Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Carrie OK

I’m not a huge Sex And The City fan. I liked the few episodes I was able to watch from beginning to end: I found all four characters engaging, and the funny parts were genuine laugh-out-loud moments. But there were other episodes that I couldn’t stay until the end (for one reason or another), and I found it easy to just walk away from the television screen. In contrast, when I get hooked on an episode of Entourage (HBO’s male-bonding replacement to Carrie and company), it takes supreme force of will for me to leave prior to the end credits. It’s not a reflection of the quality of the writing, acting and direction of SATC—I’m just more interested in Hollywood dirty laundry than New York fashion, footwear and female fetishes.

Still I wanted to watch SATC The Movie. I did connect with the show’s scrutiny of the single girl—especially when it comes to relationships and sex—and I was curious to see how the girls, 40-ish and fabulous, have transitioned from single to taken.

(Take note that I never watched the final episodes of the series. And I only saw the last scene—the “significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself” final monologue and the Big revelation of his name—on YouTube.)

I found the movie engaging without alienating the non-viewers who may not be familiar with the show. And while the movie at times felt a little long (it’s like the filmmakers went on some detours—engaging, but detours nonetheless—just to prolong the Big resolution), it is a tribute to Sarah Jessica Parker and company that they make you care for them. And while the writer-ly tricks and strings sometimes show, I just let them slide because the girls are just having too much fun.

SATC is mostly a lesson on labels. In relationships as well as in wedding gowns, labels up the ante. They can lead to joy, contentment and a spread in Vogue magazine; they can also lead to victims of fashion and love. For some, labels are a comfortable coat; to others they’re a straightjacket. In the end what matters is if the shoe fits; what matters is essentially between two people. And it’s the essentials that never go out of style.

What I also found interesting was the resolution of Samantha’s story arch. She of the man-eater kind got cancer and a shaved-headed boyfriend—and left New York for L.A. and monogamy. But then her insecurities come out and in the end she has to choose between the life she once led and the life she has now. I found it interesting that the oldest of the girls is the one who is also most insecure about whom she has become. Yet she is also quite honest with herself and willing to take a chance for her happiness. It seems to me that the final words of Carrie in the TV show now belonged more appropriately to Samantha in the movie:

The most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.

That she had the balls to walk away from what most people would insist is a “good thing” is a testament to the complexity of “being a Samantha”. Love, like life, is not about how long it lasts but how good it was. And sometimes, letting go is actually a gesture of love.


peter penducker said...


Misterhubs said...

My only gripe was how the local censors butchered the movie. Other than that, it was an OK clit flick.

Anonymous said...

sobrang totoo ito. buti nga ganun ung resolution ni samantha kasi there are girls (and gay men too), na happy to be single pero yung ibang tao nalulungkot for them. this is a testament na we can happy na tyo lang.

the nomad said...

same here. i never was a big fan of the series but seeing the movie, i think Samantha became my instant favorite.

peter penducker said...

Partikular na gusto ko sa pelikulang ito yung mala-Melanie Marquez moment ni Charlotte. Yun ang eksenang sinigawan niya si Big ng "Noooo!!!" (or was it - "Waaaarrghh!!!") matapos pukpukin ni Carrie ng kanyang bouquet yung isa. Weirdly reminescent siya ng isang eksena ni Melanie sa Giraffe sa ibaba ng 6750 sa Makati, kung saan sinundan niya si Ruffa sa c.r. matapos nilang magchuk-chakan ni Gretchen. Matapos damayan si Ruffa eh lumabas si Melanie ng c.r., hinarap yung mga bading na sumasagap ng chismis sa may ramp malapit sa pintuan at nanlilisik ang mga mata niyang (I guess walang maisip na monologue) sumigaw siya ng "Waaaaaargh!!"

Klasik Melanie-moment on SATC... hehehe