I went. I saw. I ogled, envied, gasped and giggled. I enjoyed it in a superficial, sparkly way. Of course, as we left the cinema, I joined in analysing the clothes (the good, the bad…and the God-awful) and discussing how well (or otherwise) our favourite foursome are aging. I didn’t have the heart to bring up any of the irritations that had been niggling at the back of my brain over the two hours and twenty-six minutes and rain on my companions’ parade.
No such worries here!
Carrie’s Endless Whinging
Right, am I the only girl who feels sorry for Big? Okay, fair enough, he’s done his own fair share of messing. But dear God, that woman is just never happy. Now that she finally has him in a committed relationship, Carrie seems to spend all her energy looking for new things to nag him about. The poor guy can’t even watch a bit of telly without her having a go. He brings home dinner because she’s too damn lazy to sort something out, and she moans that they “ate in twice last week.” Wow, she’s definitely feeling the pinch, isn’t she? She then proceeds to bully him into going out when he clearly doesn’t want to, and then drags him home for a good nag when he has the cheek to chat with Penelope Cruz.
She’s married to the man of her dreams. She lives in a bloody gorgeous apartment (which is apparently a “step down”, cos, y’know, we’ve all had to make sacrifices in the face of the R word). She has a deadly job (or lack thereof, depending on how you look at it). She has great mates and an enviable social life. Yet every five seconds she has a big miserable mush on her and is having a grand oul moan at her hubby or pals. At one point, Carrie refers to the single girl she used to be, “running around New York like a crazy person.” At least she was a bitta craic back then.
(and some double standards)
So, the girls are taking a trip to Abu Dhabi. Excellent. What a great opportunity for our heroines to experience a foreign culture first-hand, perhaps even prompting them to reflect critically on their own values and lifestyles? Um, no. In wearisomely typical New York style, foreign customs are dismissed as quaint (“look at that woman eating french fries under her niqab”) and oppressive (I mean, come on, what kind of fascist society objects to sex in a public place?). Rather than attempting to gain an understanding of local lifestyles and traditions, the supposedly enlightened foursome hold steadfastly to their own ideals and inevitably see it as their duty to set a good empowering example for local women through a karaoke rendition of “I Am Woman.”
Interestingly, while our gals pity their Abu Dhabi counterparts and ridicule the laws which they see as restricting their liberty, they don’t seem to mind butlers waiting on them hand and foot, 24 hours a day. Apparently New Yorkers are too enlightened for gender inequality, but class and income inequality to the point of glorified slavery is okay.
A Very Oirish Accent
I probably should have opened with this as it was the one thing that actually made me want to get up and run away. Charlotte’s nanny has little function in this film other than to shake her tits about in front of Harry (giving Charlotte something to worry about) and usher the little darlings off the screen when they just Won’t. Stop. Fucking. Crying. A fairly one-dimensional role; could have been played by anyone with large bosoms, but some idiot decided that the nanny should be Irish (I could launch into a tirade here about how Irish people are constantly represented in American films in relatively lower class occupational roles…but I won’t. Much.).
Of course, it was far too much like hard work to actually source and hire a decent-looking Irish actress, or even one who could fake a decent accent. We’re all well used to our fabulous range of accents being butchered by Hollywood, but British actress Alice Eve should really know better; this one would make even Darby O’Gill turn in his grave. Thankfully, she has very little to say.
Money Money Money
Yes, I am aware that sensible budgeting has never really played a big part in SATC. We all know that their spending and
lifestyles are utterly unrealistic and have turned a blind eye in return for the opportunity to gawp at pretty things. However, I found the indulgence and consumerism particularly grating this time around, as I think I may already have implied above. I was particularly struck by how hard it was to really feel any sympathy for Charlotte and Miranda’s motherhood difficulties when they both have full-time hired help. In fact, its difficult to feel any empathy for any of the characters at all when you’re so constantly reminded how much richer they are than you.