A straight guy at Sex and the City

Ever since I saw the first preview, I’d been dying to see the big screen version of Sex and the City. My wife wasn’t that excited, but I was. And the friend we saw it with yesterday told people she was going to go see it with her married straight male friend just to amuse them. I didn’t realize what a novelty I was, of course, until I went to the bathroom after the movie was done—women’s bathroom across the way, totally full; men’s bathroom where I was, totally empty.

Granted, I’m a bit more “sensitive” than most straight males I know, but if women can see a male-targeted film like Iron Man, why can’t men see a female-targeted film like Sex and the City? I’ve never drooled over Gucci, Louis Vuitton, or Manolo Blahnik. I’ve never had the kind of dating drama these women have had. I’m not white. I’m not rich. I don’t live in New York City. I’m not a woman. I’m not in my 40s.

Then again, I’ve never been captured by terrorists in Afghanistan and forced to make weapons in a cave. I’ve also never been an archeologist professor adventurer.

Contrary to what the lackluster reviews might have you think, Sex and the City was an entertaining movie, one of the most engaging I’ve seen all year. I don’t have to relate directly to it. It’s funny (yes, even with its bad puns) and involvingly dramatic.

Maybe I’m just coming from a different place. I know some people (both male and female, of various sexual orientations) can directly relate to a lot of movies. I don’t think I ever have. First of all, as an Asian-American who enjoys movie-going, I usually have to force myself to identify myself with main characters who are White or Black Americans or with main characters who are Asian (as in, from Asia). And, no, I didn’t feel as if the nerd-thugs from Better Luck Tomorrow were like me at all. Never have I come across characters who are feminist Christian males. Rarely have I come across slightly effeminate straight males. I’m okay with this, though.

I know for some others, movies are about speaking for the speechless, offering a voice and identification to various groups. I applaud these efforts. I’d love to be more represented in films (independent or mainstream), but I go to movies for the same reason people went to them during the Great Depression: I go to escape. Movies, for me, are about entertainment. I like a good explosion and chase sequence. I like a good joke or gag. I like relationship drama and yelling. I like some good character development and maybe even a little tragedy. I like to think. And I even appreciate a bad pun every now and then (Sex and the City, both movie and TV show, has this in spades).

I may have been the only straight guy at SATC yesterday, but it was a good movie, and I think a lot of guys missed out on some fun.

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7 Comments

  1. I completely agree. I went with a friend, a heterosexual male and he also loved the movie.

    I love the drama, the humor and most importantly the friendship between the characters. It’s human. You connect with the characters.

  2. I cannot speak to the movie directly. But what I find problematic with the series and many of the romantic comedies that Hollywood continues to churn out, is how unrealistic it all is. “Women on the prowl?” Many straight men wish it were that way? However, I do not. Emulating a sexual predatory model whether from the traditional male role or a supposed sexually liberated female one, is predatory nonetheless. Secondarily, the fluff in most of the romantic comedies perpetuates an ideal that is unattainable. To paraphrase someone else, “art used to imitate life, but now life imitates art.”
    I am impressed with your honesty and thoughtful perspective, but I won’t be going to SATC any time soon.

  3. Well I’m a straight male who went to see this movie, and holy hell did I hate it. I hated it so much, but I didn’t just hate it as a straight male. The feminist in me loathed this movie. It’s great to see a movie aimed at women with four female leads, but ugh. The messages in the movie are so hideously regressive that it’s one step forward and two steps back.

  4. Living in Australia being a straight, sensitive male I am fortunate to have a girl friend who is into Sex and the City. It means that I am able to go and see it without being branded a “poofter”. Anyway, thanks for the review I was getting a bit dubious about the quality of the film based on the reviews and you have put my mind at rest.

  5. Well, I read the Newsweek article. What is unfortunate is the way labels are used to dismiss all discussion. Sexist, homophobic, fundamentalist, liberals as moral relativists and secular humanists, conservatives as anti-intellectuals, etc., etc. Contempt moves in both directions. I don’t live there.

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