondering something else about this film. There was not a single conversation in which the M word or even P-M word was uttered. I'm talking menopause here. A group of woman, all in their 40s and one almost 50, don't talk about menopause or perimenopause? Not likely. Samantha is horny as ever. No night sweats or hot flushes? No mood swings? No dry vagina? Instead it's angst over relationships. That is so 20s, not 40s.

It's only a film, I hear you say. And, sadly, yet another film not made for our age group. I've got news for all you 20- and 30-somethings. Your 40s won't be anything like the film. But then your 30s probably weren't like the series either.

Here's something I never understood: How could Carried Bradshaw afford her Manhattan apartment and designer clothes and going out to bars and drinking Cosmopolitans every night? I can understand Miranda and even Samantha. But not Charlotte or Carrie unless they inherited some wealth along the way. They never moaned about money problems either.

And here's the last thing I will say about the film: the actresses have obviously aged and allowed that to be shown. Well done! But Sarah Jessica Parker, honey, do something about that mole on your chin. It's about three feet in diameter on the big screen. And I noticed it's had some babies on your face. And you look MUCH better as a brunette.

14 comments:

Exmoorjane said...

I saw this last week with some friends who (amazingly I thought) said they had never seen the series. I thought EVERYONE had seen it. I used to like it quite a lot and sort of enjoyed the film (in a vacuous way) but think you have a lot of really good points here.
Like how come the journalist (with just the one column - and a few books) is better off than the lawyer? And yes indeed, how come they are all so flipping well off in general? is there anyone without pots of money, apart from poor benighted Steve (who, yes, totally beta male but also just so horribly irritating and with a very hairy backside)?

Maybe I'm missing something (well, obviously I am!) but my forties haven't been remotely like that......

Highland Housewife said...

I really enjoyed the film because I loved the series and it was great to see the characters again. I made a day of it with friends and had a ball. I agree with your point on Carrie's wealth but your most interesting point is about the menopause. They are women in their 40s acting like women in their 30s. That is why their 30s were nothing like mine are because they were living like it was their 20s. They have had a priviliged extended youth but surely now that Samantha is 50 she would have had some menopausal symptoms and shared them with 'the girls'.

Swearing Mother said...

Oh Wakeup, I loved that post. I'm going to see the film next week, and am now prepared for the fact that they are all living in cloud cuckoo-land. Can't wait to see that mole!

Trixie said...

Hey, I'm in my thirties, acting like I'm in my twenties, and I intend to act like I'm in my 30's when I turn 40! Only thing I don't have is all that dosh to throw around! LOL.

The thing is, the film is set in New York, where there are women who DEFINITELY act like that. My best mate in London has a very similar lifestyle to them. Same bloody wardrobe and everything (but then, she is in fashion!)

J said...

Yes, Miranda is definitely an alpha dog male in drag. There was always that element of her personality on the series - the "feminine" aspects of Miranda were always a surprise, even to herself.

As for that line - well, I just figure it's always the ones who aren't content with their choices in some way who feel the need to look down on/criticize/belittle the ones who made different choices. On both sides of the stay at home/working outside the house debate. Perhaps it was to point out (maybe too subtly) that she knew she didn't have it all and wasn't completely happy?

Several years ago, an college classmate who lives in the city claimed the show WAS just like her life, except for the promiscuous sex. And paying full-price for those designer clothes (she claims to have to been "in the know" for sales and such on those designer duds). But still, I think it was always meant to convey a certain unreality, a fantasy.

I had a fun evening going for foufy cocktails and the movie with girlfriends nonetheless. Always adored Chris Noth.

DJ Kirkby said...

Not at all interested in seeing this film, though your review of it made me giggle more than once!

Snuffleupagus said...

Yes, I agree with the turning 50 thing and still man-hunting - It makes no sense! But I'm nearly 35 and I have to say my life isn't that different to theirs...

And yes, Miranda is meant to look down on women who don't work. It isn't the series that looks down on them, just Miranda's character. But I don't think that just because Miranda works all hours means that she's 'like a man'. We women should be able to do that and still be seen as women, just like we should be able to stay at home and still be respected.

Charlotte did inherit a lot of money - via family at first and then through divorce. She's loaded. And Carrie was always poor in the series. She had a rent-controlled flat and spent all the money she had on Cosmos and shoes.

Where the film screws up is that in order to make her life 'fabulous' they make her 'rich' and have her as a successful author now. But clearly she isn't as rich as Big who is the 'super-catch' because he is so loaded with cash.

So yes, the film is pretty silly but all of us girls go to watch it because it is what it is, and it filled up 10 years of our lives.

Expatmum said...

I think I must be the only female on the planet who never watched the series. It was baed and bath time here and not prime TV viewing time. (When is?) I agree about the mole though. It's not exactly the same as Cindy Crawford's, which didn't put me off my breakfast.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

exmoorjane: I forgot about Steve's backside. I enjoyed the series too, though it never remotely resembled my life, even when I lived in the suburbs of New York City.

highland housewife: Maybe Samantha really is a man inside and therefore won't be going through the menopause.

swearing mother: Have a great time. And drink some Cosmopolitans afterwards.

trixie: What women do you know in New York who live like that? None of the women I've known in New York, particularly those in journalism, ever lived like that.

j.: There are sample sales in New York where if you're very tiny you can pick up designer duds for a fraction of the cost. Yeah, Chris Noth always rocked my boat.

dj: If you go see the film, think of me.

snuffy: Bit of a SATC fan are you? Would this be your specialist subject on Mastermind? I didn't mean to suggest that Miranda is like a man because she works all hours. Lots of women work all hours and aren't like men. She's like a man in how she treats her spouse and presents herself to the world at large, perhaps as a result of being a lawyer? Anyway, it's only a film, but I enjoyed it too.

expatmum: Well, you need to catch up. Except that the TV world has moved on to Desperate Housewives, which I relate to much more (being a bit of a Bree/Edie/Susan/the one with cancer).

Bollinger Byrd said...

oh snuffle turning 50 and still man chasing.... what's wrong with that. I won't stop just cause of a number till I either find one or stop caring. And I don't think there's anything wrong with that and I'm 54.
bbx

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I never watched the series, and you wouldn't get me to watch the film either. Can't stand all that girlie crap. Women moaning and groaning about their materialistic lives are just bored. It's no picnic having kids and being a homemaker but it's more rewarding at the end of the day. And that's coming from someone who is definitely not maternal - me!

Great post, Wakeup!
CJ xx

Tara@From Dawn Till Rusk said...

Saw the whole series. Loved it. Saw the film. Loved it. But I too have a couple of questions.
Didn't Miranda call her son Brady? And isn't her husband's name Steve Brady?
And why at no point did this successful lawyer woman ever ask who he had an affair with? That would so be my first question before I smacked him around a bit with the iron.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

BB: Ain't nothing wrong with looking and chasing till you're dead. However, you'd think Samantha would slow down a bit. I would if I had Smith coming home to me every night.

CJ: I can't believe you don't describe yourself as maternal. I think of you as very maternal.

tara: Good points! And Steve even referred to the son as "B-man." So was he Brady Brady or did he have Steve's last name as his first and Miranda's last name as his last? And yes, I'd be asking who the affair was with, when, where, what does she look like, is she better looking than me, is she better in bed than me, etc. Some lawyer Miranda is!

jimdunn said...

i loved the film.about the 50year old still chasing men,lets just say she is addicted to the game and needs help.ha!ha!

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