Ella Taylor reacts to the reactions to her review of Sex and the City
By Ella Taylor
I caught a lot of flack, most of it out of New York, for my negative review of Sex and the City. Outraged fans of the show and the movie accuse me variously of being “morbidly obese” (just pleasantly plump, I swear) and style-retarded (well, one does try); too young to appreciate the four shopaholics and a sexist, ageist cheap shooter for calling them middle-aged (I’m closer to assisted living than all four of them put together, as my comparisons to The Mary Tyler Moore Show will attest ); a bit angry (too right); and (did I dream it, ‘cause now I can’t find it?) a real bitch.
None of which has changed my assessment of the movie as a flabby shadow of its TV that reeks of disingenuous mixed message. Still, attention must be paid to the passion with which its fans defend SATC the show and the movie. I think one of the reasons is that, like Bridget Jones’s Diary (a movie I defended), The Mary Tyler Moore Show (which I loved as uncritically as today’s fans do SATC) and, in its retrograde way, Our Miss Brooks, SATC expresses the loneliness of urban single women, a potent contemporary theme in an age of hooking up. Only it glamorizes, and so trivializes that loneliness by gussying it up with endless partying and designer labels few of its audience can afford. That’s not cultural commentary — it’s pandering through advertising.
Read Ella Taylor's review of Sex and the City, with comments, here.
Her review also appeared in our sister paper, the Village Voice, with more comments, here.
Photo Craig Blankenhorn/New Line Cinema