Vox Nova at the Movies: Sex and the City
I am not going to do a review on this movie for the simple reason that I despised the series and, therefore, will not be wasting my money on the actual movie. As a woman, I am actually offended by the theme of the series, which is continued by the movie itself based on what I have heard on the radio. What bothers me the most about the theme of the series is how women are portrayed, its emphasis on the shortcomings of marriage and committal relationships, and its promotion of false femininity.
What I find rather sad is that the movie is promoted by the media as being about “love and relationships”. Really? What kind of “love and relationships” are we talking about exactly? Just as Friends and other TV shows that showed people who really didn’t work and just had a good time hanging out on a coffee shop all day made some people think that was somehow real life, it does not come as a surprise that many women live similar lifestyles that the four characters from Sex and the City live. Any kind of emotional trauma and attachment that may result from casual sexual adventures can always be fixed with a new pair of shoes. How is that real? For some reason, based on anecdotal evidence, some women truly believe this and try to live it out. Being promiscuous and used by men is somehow “cool” and perhaps “chic.”
Truly free? I don’t think so
In better words than mine, Fr. Raymond Desouza in his article titled “Oversexed, Underloved” rightly outlines the myth behind Sex and the City:
These are women who are assertive and confident, but are constantly fretting about men. These are women who have more sex than your stereotypical frat house, but are achingly searching for love. These are women with money and professional success, but who find their lives incomplete. These are terribly insecure women. They are fragile. These are not women little girls want to grow up to be. And that’s not me talking, but Hollywood.
“They say nothing lasts forever, dreams change, trends come and go, but friendships never go out of style,” purrs Carrie in the movie trailer.
Actually, friendships mature as people do. But the Sex and the City girls are stuck in perpetual adolescence, still talking about the cutest boy in class, and wondering if he has noticed them, and not yet having figured out that the trampy girls get attention, but little respect.
A slap in the face
I am still puzzled by how some Catholic and Christian women do not see a problem watching this movie or even buying the DVD series. Yes, this goes to you, my Catholic friends who are very excited about watching the premiere tonight. Not surprisingly, Catholic News Service rates the movie “Morally Offensive”. I rate it as a “real slap in the face for women who believe and live out their true femininity”. It is not only a slap in the face for women but also for those men who respect women and treat them accordingly. It is also a slap in the face to families and married couples who truly live out their vocation in sacrifice and respect for one another. Here are some excerpts from CNS’s Movie Review:
Conscientious themes of forgiveness and reconciliation as well as a generally positive view of marriage are swamped, in writer-director Michael Patrick King’s adaptation, by errant materialism and an approach to human sexuality at once immature and indiscreet.
To sump up, I do find the argument of Fr. De Souza compelling in that Sex and the City is actually an honest admission of Hollywood of the consequences of living the lives that these four characters live:
Sex and the City told the story of women who adapted themselves to this world, but found no happiness there. That’s a big admission from Hollywood. The movie is apparently about marriage and motherhood, a rather more ancient and wiser path in the pursuit of happiness.