In its six seasons on HBO, "Sex and the City" reinvented mainstream perceptions of New York City, fashion and gal-pal gossip. But after seeing the big-screen version, we couldn't help but wonder ... why go to the theater when you can watch reruns on TBS for free?
David Lee: As a man, it was fun to watch the women. I hate to use the verb, but watching them bond. I think the movie was at its best when it showed them kind of getting each other's backs.
Debbie: I see what you're saying, but it always confused me a little bit, that the premise is, "I'm this independent woman, but my life revolves around men." And then it gets wrapped up all nicely with the four gals sitting there drinking, and saying, "Oh aren't boys silly and we don't really need them."
Besha: It was always strange to me that Carrie's family was never mentioned. Even in the movie, she's getting married! Where's her family? In the same way that those women present an unobtainable view of how you would spend your life and money, they also presented this unobtainable model for how you should live, who your relationships should be with and how much time you can put toward those relationships.
Debbie: From a male's perspective, how do you perceive the dynamic that the four of them have?
David Lee: Thomas' response is a sigh.
Thomas: I think it was definitely realistic. But it's also terrible. God. How much of their problems do they create themselves? I mean, by harping on it, are they creating problems because they need something to fall apart so they can put it back together?
David Lee: "Sex and the City" the TV show was best when they would sit around and talk about sex and their disappointments in it and what they did. It was frank discussion about sex, by women, about women.
Besha: I think about the episode where she was dating that politician who wanted her to pee on him, and that's where the show was crazy-honest. It was so much less about "OK, let's see some body parts." There was very little of that honesty in the movie. It felt more as though they put the sex in because they had to.
David Lee: As a man, I go in knowing full well that the men were going to be peripheral characters. Still, it's aggravating to see people like Steve sidelined. Steve was a great character in the TV show; he was constantly calling Miranda on her bullshit. That was almost an afterthought in the movie.
Besha: The sidelining of the men didn't bother me that much. It's like, here's some male eye candy who serve their purposes. That's the way women's roles often are, and that's the beauty of Samantha's character. It's that she's the alpha male in a woman's body.
Debbie: Carrie's relationship with Big kind of threw me a little bit, because she calls him "John" throughout the movie, which I found really weird because he was always this kind of anonymous dude throughout the series.
David Lee: He was a type. Chris Noth is a pretty cool actor, and Mr. Big was a pretty cool character.
Debbie: But not a good kisser.
Besha: Not a good kisser! I always could tell that he wasn't a good kisser, but when it's on a huge screen and it's all you can see you're like, "That dude cannot kiss!"
Thomas: Was the nose kissing a new thing?
Debbie: It was like a nose slurp.
Thomas: I think I saw it in the movie Aliens.
David Lee: Man, those clothes were beautiful. I really liked the fashion in it but for one cringe-worthy moment. That wedding gown montage was really beautiful. I thought that was one of the best scenes.
Besha and Debbie: [Silence]
Debbie: The show gets a lot of credit for pushing boundaries, but I wonder if people simply like it just because it's on the show. I mean, it's ridiculous.
Thomas: Yeah, that giant flower that she wore in the beginning. It was the size of home plate.
David Lee: I don't think she could look to her right. I mean a mugger could've totally blindsided her. Do you feel, as women, that the whole fashion thing made the women look superficial?
Debbie: I never thought it was shallow, I just thought it was completely unrealistic.
Besha: It's one of the reasons why women love the show – because it was this very vicarious experience of what it would be like if you could go out and spend that kind of money.
LOVE AND LABELS
Thomas: The theme of the movie infuriated me, because I've always just wanted to reach through the screen and shake all the characters.
Besha: The love theme infuriated me, especially with Jennifer Hudson's character. When Carrie asked her, "Why did you come to New York?" and she said, "To fall in love." I was like, "Gag me with a spoon." Not only because it's just so stupid, but because that's absolutely not the reason young women move to New York. It's not a good town for dating. Everybody knows that the women far outnumber men.
Debbie: Yeah. And her name was Louise from St. Louis.
Besha: Oh, that whole thing was horrifying. I've always liked Carrie's puns, but the St. Louis stuff – St. Louise, Louis Vuitton – it made me wanna shoot myself in the face.
David Lee: Or her in the face.
Besha: Yes. One or the other. Make it stop somehow.