So I watched the first Sex and the City movie last Friday. But only because I was sick, in bed, in a hotel in Mississippi, and they didn’t have a Bravo channel on their cable.
OK, to back up just a bit: I went to Mississippi with Top Cat on a junket to Harrah’s casinos in Tunica, Mississippi (20 miles south of Memphis) and I caught a vicious cold on the flight from Islip, NY and after a day of “doing” Memphis (subject of future post) I called it a day at 4 o’clock and crawled into bed with aspirin, decongestants, two bottles of Gatorade, and a box of Moonpies and hoped there was something good on TV. There wasn’t. So I watched the Sex and the City movie.
I’ve never seen an episode of the show but since I don’t live under a rock, I’m aware that these gals have pretty much set the tone for sex and city life for a whole generation of TV viewers. I know what a cosmopolitan is even though I’ve never drunk one, and I know Carrie from Miranda from Charlotte from Samantha, and I know about the tutu. Now, having seen the movie, I can say truthfully that I deeply respect that the ladies don’t play being in your 40s and 50s for laffs — don’t get me started on the many reason why I think Menopause the Musicalis evil, part of an American Taliban plot to trivialize womanhood, and another example of the general lower middle-class dumbing-down of culture (Sarah Palin).
But otherwise, the movie was not my cup of tea. Which, by the way, I would have killed for when I was sick in that hotel room in Mississippi, a good cup of tea from my own kitchen with the vanilla-flavored syrup I make specially to sweeten my favorite Assam teas. I know you all know this, but you really can’t get a decent cup of tea anywhere in America except in your own home, right? But I digress.
There was a scene in the Sex and the City movie that I, as a writer, took particular note of. In this age of cell phones, it is very hard for certain genre writers — mystery, romance, and general fiction — to come up with ways that their characters can miss important messages/be unable to call for help/check rumors etc. You know, the usual ways for a plot to thicken, for suspense to build, for the necessary conflict to arise so that the book will have a reason to exist.
And since the plot of this Sex and the City movie hinges on Carrie and her fiance having a communication breakdown right before the wedding ceremony, it was interesting for me to see how the writers managed to carry that off (in this age of cell phones). In this case, there was a little scene where the three-year-old flower girl picks up Carrie’s ringing but unattended cell phone and hides it in her own purse. It’s not very believable (even three-year-olds these days know about answering the phone, and a gal like Carrie is not likely to let her cell phone out of her sight) but as a plot device it’s serviceable. I took note of it, in case I ever decide to write a piece of crap novel about people who care greatly about shopping and lunching and talking about the sex lives of their friends.
In this age of cell phones and Facebook and Google, can anybody ever again write a great story about the ways we miscommunicate? And I don’t mean in the ponderously boring linguistic philosophic psychological way. I mean in the literal, letters crossing in the mail/letters not delivered/messages sent too late way.
Like Northanger Abbey. Oh, the bliss of reading Northanger Abbey and all those messages and letters and cards sent and received with such bad timing…
I’m back home now, but I’m still under the weather (our first snow flurries today! ) so I’m planning to do a ditto this afternoon and crawl into bed around 4 o’clock and watch Bravo TV for re-runs of the Housewives of Beverly Hills (I loathe Camille but doesn’t everybody?).
Mail. It’s a great topic for a scrapbook or an art journal. Future generations will never know the thrill of receiving a letter, handwritten on paper, folded into an envelope, decorated with a stamp. We should fill them in.
Anybody got a good story about letters received, written, lost, or found?