A New Golden Age – Sex and the City: the Movie
June 4, 2008
The girls are back and better dressed than ever.
Not one to disappoint marketing directors at New Line Cinema, I went to see Sex and the City this past weekend. We all filed in to the theater – suburban women age 18 to 65, physically close to Manhattan yet a million miles away from the life of the fab four. I had watched the series on HBO and naturally loved it in the way so many young (and not so young) women fantasized about how their lives would have turned out. I stayed away from reading the reviews since I knew I wanted to see it no matter what the New York Times had to say. But I did get a sense of people questioning the relevance of overprivileged shopaholics waxing poetic about $525 a pop shoes, especially in light of recent economic trends.
Nonetheless, I predict Sex and the City will be quite successful and perhaps the first of many movies and TV shows about the lifestyles of the rich and richer. Depressed about the prospect of $5 a gallon gas? Well then, let’s ogle Louis Vuitton’s limited edition summer collection handbags that sell out at $2,000+. Frightened by rice rationing at Costco? There’s no limit on how many Manolos you can (watch Carrie) buy. It seems antithetical, an unapologetic movie about fabulous excess connecting with people at a time when most are feeling the squeeze.
There is, however, a precedent for this. These two iconic images date within 5 months of each other:
“Migrant mother” has become perhaps the most recognized photograph from the Great Depression, capturing the uncertainty, pain and poverty of the era. Interestingly, the same time period spawned the so-called Golden Age of American cinema, movies resplendent in sumptuous settings, glamorous clothing and beautiful movie stars.
Fred and Ginger in Top Hat
People didn’t need or want gritty reality – they simply needed to look in the mirror or empty cupboards to get that. They wanted escapist fantasy, pure and simple. And Sex and the City is just that. Now, does that mean Paris Hilton will be making a comeback?
Why not send this ecard to your girlfriends?