In preparation for the Sex and the City movie (which I am going to see TONIGHT with a bunch of classy, sassy lady friends) I've been reading a million reviews this morning. Most of them make the same complaints - it's a bit long, a bit shallow and not as well written as the series. The New York Times said, "there is something depressingly stunted about this movie; something desperate too." Uh oh.
I've struggled with these materialistic and narcissistic tendencies over the years as an avid follower of this SATC subculture. The four leading ladies flit around buying expensive handbags, ogling attractive Wall Street bankers and rejecting men for silly imperfections. On the other hand, this is not just what the show is about - it's mostly about vulnerability, making choices and having friends. Therefore, the recognition of such shallowness sometimes feels honest and a bit refreshing -- and sometimes feel obnoxious.
Anyway, I was happily surprised with an answer Cynthia Nixon (the spunky red-headed actress who plays Miranda) gave in an interview printed in the Star Tribune. It was so nice to read questions that weren't just about "Do Carrie and Big get married? What was your favorite outfit to wear?"
Q: What do you make of the criticism that Sex and the City was some sort of gender betrayal?
A: I think we are a feminist show, just not agitprop. These characters have a lot of flaws and make wrong, even immoral decisions. But as Charlotte says to Miranda, feminism isn't about being superwoman, it's about having choices. I'm not someone who likes to shop or spend a lot of money on clothes, but I love the fantasy element of the show that a woman can go out and spend a thousand dollars - money she made herself - on a handbag. Women are taught to put everyone else before themselves - kids, husband, home. So that's a little something for her.