Carrie Bradshaw is no role model

It concerns me that women, especially young ladies think of Sex and the City’s leading lady as someone to aspire to.

The media may not have helped either but perhaps it’s not their job to educate, just report on findings and they have reported a great deal about women who think that being Carrie is the way to go.

I think people forget Sex and the City is meant to be a comedy; after all I first stumbled across the iconic programme after the series had ended on one of the comedy repeat channels. Some of my younger girlfriends (and all the gays) had reported on it but I refused to watch any programme that was about women bemoaning the lack of men in their lives. Then I realised it was a comedy.

If taken even slightly seriously, of the four, Miss Bradshaw is surely the worst role model. The other three, like the rest of us have their hang-ups but are not shopaholics, broke or spend their life chasing a wealthy, older, unavailable and probably unsuitable man. (Mr Big)

Miranda with the only steady corporate job is much more of a fitting role model although it’s only in comedy land that such a character seems to be on long lunches daily and yet complains at how long her working hours are. I do like her and yes partly because I can identify with her the most but also because she’s her own person. Whilst she likes men she would quite like just the one in the long-term, if possible. We all have our irritating habits and Miranda is not faultless (stop shouting!) but at least it doesn’t matter to her how much her date earns.

Samantha is the character with the best lines and therefore the best SATC girl. Period.

I’m not suggesting that every woman should be completely promiscuous and sexually non- committal, although I for one won’t judge you for ‘putting it out there’. Samantha is successful, is good at her job and loves it, lives life to the full and is independent in the real sense – you know all those good, inspiring things. Independence doesn’t just mean in the financial sense, Samantha is emotionally independent and can make her own decisions. When have you ever heard her ask for advice?

And before you even think it, yes I know we all need emotional support and advice from time to time but we do know our own mind a little more by our 40s.

We forgive Samantha her indulgences, long lunches and late night conquests because we believe she has earned it. And again, because she has the best lines.

And then there’s the plausible, traditional Charlotte who believes a man will not settle down with a successful woman and whats more, there’s nothing wrong with a man paying for everything. We forgive her too because firstly, she truly believes in her choices and because she doesn’t want to be a lady what lunches. Charlotte is happy to run a home and support her man in whatever he needs emotionally or practically. Mother Nature willing, Charlotte will pop out some sprogettes too.

Carrie on the other hand works one day a week and spends her days ‘wondering’ whilst managing to afford a $400 shoe habit as well as the long lunches, late nights etc. Reminder; this is Comedy Land! I know how much cocktails cost in New York and I tell you, no average salaried person can meet the expense of that life – and get a taxi home every night.

The motivation that prompted this piece is seeing the episode when Carrie shrieks when it rains. Why spoil a perfectly nice story featuring my favourite museum, the Guggenheim with screaming just because it starts raining? It’s like she has never seen the wet stuff falling from the sky before.

Nonetheless, those of you who watch the series, either as bona fide hardcore fans or for the odd moments of escapism like me, probably have a little bit of each of the characters in us. I for one recognise the girlieness in Carrie and when she jumps for joy at the tiniest thing but have more in common with the others. I even like Charlotte’s fondness for pink and hair bands.

By the time they got round to making the films, the programme had gone from being a witty look at a fantasy Manhattan life (come on, let’s not pretend here) to either an unfunny comedy or a drama, depending on your view point.

But yes, I am a fan of the series and love chuckling at repeats on late night TV whenever I get the chance. The great thing about watching it on TV is that it’s only in 20 minutes bursts, give or take and I can mute the cringe-worthy bits, or go and make a drink, or carry on with whatever I was doing. I find they don’t like me doing that in the cinema so the film is a no go.

Do please tell me what happens though.

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Movie – It’s a Wonderful Afterlife

Bend it Like Beckham is a classic that put all associated with it on the global frame map and I loved Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, one of the first films I reviewed.

It’s a Wonderful Afterlife took a few moments to come to life but turned out to be funny and original. Surprisingly it gives more than a nod to Bollywood in that it’s a true, modern, Indian film albeit minus the need to put every film genre in one film. Luckily for us this has comedy, a little romance, a few crimes and a lot of warmth.

It reminds me more of East is East rather than a Gurinder Chadha comedic masterpiece in that there are some poignant sad moments. The story begins with one of the few non-Indian characters investigating the 3 murder cases in Little India so brings in a dashing detective from Kent to immerse himself into the community and find the hidden secrets.

The stars of the show are Mrs Sethi (Shabana Azmi) a recently widowed mother of two desperate to see her daughter, Roopi (Goldy Notay, apparently in SATC 2) happily married before she too joins her husband. Roopi is still getting over a broken heart and is no mood for a new relationship but clearly hasn’t counted on the 4 spirits of the murder victims floating around that only Mrs Sethi can see.

Add Roopi’s best friend Linda, recently back from a long trip to India with a new found spiritual awareness to the mix and hilarity is assured.

One of the sprits is played by Sanjeev Bhaskar, as of course no British India film can be made without his talent for comical expressions but the whole cast, including Jimi Mistry, is pretty fantastic and clearly had a good time making this imaginative film, as is testified by the must see out-takes in the closing credits.

7½/10    Smile factor 8½/10

Movie – The Ghost

A film about a writer and politics? Of course I’m going to see it. Not that I’m into politics, just in the movies and initially the film is as I expect; a new ghost writer (Ewan McGregor) is selected after the previous one is found washed up on shore. His job is to compete the writing of the memoirs for a former British Prime Minister, Adam Lang, played brilliantly by Pearce Brosnan who battles against the writers wishes to portray what life as Prime Minister was really like.

The ghost had no sooner started when the PM’s former Foreign Secretary, fired after many years of service makes public allegations about the PM’s war crimes.

During the media whirl that follows, the PM and his entourage, confidently lead by his faithful aide played wonderfully by Kim Cattrall, another reason for me to see this film, are whisked of on a disaster minimising PR tour, minus his wife with whom he generally consults on every decision.

I would have preferred the writing rather than the scandal to be the bigger feature of the film, that way we’d have been fortunate to have seen Pierce Brosnan for more than 15 minutes, but the rest is about the non-investigative writer uncovering why his predecessor had died. Once he finds out its not plausible for him to have been found so far away from where he was last seen, the film becomes a pure thriller till the end and twists and turns are ensured and UK political links with the CIA are exposed. But whose?

I heard that Nicholas Cage was the first choice for the ghost writer role which I’m pretty sure would have added at least half a point to my mark. Cast-wise, apart from over acting by Olivia Williams who plays Mrs PM, all is good.

The film has some witty lines and is brilliantly made by Roman Polanski but as I now know whodunit, I don’t feel the need to really see this film again and normally, a score needs to be above 8 for me to want to repeat the process. 7½/10 Smile 8/10