How to Make a Third 'Sex and the City' Movie Worth Watching
In recent interviews, Kristin Davis and Sarah Jessica Parker have hinted that there might be a third Sex and the City movie in the works. As a huge fan of the show, you’d think I’d be excited about this, but hearing this news actually made me go, “What? Why?” The first movie had its moments and I have it on DVD, but the second was so bad I nearly left the midnight showing I attended to go to back to bed. I think it’s unnecessary to continue tarnishing the reputation of this great series with yet another movie, but I don’t get to make these decisions. Instead, I’ll offer my suggestions on how to make this movie better than its predecessors.
Stop character assassinating everyone.
Do you remember when Stanford and Anthony hated each other and didn’t want to spend ten minutes together, let alone their entire lives? Or when Samantha’s major concerns were herself and her body, and she certainly would never have adopted a dog or started eating her feelings just for the sake of a ‘pooch’ joke? I do, and I don’t appreciate when writers abruptly change characters for no real reason other than some plot gimmick.
Tone down the puns, just a little.
I wish I could erase the phrase “Lawrence of my labia” from my brain, but I can’t. Puns are pretty much half the dialogue of this show, but maybe their content doesn’t need to come from an anatomy textbook.
Make the plot meaningful.
Sequels (and threequels, etc) should serve one of two purposes: resolving unfinished business, or giving us a new adventure with characters we already love. The reality is they often end up boring excursions in making money. SATC as a series was pretty well wrapped up by the end, but obviously these are beloved characters people wanted to spend more time with. The problem was that their new adventures have thus far been mildly depressing and/or pointless. If there must be a third movie, I’d hope it adds something to the story of these women, rather than taking away from it.
More fashion montages.
I’m not going to pretend like these aren’t my favorite part of the movies. If we can’t have meaning, I’ll take a fun, frivolous romp with lots of fancy clothes. If they made a movie that was just Carrie trying on wedding dresses and going through her closet, I’d probably watch it.
Keep it in New York.
As useful as it is to know where I can stay for thousands and thousands of dollars a night, if I want to know what it’s like to travel to Abu Dhabi, I’ll watch the Travel Channel. Plus, keeping the movie in Manhattan means it won’t seem terribly contrived if one of the characters happens to run into an ex.
Incorporate some other HBO characters.
I like a crossover, and I think the third movie could easily include one of these. Carrie’s written a couple of books, and I can just see her publisher assigning her to mentor a new author – Hannah Horvath. Watching Carrie Bradshaw react to Hannah‘s version of being a single female writer in New York would be more than worth the price of a movie ticket.
Stop offending people.
Like so many other shows and movies, SATC is completely unrepresentative of the typical New York experience. I wouldn’t ask these movies to stop with the conspicuous consumerism, as it was such a huge part of the show, and as previously mentioned, I like the clothes. But maybe we could stop with disrespecting other cultures? If the movie wants to recognize that not everyone is a wealthy white woman, great, but do it in a way that doesn’t create more problems than it solves.
Take the plot from the SATC3 Twitter.
Everything about this is so spot on – the insane puns, the inane questions, the fact that nothing good ever happens to Miranda. I have laughed far more times reading this Twitter than I did watching the second movie.
The beauty of the series, the very reason I can still watch it and find relevance a decade after the show originally aired, was that even though the characters’ lives and clothes were completely over the top, their friendships and relationship issues weren’t. Emotionally unavailable men, when to call someone your boyfriend, how to say I love you, these are problems everyone deals with, whether their shoes are by Manolo or Mossimo. Even in the first movie, the issues were a bit darker (cheating, the end of a long relationship), they were still things real people experience. But by the second movie? “Oh no, it’s so hard being a mom even though I have a supportive husband and hired help?” “Oh no, my job is flying us to Abu Dhabi where I can’t have sex in public?” “Oh no, my husband and I own two New York apartments during a recession and he thinks we should take weekly breaks from our marriage?” These aren’t even first world problems, they’re zeroth world problems.
Granted, I would totally watch a subplot about Charlotte trying to get her kids into a Manhattan private school because it would be hilarious, but there are actual normal person topics we could get into. Samantha’s not getting any younger and is alone, maybe we could take a realistic look at what dating is actually like when you’re 50, or what it means to know you’re going to grow old without a spouse or kids to rely on. Carrie could face a failed book and have to think about her identity as a writer now that she’s no longer the quintessential single girl. Miranda could have an awesome plotline for once in which nothing horrible happens to her for no reason. (Seriously, the woman has had to deal with everything from having braces and eating cake from the garbage to the death of a parent and a cheating husband. Let’s let something amazing happen to Miranda for a change.)
The bottom line is, I don’t think this movie needs to happen. Cynthia Nixon agrees with me. If there is a movie, though, I hope it at least vaguely resembles the funny, appropriately punny, and most of all relatable show we used to know and love.