Maybe it's the approximately 417 vodka sodas I swilled last night for no good reason, but is New York's Sarah Jessica Parker/Sex and the City piece the most mesmerizingly insane thing ever or what? Emily Nussbaum strolls the streets of the West Village with the teeny tiny television star, gushing about how she is charmingly strange and thoughtful, how noble and free her spirit is. I have to question the decision-making behind assigning such an ardent fan of the actress and her highly influential show to this particular task. Nussbaum's greatest criticism seems to be that Carrie maybe pursued Big for his money. That's it! In a seven-internet-pages-long article, given the great and fascinating topic of how this particular television program (and upcoming movie) came to define this city, in many ways, more powerfully than any other bit of culture in recent memory, Nussbaum bares no teeth, questions no stereotype or bit of calculated misinformation. She simply brags to us that they're hanging out. And that's exhausting and sad and pathetic. What a fumble. Or, I don't know, something about tumbling on high heels. Some choice quotes from the article after the jump.
Of course, for any longtime fan of the series—and I am one—the movie also has a significant level of terror attached to it.
She can be hilariously unguarded about saying things that, when taken out of context, might seem absurdly suggestive. For instance, when I talk about my husband, who like Broderick is a science geek and a gadget-hound, she suggests that we should set them up as friends. "Matthew doesn't have enough friends," she tells me, sounding very mother-hennish and adding that Matthew has mostly gay friends in New York. Because this is such a crazy thing to say to a reporter—surely she knows that the higher her star has risen, the more the gossips insist her marriage must be a fake—I decide that this means that Matthew is definitely not gay.
It reminded me of my first reaction to Sex and the City, which I hated on sight: Those women seemed so brittle and scary, batting their eyelashes at the finance hounds I thought were such bores. That was before I watched a few more episodes, perhaps three. And suddenly I was hooked, enthralled! With each season, I loved the show more; the scariness I'd sensed, the anxiety and the anger, was still there, but so was a sweet fantasy of female friendship. The characters were archetypes and real people at once, a neat trick. As a single woman in my thirties, I was grateful for it all: Wouldn't you rather have your family fear for your life as a glamour-grotesque than pity it as a Cathy cartoon?
"Listen, I have a message to you from my sister," says Smith. "To tell these Maxim people to go to hell, okay?"
"You tell your sister thank you," she replies, with deadpan emphasis.
"You should mail them pictures of when you were in—what was your first thing you were ever in on television?" Officer Smith asks. ("Square Pegs?" I suggest nonsensically.) "My favorite, the first thing I ever saw you in"—and he turns to me and adds, "and then you're going to be able to tell that I'm a homo"—"when you wore the short dress to the Oscars? Mail them a picture of that."