Saturday, May 31, 2008

Race, "the Sexies," and Sex in the City

The "Sexies" (as opposed to Trekkies) saw and participated in Sex in the City Premier Fab. We gabbed. We ate yummy chicken alfredo ziti and drank Kendall Jax. We wore beautiful dresses and stilettos to the movie theater

I LOVED the movie. I will probably go see it again.

Still, to LOVE it, I had to do a willing suspension of disbelief that the following could occur.

I think the Diva will be writing an extensive post on this subject. So I'm just going to list the things I happened to catch.

(In order, from most obvious to least.  ***SPOILER ALERT***)

1. Definitely most obvious: Jennifer Hudson's entire role. Purpose? Oh right, to uplift Carrie the White Woman as "Saint Louise." There's much more (Your sole purpose in going to New York is to fall in love but you rent Louis Vutton hand bags? Can your purpose be to find a career beyond personal assistant?) but her character deserves its own essay--I'll leave it to the Diva)

2. You can't drink the water Charlotte? Really? What do you think the locals drink?

3. Miranda: "This is the up and coming neighborhood" (Read: Gentrificaiton) "Follow the White Man with the Baby!" (Read: White men are safe, Asian men and women are not -or- Read: Gentrifiers travel in packs.)

4. Charlotte's Cambodian daughter Lily says one word the whole movie: "Sex." Miranda's son Grady says much more, and, yeah, he's a little older, but they aren't that far apart in age for one to be/appear so much more engaged with the world.

5. Charlotte gives birth to her own baby. Yes, I am very excited about it and cried like anyone else. But, hmm, what DOES that mean for Lily who is not only not her daughter but not white? Not discussed. Charlotte, happy "every day" doesn't even bring it up. (But I betcha her daughter will in a few years....)

6. Props: Charlotte the mom putting Lily to bed with an Asian girl doll. Semi-conscious activity that I did appreciate.

7. UnProps: The Honeymoon in "Mexico." Also known as the Universal Rich White Girl resort available for purchase in "tropical" and "exotic" (and *gasp* Third World) venues all around the globe. Super!

8. Props: Interesting diversity on the runway during fashion week. (I'm trying to resist giving this "UnProps" because of the different way fashion was represented on different women. I don't do fashion enough to know if my instincts are right on this....)

9. Anti-fur activists who look decidedly UN fab. Reminds me of posts on various blogs (and the Diva's whole motto) which question why activists, particularly female activists, always get portrayed as granola, grimy, tangle haired crones. Not that they, we, aren't. But we are also divafied, casual, sporty, laidback, jazzy, sexy, and a range of races and ethnicities.

Hmm....any that you caught?


Adamgv said...
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T said...

Thank goodness that I'd seen the movie. SATC is all wrong on so many racial fronts because NYC is about the most diverse place you could ever go, yet the show was EXTREMELY white.

I hope you weren't expecting much more...

I'm not mad at the Jhud character because they could have had a White woman from Kansas play that role just as well, then there would have been NO diversity, save for the Jolie-Pitts type adoption piece.

Plus, as a communication professional I have to re-emphasize that movies are just that... entertainment. And though some of the themes that were in the movie were common themes because the writers are real people, the level of fiction is high and we really should not expect entertainment media to properly portray anything, because it's by definition, fake.

Kismet said...

Should I put a spoilers alert on the post? My mistake to anyone who read it without seeing it.

I didn't expect much more. In fact, I expected less. That is, I expected Sex in the City to be about white women being rich and white in New York. I never had a problem with that in the show because, hey, that's just what rich white women do. So a better question is if they WERE going to throw in a J. Hud-esque role, then could they have done better that? Hmm...Of course, someone out there is watching the movie saying, "oh isn't it great they put that nice black girl from Dreamgirls in it?" So then I have problem with it, because of a tension between truth and fiction that's created.

And you know me--I'm not about to take crumbs from no movie, esp. not on a diversity tip. You are appeasing the masses by putting a woman of color in that role, then do it to win it. And it wasn't a small role. So make her as well-rounded as the other characters. Contrast J. Hud with Murphy Brown's character: Murphy could literally have been any woman of color because the issue was a position of power. Not so sure any white woman--even if she was the "poor white trash chick"--could have played Saint Louise. I think the role needed the color for reasons I dislike...

Again, that said. I LOVED the movie. And yeah, I'll go see it again if I can.

Anonymous said...

Magical Negro all day.

When they cast Jennifer as Carrie's assistant, i just NEW that is how it was going to play out.

T said...

I feel what you're saying about JHud. Makes much more sense now. A lot of people are saying Carrie's assistant should have been a flamboyantly gay man or someone witty, basically someone to add more color, personality and depth to the character and movie as a whole. I agree with that too.

Also, I know Jhud has an Oscar, but the "my very own Louis Vuitton" line was sickening. *eyeroll*

And lastly, yes, you need to put a spoiler alert on here ASAP. :P

SinlessTouch said...
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