Once they hobble into theaters later this year, both the sequel to Sex and the City and Wall Street will be about outmoded characters living in a fantasy New York City of the past. But which one will suck harder?
Sex and the City 2 comes out May 27 and Wall Street: Some Bullshit Title After a Colon has just been pushed back yet again until September 10. But both of these movies are living in the past. For Carrie Bradshaw it's late-'90s, early 2000s Manhattan before the towers fell, when New York was just sanding off the last of its edge from earlier decades, and women were obsessed with showing how much money they had through strappy sandals. It's even worse for Wall Street, a quintessential piece of cinema for the narcissistic and materialistic go-getters of the '80s.
Both of their New Yorks are dead. We're living in the post-recession, post-Madoff, third-term-Bloomberg era in which the richest are looked down upon for openly flaunting their wealth, many people have fled Manhattan for the outer boroughs, and the rest of the city has been turned into an amusement park for tourists. How are these old dinosaurs going to fare in the modern world? Let's see.
Sex and the City: If Carrie Bradshaw has kept up with anything, it is the fickle trendcasting in the pages of fashion magazines. She (or rather her stylist) will make sure she is looking up to the minute.
Wall Street: When Gordon Gekko gets out of prison he won't have anything but starched shirts, Armani suits, wide ties, and other outmoded accessories. Even if he goes shopping, he still won't be as hip as Carrie, especially since his movie was filmed so far before the release date.
Victor: Carrie, for sure
Sex and the City: America is all about escapist fare right now (hello, Avatar) so anything that can make them forget about their credit card bills for two hours is a good bet.
Wall Street: If this veers in the direction of "greed is still good," moviegoers will sour on the movie. If it's a Madoffian tale of financial malfeasance then it would be right on target. But does anyone want to see that right now?
Victor: Carrie, by a hair
Sex and the City: Few new characters, but Miley Cyrus, Liza Minnelli, and Penelope Cruz are involved.
Wall Street: Shia LaBeouf steps into the role of young power player, Carey Mulligan is Gekko's daughter, and the supporting cast includes Josh Brolin, Susan Sarandon, and Frank Langella.
Victor: Carrie has some great cameos, but Gordon wins for future star wattage.
Sex and the City: Michael Patrick King is only really known for the HBO show, and his first movie felt more like four episodes strung together rather than a coherent feature.
Wall Street: Oliver Stone hasn't had a big hit in a while, but this veteran seems due.
Victor: Gordon, soundly
Does Their New York Still Exist?
Sex and the City: As long as there are women in the city, there will always be groups of girls on the hunt for fashion, friendships, and fellows. Is Soho House still cool? No. But they'll find hot new locales. And the coffee places are still all the same.
Wall Street: Sure, going to a sushi bar is no longer exotic, but the luxe world of bottle service, exclusive addresses, thousand-dollar lunches, and designer suits is still alive and well in the city, as much as we may hate to admit it.
Sex and the City: Carrie is still with old man Big. Or is she?
Wall Street: Shia LaBeouf's character gets it on with real-life girlfriend Carey Mulligan.
Victor: Carey schools Carrie, or at least gives her an education
Sex and the City: Sure, the TV show debuted more than a decade ago, but with tours inspired by the program in New York and constant reruns, there are still plenty of ardent fans.
Wall Street: This movie was the touchstone for a generation of upwardly-mobile strivers. But kids these days—even the biz school nerds—are still more into another '80s movie about making it big: Scarface.
Victor: Thanks to TBS, it's Carrie
Verdict: It looks like Wall Street will be worse than Sex and the City, but really, there are no victories in this battle.