“Year after year, twenty-something women come to New York City in search of the two Ls: labels and love. Twenty years ago, I was one of them,” Carrie Bradshaw says in the May 30 theatrical release “Sex and The City.” “Having gotten the knack for labels early…I concentrated on love.”
And so begins the familiar voiceover by Bradshaw portrayer Sarah Jessica Parker in the long-awaited film based on the HBO series.
Media coverage and public discussions tend to concentrate on the likelihood that the film’s lovers include an audience of women and gay men. However, there is some question has to how fans and those in the entertainment industry will label the movie through its results in the box-office.
Even Parker, who also serves as a producer, recently told Entertainment Weekly (in Missy Schwartz’ May 23 article “Hello, Lovers”) that the film’s response is personal.
“I want it to do well, but the bigger story for me here is that I want the people who hold the purse strings to believe that there are female audiences, that it’s worth their money,” Parker adds.
Studio executives should believe because the “Sex and The City” franchise has symbolized into a religious institution with a faithful following of females and gay males that will stay true.
This belief system is like others with the likes of texts, relics, rituals, denominations, and a holy city.
Texts include Candace Bushnell’s series of autobiographical newspaper columns in The New York Observer, Darren Star’s television series creation and the screenplay by writer-director Michael Patrick King.
Manolo strappy sandals top the holy relics of fashion items garnered by costume designer Patricia Field.
Common rituals include grabbing a Magnolia Bakery cupcake, meeting for Cosmopolitans at New York hot spots and the coffee shop Sunday brunch.
The faith’s denominations surround the four main characters: Carrie, Charlotte (Kristin Davis), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Samantha (Kim Cattrall). The characters’ various personalities, professions and life choices have left viewers asking themselves which one or combination they relate to more.
Of course, New York City is the holy city, where the subjects have grown up in and progressed.
The symbolism above provides some reason as to why the followers have been ritualized to tune in or record the Sunday shows through its six seasons on HBO, journeyed to weeknights with the TBS syndication and will, if they haven’t already, stand in lines to purchase movie tickets.
The “SATC” faithful has pursued stories about the film’s production, dished their thoughts, and waited ever so patiently for their respective theatrical release dates. Those, in the U.K. and France have already displayed support on their opening day May 28 with a $4.8 million box-office, Variety reported recently.
Like their international counterparts the American followers will be genuine to the franchise, but how they respond to the appropriately timed 2 hour and 15 minute film could be a question.
As a co-religionist, I urge you to take note of the beginning seconds of the film, where Fergie performs “Labels or Love” among the credits. The music begins with an interpolation of the “Sex and The City Theme” by Douglas Cuomo, but quickly transitions into its own originality.
Meaning, one should keep in mind that the film is based on the series and performed, written, produced, and designed by most of the same people, but the characters and their stories have evolved.
Really, haven’t we all over the past few years?
–written by Sara Shereen Bakhshian