Sunday, June 01, 2008

Sex And The City in Rome

I went on Friday to see SATC. Saw it in English with Italian subtitles. My ticket was only five euros! That is the least I have paid to see a money in years. The Arclight in L.A. was fourteen dollars and the Grove was eleven. Drop two bucks off those prices for a matinee.

It was so weird to see the New Line logo and names of execs I know while sitting thousands of miles away in Rome.

While I had some issues with the movie the amount of venom directed toward it is pissing me off.

During the Great Depression Hollywood pumped out what?? That's right comedies, wish fulfillment movies, so people could just laugh for a few minutes. However, regarding this movie, one critic said it was a Taliban recruitment video.

First male execs and critics were saying it would make no money since it ONLY appeals to women. Now that the movie made 26 million in the U.S. on Friday alone (this is a major upset. Indy 4 in it's 2nd week was supposed to out earn it. The studio was hopping SATC would do PRADA numbers around 27 million for the entire weekend) and is projected to do maybe 55-60 million for the weekend it's like it the end of the world. This movie is shallow! These women are old! Who cares about fashion!

I'm sorry did I miss some deep meaning behind TRANSFORMERS a movie based on cars that become monsters? There is so much stupid, brain dead dreck that comes out of Hollywood for boys/men. Are men really surprised that women would want to see this film? And the snarky comments about Samantha shows how ageist American society is. OH MY GOD a women who is 49, who still likes sex.

Time and time again a movie comes out like DEVIL WEARS PRADA, WAITING TO EXHALE or FIRST WIVES CLUB and the studios are like, oh there is a female audience? Don't even get me started on the lack of good movies that might have a black female protagonist. After SOMETHING NEW under performed a black exec at a Hollywood studio said to me black romantic comedies were dead. Okay after one movie. Rumor has it that the head of Warner bros (he denies it) said after the BRAVE ONE tanked, they weren't going to greenlight any more movies with female leads. Okay Speed Racer tanks are you going to stop making movies based on comic books or with 20 something white guys?

I don't get it. Hollywood used to make movies all time that had strong, complicated, interesting women. They used to call them ''women's pictures" films like MILDRED PIECE and SORRY WRONG NUMBER. Instead of Bette Davis now we have Jessica Alba.

If you want to see well round, women on screen who are actually over the age of 21, I suggest looking at foreign films and the occasional indie pic. Charlotte Rampling is 60 still working. If she was based in Hollywood she wouldn't be starring in movies.

Here is a short tribute to Bette Davis narrated by the great Meryl Streep.


Leanne said...

You can often find cheap cinema's here in Rome - that is one cheap thing considering that Rome is now the most expensive place to live in Italy!
I cannot wait to go to the cinema to see it soon...

Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy said...

We went to see SATC on Friday, too - although I could only find it in Italian, boo.

It was S' first time of really watching it....and he enjoyed it! He's now interested in seeing the earlier seasons, when before it would have been hard :)

SO it's not just for men.

PS: The scene with Carrie & Big & the flowers....OMG!

Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy said...

I meant...not just for women :)

Jessica_in_Rome said...

I enjoyed the movie, but felt a little disappointed when it was over. I think I was just so excited and there was so much hype around the film that now I feel blue, like I did when the series ended. I agree with your thoughts about the critics bashing the film because it's a chick flick-but who cares? I'd rather watch that then see *another* bloated comic book movie!

glamah16 said...

I saw it last week at a early prescreening. Whats wrong with a little mindless pleasure , great fashions, and scenarios all of us at one time or another can relate to. For a few hours I could leave, bills,work,stress behind and just have some good ole fun and zone out.I actually wouldnt mind a sequel( Did I say That?)
BTW I love Bette Davis.

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Beatriz' suitcase contents said...

I have not seen the movie yet, but I am dying to see it. I liked the series, and I wouldn't mind seeing the 4 friends again. I agree with your post, and the idea that making women movies is not profitable for the studios, are they crazy? We have expending power, and they better realize it.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

It's part of being invisible in this society after 40-something.

There aren't many great movies for young girls, either. So much of the things that come out for them don't allow strong models. The last film I really remember hitting me for teen girls was "Real Women Have Curves".

Great post. Great clip, too.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

leanne - it is? I thought Milano was? I moved here from L.A. and used to live in NYC so Rome seems cheaper exp compared to NYC apartment. Have fun at the movie.

sara - that was a great scene. ha.

jessica - hello, enough with the comic book movies. please.

glamah16 - You may get your wish. Warner bros is talking about a sequel. Bette Davis was fierce.

beatriz - I saw the following in the NYT today:
First-weekend ticket sales, he (WB head of marketing) noted, were far beyond those of other R-rated comedies, including “American Pie 2” from Universal Pictures in 2001 and “The Wedding Crashers” from New Line Cinema in 2005.

The weekend opening also ranked as the strongest ever for a movie carried by a female lead (at least if ticket-price inflation is not taken into account). Paramount’s “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” was the previous record-holder, with $47.7 million in ticket sales for Paramount during its opener in 2001.

“I am so excited about the possibilities for movies about women,” Ms. Parker said.

jen - thank you. I really liked "Real Women Have Curves." It was the first major role for America Ferrera.

bleeding espresso said...

Agreeing with everything you wrote here. I have some issues with the film (length, editing, plot, character development), but I'm still able to say, you know what--I really liked it. It was an *experience* and that's what makes it so special....

Yes, just like a lot of the old Stallone/Schwarzenegger, etc. blockbusters. Just because women are open-minded enough to appreciate those kinds of films as well doesn't mean the films themselves are better than female-focused flicks.

And incidentally there were plenty of guys at the showing in our theater in southern Italy (although at least one lamented that he had just lost a few hours of his life afterwards...hah!) ;)

joanne at frutto della passione said...

I live with two guys (one I married, the other one I made) so when it comes to seeing *women's pictures* I either go with girlfriends or wait for it to come out on dvd and watch when they go to a soccer game or something. Everything you wrote really struck a cord with me and I agree with you 100%. It's almost as if a woman has an expiration date stamped on her at birth and after that date you can't possibly be interesting or attractive.
This month I turn fabulous (that's 40 in men years)and I am determined to do so with dignity and grace and style and any other adjective I can think of!!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

bleeding espresso - I was skyping with a friend this morning. She said the scene at the Grove in Los Angeles was unreal. She has never seen anything like it. Not even for STAR WARS. Shows were sold out for weeks. Women from late teens - 50s were out in groups. I do realize that this film had a strong base of support from the series but as we know not every movie based on a TV show does well.

joanne - Happy early birthday. You go ahead and rock your 40s. It helps living here in Europe where the famous quote "A women doesn't become interesting until after 40" came from. Were I still in L.A., I doubt I would be feeling so cheerful about being in my fab. forties.

ninety9 said...

i saw SATC this weekend too and i was pleasantly surprised. i enjoyed the series and kind of thought the flick was going to be mindless but it wasn't bad. anyway, i saw a whole bunch of guys at the movie theatre i was at (and not just gay guys). so i think men can enjoy films geared towards women too.

it makes me angry that hollywood still doesn't understand (or more likely, refuse to acknowledge) female buying power. what, do they think we all stay at home and watch the kids instead of going to the movies from time to time? if they made more movies that were of interest to women, maybe they could turn more of a profit.

they showed previews for a 2008 version of "the women". maybe if this movie does well, we'll start to see a resurgence of flicks with chicks although i doubt it. i haven't seen the original "the women" but it's on my netflix queue; it's currently unavailable :( .

oh and "mildred pierce"? LOVE that movie. oldie but goodie.

Paula Puryear said...

I loved it too (and totally took it for what it was). I agree wholeheartedly with your analysis of the criticism the movie has received (and laughed out loud at your Transformers comment). Yeah, does seem like they're comparing it to War and Peace instead of assessing it's merits as the light romp it's meant to be. Fascinating!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

ninety9 - I am so curious to see how the remake of THE WOMEN will turn out. The original had a very distinct tone, style and was in a different era.

Paula - ciao! I was just thinking about you. I'm going to email you. NY Magazine brought up a good point. "Tony Starks (the lead in IRON MAN) own a lot of high end cars. That's cool but Carrie buying bags is materialistic? Her carbon footprint is smaller." ha.

Confessions of Cleopantha said...

It comes out in the next few days in Australia... Can't wait!!! I think Samantha is so fabulous. Looking forward to Mr Big of course, shoes, fashion, cocktails and all the details:)

Sister Sassy said...

Great post, I came from a2eatandwrite.

I agree completely, although I myself am not much of a SATC fan, just not my thing, but everything you say here about good women films and moster robots is dead on.

How frustrating.

good post!

Cherrye - My Bella Vita said...

I know you've said it before (and you obviously would know) but I can't believe it would shock Hollywood execs that this movie is a success. Seriously. Where have they been?

I saw the movie with Michelle in southern Italy (in Italian) and I did like it. I was a bit disappointed, but I think that can be expected when a movie follows a series. And, btw - we paid more thna you did!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

confessions - you will have fun. It's worth the ticket price just to see the shoes. ha

sister sassy - thank you and thanks for stopping by. I just think it's weird that studios do not try to have a well-rounded slate.

cherrye - I can't believe you paid more. Maybe my ticket was cheaper because it was the first show of the day. I think normally tixs at that theater are 7 euros.

Well I hope we see more interesting movies that have female leads but I'm not going to hold my breath. sigh.

wordtryst said...

I hear you. Those movers and shakers don't have a clue about what 50% of their market wants.

Thanks for the clip.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

wordtryst - you're welcome!