Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Puzzling evidence.

Okay, Matty Boy, you claim to be a heterosexual male, right? And more than that, aren't you supposed to be a bachelor as well? Can you reconcile these claims with the fact that you recently rented the Sex and the City movie?

Hypothetical question asker, I understand your confusion as readily as I detect your snide subtext.

Lemme 'splain.

I watched Sex and the City regularly back in those heady days when I could afford cable with HBO. As I recall, I watched a few HBO shows on the same night, but it wasn't just clicker fatigue. Kristin Davis (Charlotte) looks my first girlfriend in college. Cynthia Nixon (Miranda) is a cute redhead, and I have a weakness for cute redheads. Sarah Jessica Parker (Carrie) was in Square Pegs, and a kid named Merritt Butrick, also on the show, was a classmate of my younger sisters, Jenny and Karlacita! Sadly, Merritt died from complications from AIDS about twenty years ago.

The less said about Kim Cattrall (Samantha), the better.

So I rented this thing out of nostalgia mixed with ennui, but about less than an hour into viewing, revulsion easily overwhelmed the weaker emotions. The production values in the film are waay better than those on the TV show, and this was actually a problem. With the better looking sets and locations, it became very obvious what completely repulsive people the women really are. There is no human feeling for another person coming from these women, just wave after nauseating wave of selfishness.

Part of my revulsion definitely stems from seeing this movie about opulence in 2009, when it is clear we are facing an economic crisis at least as bad as anything in my lifetime, and may turn out to be as bad as anything in my dad's lifetime. Had I seen the film when it opened in May 2008, when some people could still deny there was a recession with a straight face, I might not have felt so creepy seeing Carrie leeching off the success of the financially suspect Mr. Big (Chris Noth), or the opulence of Samantha's and Charlotte's lives, or the incredible lack of caring shown by career girl Miranda. But today, a kind of bad bubblegum movie feels absolutely toxic.

So yes, I watched it and no girlfriend forced me to do so, which brings my sexual orientation into question.

But in defense of my not very useful heterosexuality, I did turn it off in disgust.

And in tribute to the title of the post and to prove my aging nerd street credibility, I give you the song Puzzling Evidence from David Byrne's move True Stories.


Mathman6293 said...

Glad I finished reading the entire post. I am no longer worried. Thanks for the trip in the wayback machine with the Talking Heads.

sfmike said...

Dear Matty: You doth protest too much. I found the series nauseating for all the economic reasons you enumerated, except I was a bit prescient in finding its complete worship of overpriced brands completely repulsive when it was on television originally. The actress (and character) I totally loathed was Sarah Jessica Parker, who embodied the whiny why-can't-I-have-it-all ethos so completely.

I have to violently disagree with you about Kim Cattrall (Samantha), however. That actress created some kind of alchemy because no matter how humiliating the situation she was put in by the scriptwriters, Ms. Cattrall came out of it looking completely amused and would turn her often ugly scenes into things of wonder. Parker hated Cattrell and since she was the power on the set, made sure there were plenty of humiliating routines for Samantha to go through, from breast cancer to lesbianism to fucking just about every guy in Manhattan in outrageous situations.

The movie continued this theme with Samantha supposedly getting fat because she wasn't getting laid by a fantasy man next door in Malibu while she was carrying on with her porno-stud movie star younger boyfriend. (I know, you turned it off, thank god.) Somehow, Ms. Cattrell STILL managed to get out of that movie with most of her dignity intact. The rest of the cast, not so much.

And this is coming from an authentic homo, as you know.

Matty Boy said...

Dear Mike: I had heard the rumors about Parker and Cattrall. I agree about the whiny character Parker plays, and in the movie, it came to a head for me when she went all little girl hurt that Big wasn't as in to the wedding as she was. That's the scene when I turned it off.

My dislike of Cattrall goes way beyond Sex in the City. She was in a lot of sci-fi and fantasy movies in the '80s like Big Trouble in Little China and one of the Star Trek movies where she played a Vulcan and she was uniformly wooden and uninteresting. As evil Dr. Forrester said at the beginning of a Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode, "This movie stars James Earl Jones in one of the worst things he was ever in, and Kim Cattrall in one of the best things she was ever in."

Karlacita! said...

I thank you mens for summing up the cinematic suppository that is S in the C, so I don't have to!

As a broad (I was gonna say chick, but I've grown beyond chickdom) who is in the same general age group as the actresses, I found the entire idea of the show offensive and depressing beyond measure.


My little verification letters spell mautti. This is Matty as voiced by a tuatara, yes?

namastenancy said...

Oh thank you for the words of wisdom. I loathed the show when it was on TV and could not understand why anybody though it was a good idea to make the movie. As a long time, hard working, die hard feminist and one who did a bit of swinging back in the day, I found the women on the show everything thing that I abhor - self-absorbed, catty, focused on all the goodies that money can buy and far, far, far too skinny. For me, it was just another way to sell anti-feminist, stupid, use the credit cards to the max ideology to the already dumbed out masses.

Anonymous said...

They were bad because they enjoy economic success?

But I do agree about Carrie, I thought I was the only one who found her clingy.

Matty Boy said...

They were bad because they showed nearly no human feeling for other people, and gargantuan levels of entitlement.

Karen Zipdrive said...

How coincidental, I found a DVD of David Byrne's "True Stories" recently for $3 and bought it immediately. I love that movie- thanks for reminding me to watch it right away.