This week I've been lucky enough to witness a large-scale panic among men of all ages, races and nationalities. They're not being threatened on any physical level, nor are any of their loved ones in any real danger. But the way they're reacting, you'd think everything precious to them, from possessions to family members, was in mortal peril. And the evil force they fight against isn't a human, or an animal, or some vague global threat-- it's a goddamn movie.
I'm talking, of course, about Sex and the City, a movie that has sent the largely male population of movie critics and pundits into paroxysms of panic. Blogger Jeffrey Wells, never one to shy away from woman-hating, says of the movie, "scratch any woman who says she liked it off the list. For anything." Variety reported, with a straight face, that most men would "rather be shot than sit through the movie." Even we at Cinema Blend offered up our help: "We don't want you to fall prey to the same threat that so many will succumb to this weekend, so we at Cinema Blend have put together our top five excuses for men to get out of seeing Sex and the City: The Movie.
Seriously, dudes, what are you so afraid of? Sex and the City, as a movie, is as good as Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull-- a revival of an old hero, with mixed results. It's better than most of the chick flick crap that gets put out there, and, even for its poop jokes and gratuitous male nudity, isn't half as offensive as something like Epic Movie. Really, if you've seen a handful of episodes from the original series, you know exactly what you're in for-- Sex and the City the movie is pretty close to five episodes of the series, give or take a few sex scenes and narcissistic voiceovers.
So what's the problem? Sex and the City has been a well-known, television phenomenon for a decade now, and anyone who hasn't caught a re-run of the show can at least name the four main characters without too much trouble. Men have been able to handle the existence of Sex and the City without feeling in personal jeopardy, but as soon as those four women head to the big screen, all hell breaks loose. The very idea that a movie starring four women, targeted at women, could be the #1 movie this weekend-- well, it's inconceivable to the men who run the movie industry.
No, seriously, most people actually can't conceive of it. Fantasy Moguls has the movie peaking at $95 million, whereas most people who know any fans of the show realize half the women in America will turn out for this movie this weekend. The last movie starring women to top the box office with Baby Mama, with an opening weekend of $18 million. Sex and the City will cream that record, and yet, no one seems willing to admit it.
Listen, boys. We saw Cloverfield with you. We laughed right along with you at Superbad and Talladega Nights. Some poor souls among us even got dragged to Good Luck Chuck and The Fantastic Four on opening weekend. Chicks sit through guy movies all the time, and we don't complain, because that's all there is. The movie industry is dominated by the men who make movies and the boys who see them, and women settle for the scraps they're handed in-between the summer tentpole blockbusters. So really, how dare you bitch and moan when there is one weekend dedicated to a movie that mainly appeals to women? One summer weekend out of twelve? Wow, you're really being deprived.
Mostly, it's sad and terrifying to see the blatant fear men have shown toward anything vaguely feminine and related to this movie. Granted, the marketers have chosen to deck the advertising out in nothing but pink and sparkles, when genuine fans of the show know that's not really what it's all about. But, guys, you've been into Victoria's Secret. You've seen a woman decked out in pink and—gasp!-- sparkles and appreciated the results. Your eyes didn't burn out of their sockets, and your penis didn't melt away. It probably won't happen at a viewing of the Sex and the City movie either, no matter how many pretty dresses float by on the screen.
I get that if you're not a fan of the show, the movie may be boring for you, or may seem superficial and all that is wrong with American consumerism. But don't blame the women who love it-- ahem, Jeffrey Wells-- and don't assume you understand the appeal. Millions of women from all over the world, and all kinds of backgrounds, have found something to love in this show. Even some men enjoy it too. At a certain point you have to take a break from calling the rest of the world idiots, and wonder if maybe you're just missing something. Something pink, sparkly, funny, touching, and just a little bit fabulous.