Thursday, 3 June 2010

Sex and the City 2

So I tried really hard to ignore the critics, let's face it, what do they know? According to them noone wants to go and see ageing women making a spectacle of themselves. Why would they? What we all want to see are ageing men making spectacles of themselves with young busty women right? Right?

I have to confess that when I read my friend's review, I nearly caved in - surely if this smart like-minded empowered woman hated SATC 2, there must definitely be something wrong.

Even though my resolve was week, I decided to keep an open mind and went to see it all the same....

So Act 1, Scene far so good. A bit of reminiscing, humour at the outrageous 80s outfits. Scene 2 - cheesy but funny, one too many cliches about homosexual men and their love for all things Liza Minelli and cabaret but hey...still in good spirit. I'm liking it...but I'm waiting for the crash.

We move on, lunch with the gals, differences of opinion with hubby which I can relate to, motherhood frustrations, work/career issues, dilemmas about 'grown up' life and lusting after what once was. I get it. As always with Sex and the City, I got most of the dialogue, not the stuff coming from Carrie, though that wasnt really a surprise, I've always found her brand of wisdom a little too self-centred, American-centric and a tad immature for me, so it was the stuff from the less obvious wise women - Miranda, Charlotte and especially Samantha that I got and agreed with for the most part. Carrie true to form seems to live a bubble that is New York. I remember the whole debacle about moving to Paris towards the end of the series, to listen to it, one would have thought she was contemplating moving to the Amazonian forest. It was ridiculously over-dramatised and reminded the world why Americans are still so narrow-minded because if Paris, which is a few hours a way and mirrors New York in so many ways was considered a strangely foreign land that she could barely cope with, then what hope is there for modern American women to discover more far flung places in the world without being overcome by fear of being eaten alive by 'the natives'?

Back to the film, Part deux, we move on to Abu Dhabi, the outfits are ridiculous I must confess, definitely not my cup of tea and even Miranda and Charlotte who usually come through were obviously dressed by some crazed Gautier/Chanel intern trying to prove a point, i.e. that high fashion has no place in the real world. The opulence of Abu Dhabi wasn't too my taste either but was certainly well researched so top marks for that. As for the treatment of the 'locals' - I saw nothing anti-islamic or anti-Arab about the film's portrayal of Arab women or men. They even get bonus points for reflecting that the workers in th UAE are mostly foreigners like the Indian butler or the Nigerian karaoke compere. Overall I thought this part was handled with honesty and for once in our pathetic 21st century lives, Political Correctness was shown the door in favour of good ole fashioned honesty. Yes there are issues with states in the UAE such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi that claim to be open and yet still treat women like second class citizens, where men act as though sex is a dirty word when in actual fact (and this wasn't in the film) many of them are getting plenty of the sordid kind behind closed doors. And yes Samantha was disrespectful and went overboard but she, like many Westerners refuse to get the fact that there are cultural differences in this world we live in, and simply because every corner of the globe has a Coca Cola kiosk, does not mean that we've all embraced every aspect of American culture. There are times when these narrow-minded foreigners find themselves languishing in Emirate prisons because they think surely kissing a fellow consenting adult is not illegal. If nothing else, SATC 2 will teach the randy Brit and American tourists that when in UAE do as the Arabs do.

All in all the loud crash bang wallop didn't happen for me, I laughed and I cringed especially at Samantha and her shameless flirting, but I was also amused by her one-liners. There was a huge layer of cheese when it came to the girl fest and celebrating women but you know what when I think of my girlfriends and the way we interact, if we expressed our mutual respect and love for one another, it would seem extremely cheesy but it would be the truth and nothing but. So if cheese is being honest about how phenomenal we are, mothers, career women, wives, then bring it on! I would watch this film again in a heartbeat because as always with Sex and the City, I can relate to these women and that's what I think the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of women who will still flock to the cinema to see it, will take away from it.
Long live the chick flick!!!

1 comment:

JBH said...

Well written 'Hibiscus'. I had a feeling it would get bad reviews and i'm sure i won't fall in love with it especially if it's 'worse' than SATC 1. But, because of your view point i'll give it a go. Bring on the chick flick!