I went and paid my money at the box office to go and see Sex and the City 2 - as did $7.8mil worth of Aussies - over it's opening weekend here. I may write a review of it, but also may not because I imagine this is one movie that people already have their minds made up on, but until I decided I wasn't going to say much. I had even successfully avoided going into blog rants about the blatantly sexist stance that many have on this project. If you follow me on Twitter then you will have seen me tweet about the subject more than enough, but I didn't want to blog about it because it probably would have merely dissolved into a screaming match between myself and the invisible people inside my computer.
I, however, couldn't keep quiet any longer after coming across this article at the Australian Yahoo website. It's quite rare to come across something so obviously sexist and ridiculous on such a major website, but there it was for the world to see. I know many men see Sex and the City as some sort of affront to their masculinity and must then be as macho and sexist as possible to get the message across that they really, truly do not like it - omg, how can you watch a movie about FOUR OLD SLUTS? etc - but this is just absurd.
Yes, that's right readers. YahooAU actually got so bloody sick and bloody tired of talk about all things "girly" that is Sex and the City 2 that they went ahead and made an anti-Sex and the List list. A list of movies that "blokes will actually want to see." Because, ya know, the multiplex isn't a go to destination for movies men want to see for 50 out of 52 weeks a year - I figure two female-oriented movies a year is a fairly accurate representation. Last week's local box office had Prince of Persia, Robin Hood, The Kings of Mykonos: Wog Boy 2 and Iron Man 2 in the top four, which - from a marketing point of view - certainly skew masculine. Or, pre-pubescent boyish in Persia's case, but that's neither here nor there.
Just the idea that the writers of this column by The Hype couldn't handle the male-dominated world of cinema to be usurped by something like Sex and the City for one week is bad enough, but that they then had to turn around and make a list of movies as some sort of antidote? It's just plain ol' offensive. I'm sure this writer is the same sort of righteous, upstanding man that calls young female fans of Twilight "stupid" and "retarded" for liking something clearly aimed at them and not him before turning around and waxing lyrical about a movie in which aliens shoot lasers at talking dogs on Mars.
What makes it even worse is their selection of films. Ya know, movies that only a bloke could love. Are they saying that women aren't allowed to watch or like these films? If they do will they cut they be forced to join Dykes on Bikes? If that's the case then the writers are way off base. For starters, Kick-Ass isn't a "bloke's movie" since it is very much a coming-of-age movie about a pre-teen girl. How about the 1-2 Apatow punch of The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up. I've known many women who enjoy these movies greatly. A predominantly male cast doesn't automatically make your movie more masculine. In fact, the reason these movies got praised so highly was because they all have "heart", which sets them apart from the usual frat boy gross out humour that's on display elsewhere.
The inclusion of Superbad seems particularly misguided since that "bromance" - their word, not mine - is about the exact same thing as Sex and the City, which is the bond of friendship. I guess because Superbad is about guys and the male pursuit of sex then it is alright, but the moment women get together and discuss sex these writers probably try to peck each others eyes out with their masculine, manly, heterosexual fingers.
Apparently women must find it unfathomable to somehow - SOMEHOW! - relate to the male characters of Old School who are trying to "recapture the spirit of their college years". Were all women in their rooms studying for every Friday and Saturday night of College? Apparently women must be so miserable, joyless and humourless as to not be able to get any enjoyment out of big screen versions of The A-Team or Starsky & Hutch. Liking those movies - granted, I have only seen the latter - probably has more to do with taste levels than anything related to having a vagina or a penis. Apparently woman must be completely unable to remember as far back as 1986 and must, naturally, have no desire whatsoever to see Hot Tub Time Machine. None. No way a woman would ever want to see that movie, right? The Hangover? Don't even step foot into the theatre, ladies! Sure, I saw it in a sold out cinema where the audience was at least 50% women, but they probably all showed up to the wrong movie and all that laughing they were doing was obviously an attempt to seduce their male partners. "SEE! I HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOUR! I'M NOT REALLY A SNOTTY, BRATTY, WHINGEING BITCH THAT YOU THINK I AM!!!" And so forth.
Speaking of Hot Tub Time Machine - a movie I really, really hated - I suggest reading this article from The Guardian which lays bare the hypocritical polar reactions it got compared to Sex and the City 2 despite both of them being similar juvenile sex comedies. Except one is made "for" men and the "for" women, naturally.
Edit: There's also the idea that women should, for some reason, only watch movies that "her man" (my quotation marks) would want to see. Are any of the ladies who went to see Sex and the City 2 this past weekend demanding their boyfriend/husband go with them? I doubt the percentage is very high on that front. So who is getting hurt out of all of this? Heaven forbid a woman should go to the cinema and see something she wants to see with her friends rather than sit back like a quiet little mouse and let "her man" steamroll over her and watch Anchorman instead. "Move over", indeed, women. You're of no use to the people who wrote this list. You've had your one weekend of fun, now it's time to get back to explosions, big giant assault rifles and ogling chicks in bikinis.
PS: Maybe the straight guys out there can explain what is appealing about Tropic Thunder? Does the appreciation for that movie really fall to one's gender or is it just, as I suspect, a really bad movie no matter what reproductive organs you have got?
PPS: How awesome does that aliens-shooting-lasers-at-talking-dogs-on-Mars movie sound?