Are you copying me, sweety?

Okay, here comes a major U-turn!

So, I promised myself that I would NOT write about Sex and The City 2 on Uplift… Why? Well, firstly, it’s been analysed amazingly well in so many other places (links below) and I felt that whatever I had to say would simply be a hackneyed regurgitation of all that had gone before. But secondly, and most importantly, I never wanted to create a feminist analysis of this particular Sex and The City movie because I don’t think it’s fair to subject it to such scrutiny.

I’m with Bust magazine’s Emily Rems on this one, in that the SATC franchise gets too much stick simply because it’s the only one of its kind. It’s been called ‘bad for women’ because it is a fantasy aimed at women,  but how many times do we hear similar wailings that men are damaged by fantastical films aimed at them? The fact that this is one of the tiny minority (actually, I’m not sure if I can think of any others. Help me out here?) of films right now focussing on female characters, older women and their friendships, means that we heap all our feminist hopes onto it and, of course, we are going to end up being hugely disappointed. That SATC2 is one of the only blockbusters aimed at women is the major worry here, not whether it will turn us into shoe crazed maniacs.

So, I made my promise. But promises are made to be broken. The driving force, fittingly, was a girly night at my house watching Series 2 of Absolutely Fabulous. When we came to an episode entitled Morocco we all almost spat out our Cosmo cocktails in surprise as we realised the uncanny likeness between Eddie and Patsy’s capers in the souk market, and those of Carrie and co. (skip the clip to 6.50 to see what I mean!)

Of course, this is all coincidental, but I did think it was interesting to see where the culture-based comedy was coming from in AbFab compared with SATC2. In AbFab, Eddie comes out with some terribly ignorant lines; “We dragged these people screaming into the 2oth century,” she says, almost taking credit for the introduction of the ‘non- squat toilet’ and toilet tissue. Later, after perusing the market for ‘little gorgeous things’ whilst wearing next to nothing, Eddie fumes  ”How dare they spit at me? I mean, the nation has a pillowcase with a slit in it as a national costume!”

Honestly, I couldn’t help thinking that if Carrie had the balls (for want of a more feminist-friendly phrase!), she would have said exactly the same thing. God knows something similar must have been going on in that character’s brain as she amusedly watched a woman eating chips below her veil.

In AbFab’s Morrocco episode we are presented with these laughable, ignorant characters who bumble around offending and judging everyone. We laugh at them, because we can’t quite believe that people would behave so ridiculously. However, in SATC2 we’re presented with pretty much the exact same characters and scenarios – and yet we are supposed to be laughing with them. I couldn’t help but wonder; is this an indication of how far backwards we have gone in terms of our cultural understandings and tolerance? Or, with such a huge back-lash to the film, does it simply show how out of touch the SATC writers have become? No wonder SJP is feeling less than absolutely fabulous!

More to read and watch;

Bust Magazine review SATC2 as ‘Surprisingly Delicious

Muslimah Media Watch calls it ‘Orientalist Boogaloo

Burkas and Birkins‘ by Lindy West

Mark Kermode analyses (as only he can!) the class and privilege issues at play in SATC2

Victoria Coren wonders if the SATC franchise has been hijacked by the Christian Right!

By: Sarah Barnes, 08.07.2010 | Comments (0)
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