Last night, Jessica and I watched Sex And The city 2 while munching on pizza, lying on the couch, and generally having ourselves a splendid Date Night. We’ve gotten really, really good at Date Night, by the way. It’s kind of our thing and we’re kind of proud. Kind of. Kind of a lot.
Anyway, it’s more accurate to say that we watched the first half of the movie; for a variety of reasons, finishing it last night was just not in the cards. For one, we were both very tired after a long week; for another, we paused the movie about ten minutes in and ended up talking for close to an hour before starting again; for yet another, the movie is very, very long.
But mostly – and this shouldn’t really be news to anyone – the movie is terrible, and it’s a very special kind of terrible. Let me preface this by saying I have no real allegiance to the show or to its characters; I saw the first movie (which I liked a lot) and have seen an episode here or there, but I would not call myself in any way an aficionado. But to me, it’s one of those shows that is quite evident in its competence – well-written, funny, good characters, consistent, and I feel that those qualities are obvious even when you catch a random episode here and there.
But this movie! I mean… this movie. It blew my mind. It was like driving by a horrible car accident and not being able to look away. It felt like it was written by someone who was (a) not a good writer and (b) had never seen a single episode but rather had been provided with a very, very cursory description of the characters and what audiences expect of them. I was convinced that it must have been written by someone who had never seen the show, didn’t care about the characters, and had been instructed to make it twice as long as it should be – that was just the only logical explanation.
But no – it was written by Michael Patrick King, who wrote many of the show’s premieres and finales and wrote the first film, which I felt was an honest, funny, pretty straightforward comedy with some real moments. Nothing earth-shattering, but a fun, and very competent, moviegoing experience. I’m not sure if he just ran out of gas, or if his heart just wasn’t in the second movie, but – at the risk of being incredibly over-dramatic – it felt like watching four beloved characters get murdered. Murdered in cold blood. Shot ten times each in the chest and left for dead.
Cinematically speaking, of course.
So both Jessica and I got a little sad. Not because it actually means anything in the grander sense; the show can still stand on its own, the first movie was still good, and plus, we’re talking about fictional characters here, characters that are incredibly rich, un-diverse, and pretty damn shallow to begin with. But even from my point of view, I was witnessing the unceremonious demise of four people that a lot of folks really became attached to.
So that’s it, really. And I offer my apologies to anyone who enjoyed the film – I feel like, under the right circumstances, it would be possible to just sit back and breathe in the ridiculousness of it all. And plus, it’s not like I regret watching it – or the first half of it – because it fascinated me. But I wonder if hardcore fans of the show might just disavow this one, much like fans of the Alien movies tend to disown Alien Resurrection.
We went to bed a little sad. But then again, if that’s the saddest thing we’ll experience this week, well… we’re pretty damn lucky.