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Sex and the City Soars – Take That, Haters

Oh, with so much bad news around it’s nice to get a little good news. Yes, after weeks of trashing by many a fanboy blog, and even a Manohla Dargis pan, Sex and the City has defied expectations, as Fantasy Mogul’s Steve Mason reports, and made a whopping $27 mil opening night and is headed for a $70 mil opening weekend. That makes it on track to become the highest grossing “chick flick” ever.

And who said women couldn’t open movies? As a sidenote, I watched Knocked Up for the first time last night and it was much like Juno in that it was an unbearable, agonizing first hour to sit through – I kept thinking silently to myself, “Judd Apatow is a talentless hack.” But right about the time to the two dudes headed to Vegas to shroom it started to turn around for me. Yes, I acknowledge that this is because the boys started acting like human beings but also, the movie just got better once the gay jokes stopped. Is Judd Apatow a closet case or what? Why are all of his movies about sucking balls, sucking dick, gay this, gay that – he can’t seem to put a bunch of manboys together in a room without the jokes be about being gay. What’s up with that? Anyway, the point is, a movie like that can make shitloads of money and no one (besides me, of course) passes judgment. But Sex and the City has garnered more shit from the manboy/fanboy faction on the web such as I’ve never seen. Do they hate women or what? Maybe they like women but only if those women fit into their idea of what’s sexy, like Natalie Portman in an indie movie, no offense, Natalie. To the manboy/fanboy faction, women seem to exist either to kick ass but have no brains or else function as their unattainable/attainable dream date.

I will see Sex and the City so I can’t really comment on the film itself. But the site Women and Hollywood has tackled the issue head-on, speaking to female bloggers, film execs, and critics on the potential for Sex and the City to make big box office bucks with their piece, Women’s Cultural Moment.

66 Comments on this Post

  1. RichardA

    I loved SATC The Movie. I saw the movie in the mid-west and both theaters were packed. I heard a lot of laughs and spontaneous clapping. The movie and the crowd I saw it with was what all movies should be. It was a great experience. Definitely an event movie.

    I won’t discuss much about Ms. Dargis’s review in NYtimes since she had described Sarah Jessica Parker’s face with an unflattering description–an ODDLY placed unnecessary personal attack. And she insists on putting a certain political button in the wardrobe. (WHY?).

    Good movie. But I mustn’t digress from the Awardsdaily-ness. Possible notices for the Original Track sung by Jennifer Hudson for Best Song. And how about a nod to Best Costume? That’s for the Oscars. As far as Golden Globes best comedy categories, SJP for Best Actress. And Best Support for Ms. Cattrall.

  2. BryanSamo

    Sasha-

    Great post. Maybe I only read your site in regards to film, but I haven’t seen that much out there trashing Sex and the City in the series of tubes known as the internets. The first review that I read was Manohla Dargis’s review, though.

    I was one of the last people to see Knocked Up and I actually liked the whole movie. As annoying as the gay jokes are, I think a lot of manboys act like that, especially under 30. That is just how some of them are.

  3. As a HUGE SATC fan, I have to say, I was very fearful that they were going to fuck up the series by making a horrible movie. I saw the film opening night in NYC (which was quite an experience in itself), and I loved it. It was exactly what I hoped for. I laughed and cried throughout the whole thing…. I’m so glad they did it right!

  4. RichardA

    I love Ms. Portman. But also playing the indie version of sexy is Juliette Lewis.

  5. The Jack

    The thing about the success of the “Sex And The City” movie that everyone seems to be missing is that it really isn’t that different to a sequel or a comic book adaptation being a big success. It’s a big screen version of a huge hit TV series and it has a built-in fan base.

    I haven’t got anything against the movie, and if it changes things in terms of films about women or for women, then great, but it isn’t a completely original, untested film. It also isn’t that much of a surprise either – if “The Devil Wears Prada” could be a reasonably big hit, then everyone should have assumed that this would be a huge hit.

    When a film about women and for women gets this kind of attention and does these kinds of box office numbers and its a completely original film, then there’s going to be cause for celebration. Actually, there was – it was called “Juno” – but that got hated on by everyone, not just guys.

  6. RRA didn't get any SEX while IN THE great CITY of New York

    Look, since I’m a straight guy, you know I won’t go see the S&TC movie. Not being a hater at all, so if you gals dig it, that’s cool.

    Interestingly, speaking of reviews, Ebert gave it a royal thumbs down.

  7. Sasha Stone

    “When a film about women and for women gets this kind of attention and does these kinds of box office numbers and its a completely original film, then there’s going to be cause for celebration. Actually, there was – it was called “Juno” – but that got hated on by everyone, not just guys.”

    Good point. Most people hate women then? Especially women who makes lots of money and have great success. Why is that?

  8. The Third Man

    I’m a pretty open-minded guy, I like to think. I’m not planning on seeing SATC movie, but I haven’t been trashing it. Yet, I think I can understand where some of that is coming from. Because if they’re anything like me and they’ve actually tuned in to see what all the fuss is about, they probably just didn’t get it.

    I’ll be the first to say I didn’t. Of course it didn’t help that all four times I actually tuned it was the same episode every time: one woman gets cancer, one woman gets married, so on. I didn’t get the humor, I didn’t get why I should sympathize with these people, I just didn’t get the attraction. I can understand why women would like it, and that’s not a put down, it’s just a much bigger gender gap there than a lot of people realize. If someone is putting it down, that’s not appropriate to do if they haven’t seen the movie, but if they’ve seen the show and they’re your average straight male, they probably have the same impression that I did. That’s not to say anyone does or does not hate women based on their opinion of a tv show (to make that assumption seems a little forced), it’s just that, well, they didn’t like the tv show.

  9. Jerry Grant

    “Knocked Up” is one of the most earnest comedies of recent years. Those gay jokes are not to be laughed at because it’s funny to make fun of gays; it’s because that culture is so familiar – and ridiculous. The movie has great respect for all of its characters, even its dimwits. When I watch that movie, I think, “what a smart, perceptive, and NICE guy Judd Apatow must be”. When I flip through “Sex and the City,” I think about how mean it is.

  10. Sasha Stone

    Jerry, as a woman I didn’t feel that way watching either Knocked Up or Virgin (though I liked that one better). Knocked Up is very much a guy’s perspective movie. They got the birth scene pretty spot on, though. I never felt that the women in Sex and the City reflected my own perspective either though. The best movie I’ve seen lately that rang the bell for me was Friends With Money. Other than, I guess, Miranda’s character the others are sort of cartoony. I liked Josh Grobin’s character a lot in Knocked Up – I didn’t believe, for one second, that a girl like that would go for a guy like that, though. If it were anyone BUT uber-goddess Katherine Heigl. No way in hell that’s happening in real life. She’s going to nail a rich guy unless she is somehow deeply disturbed. Only a guy writer would cook up a girl like that who loves sex like that.

  11. RichardA

    There’s a gender gap.

  12. Thanks for posting this Sasha. Sex and the City is going to be a huge hit, and media over the past few weeks have actually made fun of the fact that a bunch of women will watch it. People kept attacking the film because chicks were going to be watching it. I’m tired of people even calling female friendly films “chick flicks.” We don’t make fun of the male audience that will watch Iron Man or The Dark Knight. Good Lord, it’s not like those male friendly films are called dick flicks.

    If it weren’t for television I’d probably feel like actual women didn’t exist in the world. We’re always some cardboard cut out of the girl some nerd producer couldn’t get in with high school. I have a good mind to pay for SATC ten times just to send Hollywood a message. Okay, rant over.

  13. Many of the male critic haters seem to resent the film pretty vehemently. I feel they’re threatened–how dare women take center stage and reduce men to supporting parts. It didn’t surprise me that Dargis joined the gaggle of gents in hating the film. She makes one long for Elvis Mitchell!

    Check out my review at newyorkcool.com:

    http://www.newyorkcool.com/archives/2008/May/film-reviews.html#sex

  14. Alison Flynn

    Thanks for the link, Sasha. That’s a great site and an interesting read.

    Saltire Flower: dick flick, lol. It should be added to the lexicon. I have the same sentiment about the attitudes toward ‘chick flicks’ as you do. And it’s really sad that the media is making fun of the fact that a bunch of women will watch it. As if there’s something wrong with that? It’s terrible.

    And I agree with Frank J. Avella’s assessment that perhaps they’re threatened, not just by women in leading roles with men reduced to supporting, but with powerful, smart women in general. I won’t even remark about the nasty comments about SJP’s looks by all – those comments don’t deserve to be dignified with a response. Whether you like or dislike SJP, she is a smart, savvy business woman who launched an extremely successful syndicated television program. There may be many male producers (and others) who are threatened by that.

  15. S.T. Stevens

    Response from a Sex in the City hater:

    Sasha, I don’t hate Sex in the City because I can’t stand women in starring roles. One of my favorite movies this decade is Devil Wears Prada. I include movies like The Little Foxes, All About Eve and Working Girl (the latter I get mocked for liking from time to time) among my all-time favorites. My problems with Sex in the City stem from the fact that I just don’t think it’s that good (shocker!) not because I’m an male chauvinist. I think it’s shallow, vapid and I absolutely cannot stand Sarah Jessica Parker. Basically, I hate it for the same reasons I hate Entourage, just substitute Jeremy Piven for Parker. So before you generalize every detractor of Sex in the City as part of some conspiracy to keep women down in Hollywood, please recognize that it is entirely possible for completely rational, forward-thinking people to not be fans.

  16. Chris S.

    That’s all it made? With the crowds I’ve seen, I thought it was gonna be bigger than Indiana Jones.

  17. Alison Flynn

    It was bigger than Indiana Jones in the UK.

  18. XanderLJ

    RRA, I know it’s not just you, mate, but cut it out with all this “straight guys don’t like SATC” bullshit!

    I’m a ridiculously straight guy (the kind who thinks men are lucky all women aren’t lesbians, because that would make helluva lot more sense), yet I was a huge fan of the SATC show, and I really enjoyed the film, too. I know many other straight men who do too. I think a lot of this “straight guy” bullshit just comes from insecure men who don’t like to hear what women really think about them, and how they discuss them amongst other women. Me? Phhhft! I always found Miranda utterly unlikable, more so on the show than in the film, but she was still very funny, and I didn’t ever feel the show told me anything about “female conversation” I didn’t already imagine myself. It just said it in a very funny, witty and entertaining way.

  19. XanderLJ

    Josh Groban was the lead in KNOCKED UP? Damn, boys gained A LOT of weight!

    Anyway, Sasha, I think you’re 110% wrong on KNOCKED UP. I think it was one of the funniest films in ages, and you’re grossly exaggerating the gay jokes. I’ve seen it over five times, and there really are not even ten gay jokes in the film. I’m gonna count them next time I see it, but I’m fairly certain. Most of the jokes that were repeated a lot were the beard jokes and pot jokes (which I LOVE). I think you just weren’t paying a attention, you know since it was a “guy movie” and you admittedly don’t “get” that humor (unfortunately), and remembered the gay jokes in VIRGIN, you decided to throw that in as a complain.

    I also think it’s a bit sexist to say that you didn’t like it because it was a “guy movie” and no woman would get it, since I know dozens of women just as smart as you who TOTALLY got it, and appreciated it for what it was. And WTF is up with this stuff about they didn’t act like human beings for the first hour? So “human beings” aren’t lazy, smoke pot, or have commitment-phobia?

    Wow, Judd and I must know A LOT of martians, then!

    And the Heigl thing is an utterly baseless stereotype, Sasha. I’ve seen many many gorgeous women with GOULISH-looking guys. Hell, two of my neighbors are perfect examples of it! Usually, like with the Ben character in KU (despite his flaws), it’s the lovable personality that does it.

    And in my book, if a woman “like that” would only consider “nailing a rich guy” for a relationship, then she’s waaaay more disturbed than otherwise. You’re basically saying if she’s NOT a gold digger, she’s disturbed?

    “Only a guy writer would cook up a girl like that who loves sex like that.” – I’m sorry, but I really don’t understand this. You gotta be nuts to think you can tell how much a woman enjoys sex from just the way she looks.

    Jeez! How many stereotypes can you fit in one post?

  20. Sasha Stone

    I appreciate what you’re saying, Josh but alas, I don’t think the problem was that I didn’t “get it” so much as I didn’t respond to it, meaning, those jokes just weren’t that funny to me – like their constant focus on their dicks and their need to always say “vagina” every five seconds. It is as Heigl said in interviews a sexist movie that views women as bitter, old or “hot” and if they’re hot they are going to immediately fall for a guy like Seth Rogin(!). Sorry, not gonna happen – oh maybe one in a million shot it will happen. You ask me how many stereotypes in one post – well how many ideals can a writer cram into one character? Everything about Heigl’s character was wrong and annoying. Everything. She had no sense of humor, no interest in anything other than talking about “stuff.” She had no real passion for anything and could only cry constantly, or complain or otherwise try to force the manboy to grow up. Please. There is just no way, in the world I know, that that pairing would ever happen. Not unless the guy has serious cash or else she has to totally control things.

    That said, there were parts of it I liked – I didn’t hate it. The second half made me laugh a lot. I especially liked the “bloody show” line. I just wish women in his movies were more than the sum of their body parts. Why do the guys get all the good lines? Why the women always horrible and shrewish or else pretty and empty-headed?

    Maybe to you it seemed real — good for you. I hope you grow up into a world that confirms this.

  21. The Third Man

    Okay, it’s time we cleared this up. The lead in Knocked Up was not Josh Groban. It’s Seth Rogen. IMDB doesn’t take long to access.

  22. Kelly

    I went in with doubts and was totally blown away. I thought it was great. But, I also am not a fanatic about the show – I only watched it when it was the only thing on late-night TV reruns. And even those are the watered-down version of the real show. But, I thought the movie was great. Who cares about its awards possibilities? I don’t think they made this thinking it would seriously contend for awards, save the Jennifer Hudson song at the end and MAYBE a costumes nod, which I don’t expect. So, it’s a fun movie, and I think that’s what it was meant to be.

  23. RRA Issues An Unofficial Official Apology

    Alright XanderLJ, you got me.

    To be honest, you’re the first self-professed heterosexual dude I know of anywhere who likes SATC, so there you go…I was wrong.

    I hope to God you don’t read my STREETS OF FIRE review in the Forums, where I also made a crack at SATC. :)

  24. BryanSamo

    This is completely off-topic, but I am starting to get sick of reading people referred to as “haters” because they are critical of something. This is really juvenile behavior. It is permeating throughout our culture. Everywhere, not just here, but in politics too now.

    It is so easy to label somebody a “hater” because they don’t agree with you, or hold you accountable, or criticize. This is what an 8-year old does.

  25. The only thing that I find upsetting is that when a man offers a critical analysis of Sex and the City, it’s because he’s a misogynist or “haters” of woman. I loved the show, had issues with it and hated the movie and I’ve seen many men lambasted for having the temerity to say they didn’t like the film’s materialism or viewpoint. That doesn’t make them women-haters, it just makes them people who didn’t enjoy that film or the film’s point of view.

    Personally, I’m happy to see SATC do well even though I felt it wasn’t as good as most of the TV show because I’m hoping it will empower the creators to come back with something stronger the second time around, now that they know there is an audience for this.

  26. Haroldsmaude

    I’m glad the film advances the cause of women in the film industry. Yet, this is anything but a feminist film, so I wonder, at what cost? Who really gains when SATC does great box office?

    Me? I’m also not a fan (and not a hater) of the series; just didn’t get cable and didn’t watch much. Also not one for paying for fashion (I’d wear what Carrie wears if it was at the Salvation Army – that and if I had her figure). I won’t go to see the film because I have better things to do with my time (like watch season 2 of the Wire o DVD). Though based on the comments here by Sasha especially I’m going to be more critical of the 54 at Metacritic.

  27. Like a lot of the other guys have said already, I have no interest in seeing the movie. I watched maybe two episodes of the show, and it didn’t do much for me.

    But I’m glad a female-centered movie is doing great business. Because while virtually every straight guy I’ve talked with won’t see it, there are about 5 times that many girls who, along with their girlfriends, mothers, grandmothers, and aunts, cannot wait to see it. I kid you not, probably about 90% of the girls at UGA have seen it, are going to see it soon, or are watching it right now.

  28. I can’t wait to see this. I bet I am a target-group ;-) As for the reach of the movie version…. When I was in the Netherlands last 2004, it was around the time the 2 last episodes of SATC last season were gonna show and Amsterdam basically closed down for the airing. Cafes had chalkboards outside announcing they had “Tv inside for Sex And The City Season Finale”. And I don’t mean gay cafes, I mean regular cafes for regular joes. I had already seen the finale, so I went out to check the streets… Totally empty. So this IS going to be HUGE in Europe. And since I dislike Indiana IV, I certainly hope it steps all over it on the boxoffice this weekend. May I also remind that girls, not boys, drove Titanic to record-breaking US and international gross.

    Awards potential? Not putting money on that, though.. And lets just take a moment to pause and think about Jennifer Hudson here. Is she or is she not an actress?

  29. Christina

    Hmmm. Straight female here with some taste who wouldn’t see this movie unless my life depended on it. I find the female characters offensive and downright silly and they represent a horrible depiction of women. I would love to see more female films dominating the box office…just not crap like SATC. I’m disappointed in some of the comments on here. Maybe the film is getting bashed because it’s just not supposed to be any good. It happens!

  30. Sasha Stone

    OMG, Josh Grobin. :-| OMG.

    My brain!!!

    Just one quick comment – I used “haters” specifically because, for some reason, Sex and the City is taking heat for “cashing in” or because the women are too old or not pretty enough, etc. This isn’t to say anything about people who genuinely critique the film – I think that’s fair. The haters are people who selectively complain, imo, and do it for petty reasons. Seth Rogin!

  31. If you listen very carefully, you can actually hear Jeff Wells’ already shriveled testicles shrinking up.

    Music to my ears.

  32. Haroldsmaude

    Tufas:

    Not!

  33. alynch

    Look, I think that a lot of the criticisms being leveled at the movie where people say it’s harmful to the country or some shit have been silly hyperbole, but we’re not really going to try to paint this film’s success as some sort of triumph of womanhood are we? In my mind, that would basically be hyperbole of an equal order in the other direction.

  34. Wow, get over yourself. First Hillary screaming sexism from the rooftops, and now this nonsense.

    Please just think for a moment before you post such garbage. How did SATC do as a tv show? How was it received? Oh, that’s right, most loved it and it was nominated for and won many awards. But people are ripping the movie, and all of a sudden SEXISM SEXISM. The feminist movement looks like an absolute joke when these wild unfounded accusations are made.

  35. Wow, thanks to Gus for making a strong point about sexism, undoubtedly without even realizing it.

    Anyway, straight dude here who saw this last night with dad, mom, and sisters for mom’s birthday. I was absolutely ready for the worst, had never seen the show, but you know what? I was surprised. I had a good time. The energy of the mostly female crowd was good, lots of laughs and reactions. In terms of the art of filmmaking this isn’t exactly breaking new ground, but I too don’t get the hate. It’s a fun time at the movies – isn’t that what summermovie-going is all about?

  36. What exactly is the strong point Mike

  37. Please forgive me for the length of this comment.

    Gus: I don’t think Sasha has a problem with anyone who genuinely hates or takes issue with the film itself. Neither do I. I’m a fan of the show who isn’t deluded into believing the film will be as good as the TV show. Critics who honestly talk about what they liked or didn’t like about the film don’t bother me. If you think a film is shit. Then to you, it’s shit. Nobody can take that away from you.

    What I DO have a problem with is when people insult the audience of a particular film. I get offended when people make fun of women because are fans of a show they feel honestly represents women. Some say it doesn’t represent women, and some say it does. Women cannot be defined by four characters. Women know this. But when all the women in films are two dimensional and bland, a lot of women would rather put up with an over the top three dimensional representation of SOME women.

    It offends me when people insult the female audience by calling a great deal of them “hoes”. Why are women constantly brushed aside with this word?

    It offends me when some people are shocked at a large female audience as if its some sort of novelty, but act as if a male audience has more valid taste. It appalls me when some men immediately scream from the rooftops rather proudly that they. Will. Not. See. This. Movie. As if their maleness won’t allow them to see it. A lot of men in the media treated this film very callously and acted as if the film itself was not important because a lot of women would see it. Just wait until the numbers for this weekend come in. People will barely acknowledge it.

    Not everyone who is critical of the film is a sexist. Far from it. But there is a loud minority that is almost proud of its sexism and that annoys me. I target my frustration at this loud stupid minority, not the majority of honest men who do not feel threatened strong, intelligent women.

    Anyway Gus, I think Sasha raised a valid point, while Hilary Clinton’s is a little more debatable. I don’t think Hilary is losing because the media is totally full of a bunch of sexists who hate her for having boobs. The media just hates her. Not all politicians are liked and that’s fine. If you can run the country properly who cares if nobody likes you? She’s losing because, well, it’s politics and someone has to lose. It’s a contest. You can’t think the rules are fair when you’re winning, and then cry sexism when you’re losing.

    What I feel isn’t debatable however, is that like racism, sexism in the media DOES exist. The problem with sexism is that people are more likely to not only admit to it, because it’s more acceptable to be a sexist, some men are actually proud of this form of bigotry. I think maybe that’s part of what Sasha means, though I cannot speak for her. And I suppose that’s what Hilary Clinton wants to, or ought to say. Racists are usually closet racists who say foul things when nobody is listening or watching. Sexists can shout it from the rooftops and nobody can cry foul without being brushed aside. Sexism isn’t only acceptable, in some circles, (rather like the gay jokes from Knocked Up) it’s actually considered cool.

  38. nancy

    I haven’t seen the movie but I have been reading the reviews.
    The critics have been brutal. Rotten Tomatoes has it averaging around the 55% http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/sex_and_the_city_the_movie/

    But it seems to me that they are relishing panning this film more than any other in recent memory. Rick Groen of the Globe and Mail gave it a zero. He is usually a tough critic……but thats harsh.
    All this bashing of a “chick flick” kind of reminds me of the way the media has been treating Hilary Clinton.

  39. BryanSamo

    OK…I saw the movie tonight. Loved it. I don’t know what Manohla Dargis was thinking. I didn’t see the same movie she saw at all. Maybe had low expectations because of her review, but I loved this movie.

  40. Alynch, I don’t think it’s a triumph of womanhood any more than Transformers was a triumph of manhood. I hope it’s a reminder to Hollywood however that there are enough people outside of their normal target demographic to make movies that aren’t sequels or about superheroes successful.

  41. There are a lot of women in this country right? I’m pretty confident that they packed the theaters. and Simply because a movies makes a lot of money doesn’t mean much. I mean black people flock to Tyler Perry movies, and they all suck (I’m black BTW).

    Also I would guess that idiots probably presumed the movie would not make money. The show was incredibly popular on HBO, and women love it. Some dudes like it too. So who ever expected it to flop, probably didn’t look at the evidence (the show was on for like 7 years right?).

    Oh, and SATC advanced the cause of women like Soul Plane advanced the cause of black people.

    But I’m not going to see it. I need to save my money for The Dark Knight, my dignity, and my manhood. hate, hate, hate…

    great post!

  42. PeterV

    I am a fan of the show. I loved the movie. I also enjoyed Indiana Jones, although it was lame on many levels, because of the nostalgia effect. However, I found SATC satisfying and lovely. It was touching, funny in parts, and overall a really great couple of hours. I saw it at the Sundance Kabuki theatre in San Francisco — which allows you to reserve your seat, bring “real” drinks into the theatre. Women came dressed up in their SATC splendor, people ordered Cosmos in glasses big enough to be considered Big Gulps, and the vibe was electrifying. People yelled at the screen, clapped and gasped, and were playfully raucous. It was more of an event than a movie. And I’m sorry — no matter what — this is a critic-proof movie.

    People will go because they want to have fun, and indulge a bit – relive the best of SATC. It is, above all else, escapist fun that is in no need of analysis. By either sex — gay or straight.

  43. Waiting To Exhale

    “I hope it’s a reminder to Hollywood however that there are enough people outside of their normal target demographic to make movies that aren’t sequels or about superheroes successful.”

    But this movie is going to be looked at as a sequel to the tv show. I hope the same women who went to support SATC will go see The Women. Yes I know it is a remake but if it sells tickets then we may have something to cheer about. Otherwise it just another Waiting to Exhale for the female demographic. (Waiting to Exhale was to be the movie that opened Hollywoods eyes that movies starring black actresses could sell. But nothing changed.)

  44. Sasha Stone

    “all of a sudden SEXISM SEXISM. The feminist movement looks like an absolute joke when these wild unfounded accusations are made.”

    Gus, if you read what was written, sexism was lodged at Knocked Up. But interesting you should bring up Hillary….Let’s go over it again, shall we? When I was a kid it was the 1970s. Feminism was dictating the roles of women in Hollywood films. You had good female characters and bad ones but often strong and interesting ones. This was the era of Jane Fonda and Faye Dunaway and Lily Tomlin, etc. Things have mightily changed because of the way box office dictates what is popular and it is all in the hands of little boys. Little boys don’t like movies about strong women. They like them when they are doing high kicks and slapping boys around but real women in real parts? A rarity these days. Last year was agonizing to sit through because of the lack of successful films starring women. Those movies were made but they bombed at the box office, got middling reviews and were ignored at awards time. Fine, so you say, make better movies that the little boys and the critics and the voters will like. But where are those projects? Now that last year has diminished women as being able to “open” movies, especially over-40 women, well the chances are going to be even tougher.

    Yes, the industry is sexist. Generally, these days, I get the feeling that most people in mass hate women but much of that is due to reading too much on the internet where most of the movie blogs are run by men and most of the commenters get to say what they’ve always wanted to say unchecked by anyone. And it is getting ugly. Really really ugly. It’s ugly to both men and women but women get it worse, I think.

    As far as Sex and the City goes, saw it yesterday with a theater full of women and that alone was a bizarre experience. It was like being at an Oprah show. Very responsive crowd. The movie was sort of meh, with a few laughs here or there. But it wasn’t any worse than the usual shit put out by studios starring men that makes a lot of money – I was just glad to see it be women for once, older women too. Maybe this will help get more projects made, maybe it will briefly silence the five white guys in suits who run this town.

  45. Knocked Up definitely has a negative view of women but so does Sex and the City. One portrays them as completely humorless, shrill dullards while the other portrays them as materialistic and selfish. Both of them oversimplify and neither one should be praised.

  46. Marshall

    Surely you must see the irony of bemoaning the sexist dismissal of SEX AND THE CITY right before launching intoa sexist screed against KNOCKED UP.

  47. S.T. Stevens

    It appears your estimate of $70 mil for the weekend was a little high, Sasha. Box Office Mojo is estimating a $55 million weekend today.

  48. I’m not sure if we should use this movie to illustrate that a full women cast can sell in Hollywood. The fact that it was a hit show for six years probably had more of an affect on sells than the fact that it starred mostly women.

    Also, we have to stop exclusively blaming men and sexism for the stagnation of women. Women are equally to blame. Chick flicks are not popular because of men. Besides, women have the economic power to dictate what they want shown in movie theaters (just like men). Any product can be made in Hollywood, it is up to the consumer to give it a passing or failing grade. If consumers continue to pay to see movies that may not paint women in a favorable light, then so be it. That’s the way of the market. If women have a problem with certain movies, then don’t go see them. It seems unfair to call out the industry, when the solution to the problem is so simple. It’s like me going to a movie made by white supremacists, and writing an negative review calling it racist. You assume the risk when you watch certain types of movies, so just deal with it or don’t go.

    However, if someone likes “dick jokes” or jokes ridiculing women, then let them enjoy that movie in peace. It’s something we call liberty, and I happen to believe its the most important concept in our country.

  49. RichardA

    “However, if someone likes “dick jokes” or jokes ridiculing women, then let them enjoy that movie in peace.”

    Yeah, but…I don’t like to enable people with that kind of behaviour.

    Liberty should be extended to those who criticize as well.

  50. I haven’t read the angry review in question, nor have I looked at anything other than the RT rating, but as a straight male whom has watched every episode with his girlfriend (many multiple times) and been able to get over myself to really enjoy the show (it’s ridiculous how many guys are too afraid to do this), I found the movie to be completely unnecessary and not true to the show. Here was a show that ended on top with one of the best jobs at wrapping everything up nicely and then the mess I saw the other night just dumped all over that. Sure, fine, that’s real life, but it will forever taint the way I look back on the characters as opposed to how it was prior to the movie.

    Aside from that, it was way too fake for the first hour or more and aside from one “colourful” meeting between the four (plus one), the witty banter (and great writing) between the characters was gone. The main “turning point” after that first portion was not believable AT ALL (her reaction). Well…all in all it is a shame. I am glad that some people are happy with the way it all went down and were enthralled to see everyone back again, but as someone who almost always finds merit in everything, it was really disappointing. Charlotte was good…and believable as herself. Actually, Louise was fantastic and fit very well. Way too little Stanford. That’s all…now I’m going to read that review you mentioned and see what her beefs were. Take care all!

  51. Gentle Benj

    Are the SATC characters REALLY “real women”? Because I find them a lot less likable than the REAL real women in my life.

  52. RRA can't wait for GET SMART....Yeah, no SmartAss Joke Today...Up Here.

    Hey Sasha, is Roger Ebert a fucking hater too for giving thumbs down to the SATC movie?

  53. Sasha Stone

    Where did I say anything about anyone hating the movie being specifically a “hater”? I’m talking about the people who digging in because they stupidly have been conditioned to believe that the only films worth watching are those that don’t appeal to the fanboys. Sex and the City sucks? Well so does Indiana Jones. Most movies DO suck. Male-dominated films rule the box office and the movie theaters. You all get SO threatened by this topic it’s insane. Who knew the word hater would make people as mad as my dissing Intelligent Design? Yikes. Any posts that call me a bitch or anything by that David fellow are going to be deleted.

  54. BryanSamo

    Hey Sasha-

    I think I was the first person to post about “hater” in this thread. I wasn’t speaking about you personally, but it was an overly-broad generalization regarding the use of “haters” that seems to be thrown around the universe towards anyone who criticizes something, or holds someone accountable.

    I agree with everything that you have written on this post regarding sexism. If somebody calls you a bitch, that is a hater!

    It is interesting how what seemed like a somewhat off-hand post about SATC ended degrading down to name calling. People get very defensive and don’t seem to be able to see things from somebody else’s point of view.

  55. RRA beats up Michael Bay

    Oh calm down Sasha, I was teasing you and bam, I’m the man-pig who jams action movies down everyone’s throat.

    BTW, Venture Bros. returns tonight at 11:30 on Adult Swim.

    Best show on television….yeah, eat it LOST.

  56. Goddammit, I just typed up a nice, long comment on here and I erased it accidentally. Let me try this again…

    Now I’m gonna take it easy because I like Sasha and her website here and I tend to find myself agreeing on most of what she says on here.

    However, I find this article to be a bit off-putting. I don’t think this movie should be looked upon as a savior for women as strong female leads that can make a big hit with the box office. I don’t think Sex and the City portrays women in a better light than Knocked Up, while I agree that the women in Knocked Up are portrayed pretty badly. Then again, the men in Knocked Up aren’t portrayed any better. And I know guys like those in Knocked Up who make gay and dick jokes all the time, so I really didn’t find any of that offensive. If anything, I found that portion of the movie to be realistic. In fact, I find most of the conversations depicted in those Apatow films to be quite realistic among guys that I know. I don’t know about other guys out there though, but I figure that’s what makes those films stand out more than other generic comedies.

    I also thought the main humor in Knocked Up is that a guy like Seth Rogen’s character was able to sleep with a woman that was as hot as Katherine Heigl. That’s what is supposed to be so funny: the unbelievability of watching Seth Rogen’s character pick up Heigl’s character. That’s what makes the movie a fiction movie. That main tidbit didn’t bother me at all, I thought the movie was to be saying, “Can you believe this guy nailed THIS chick?”

    The last thing I wanna say about this is that I think the people who see Judd Apatow as a “talentless hack” or a sexist should really look back at “Freaks and Geeks” and especially Linda Cardellini’s character. I found her to be very multi-dimensional and smart. It’s too bad Apatow movies lately don’t have characters such as her, but stilll… she existed and she was in something Apatow helped create. Either way, I think it’s worth pointing out.

    Now regarding Sex and the City: The Movie, I probably won’t be actively going out there to see the movie. I only watched a couple of episodes of SATC, mainly the episodes with Ron Livingston (I love Ron Livingston and his character on that show). It’s great that this movie is successful, but I don’t think that this means anything because of the strong following SATC had. I don’t think it’s anything to hold stock on. I wish there will be more successful movies out there with strong female leads. I also wish there were movies out there that had stronger female characters. I guess it’s fun to point and laugh at the typical “male” who balked at the idea of this movie having any commercial success, but I think that’s where it all ends. You watched the movie, you enjoy it (or barely enjoy it), and you have fun at the opposite gender’s expense. Everything else is hogwash, sorry to say.

    Also, I wasn’t sure if I was to point out that I’m a straight male. I was hoping that’d be a given, unless I made any indication that I wasn’t. Not that I would have a problem with it or anything… honestly… (ok that was a bad joke, my apologies).

  57. “Yeah, but…I don’t like to enable people with that kind of behaviour.

    Liberty should be extended to those who criticize as well.”

    Not to sound antagonistic, but it really does not matter what you like. If a person wants to do it, then by all means.

    And liberty is certainly extended to criticism, but its fruitless to do it in some situation. I feel like when it deals with the mostly subjective taste of a movie, it becomes irrelevant. However, if a person feels the need or moral duty, then again, by all means.

  58. Christheking

    Honestly-you straight guys aren ‘t helping yourselves here with the posts you are making. The responses seem brittle & almost bitter. I find that everytime a woman, or women succeed there is this response from men. It’s seems to be the same way when there is a gay theme, aka, Brokeback.
    I firmly believe that the true people that have issues with being sexist or a homophobe are these that lash back so vehemently, “you can’t criticize me because I don’t “happen” to like it!” You can usually tell by the tone of the post. These same straight men that get so defensive (and I’m only talking about those that fall into this catagorie, not ALL straight men) absolutely get nasty on the boards when people don’t like the films they do!
    It’s facinating that I remember this same kind of response to Thelma and Louise, one of the most oscar-deprived movies of all time. It makes you wonder how far we have actually come with regards to gender equality?
    And asking what this really means?? Come on guys! This means a “womens” film is the number 1 R-rated comedy opening of all time!! That’s HUGE! Expecially when you have studio executives just last year saying that women’s films couldn’t make any money!
    When you make post that seem to want to take the significance out of that, you have to realize that people do consider that sexist and rightly so.
    You can not like the film. That’s okay, but when you get hyper-defensive-of course people will think your sexist.

  59. richard crawford

    Loved the first year of the tv show. Have not seen the rest. The movie is STINKO.

  60. Haroldsmaude

    I think part of the issue here is detangling the threads of film and women. As I asked earlier, who wins if SATC does well? There are films made for women, films starring women, films made by women, and films about women. Many others far more knowledgeable than I have written on these elements, but I think they simplify and focus points of the issue.

    Films made for women are just niche marketing. And if Hollywood thinks I as a woman will like a particular film, what does that say about me?

    Films made starring women can be a positive for women if it gives equity to women’s salaries to men’s. If it proves that women can open a film and get more attention in film. And when there’s money behind a film, more options are possible.

    Films made by women speak power to women’s causes being represented, though this certainly is not always the case. But clearly more women are needed to be given chances in the film industry behind the camera and in all aspects of production. Again its an issue of equity and giving voice.

    Films made about women are a whole other ballgame and this is where much of the discussion lies. How women’s lives and their choices are represented, how women as human beings are represented in film is critical, yet it is also easily dismissed, especially when a film does big box office, and has major product tie ins. Much of the strongest criticism I’ve heard about SATC is specifically on the point of representation (see for example, last week’s article in Newsweek – not a bastion of liberalism).

    The discussion about SATC fits into all categories. While I’m happy that some women are going home richer and the presence of women in the entertainment industry may be a bit stronger (and JSP uses her power for good), there is real debate about its influence on advancing the view of women by society, and of women as a market.

  61. RRA Always Uses Protection....its called a GUN

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