When Sex and the City 2 arrived in theaters last Friday, women across the country were eagerly anticipating its release with all the excitement of a Harry Potter-phile awaiting a Daniel Radcliffe appearance. So why does the Sex and the City franchise continue to appeal to people (mostly women), six television seasons and two movies later? The answer may, ironically, have nothing to do with the sex or the city. As I explained to my fiftysomething-year-old mother shortly before she too got hooked a few years ago, the title is racy and enticing, but it’s also slightly misleading. To my mind, SATC‘s success has more to do with its very real representation of the feelings, conversations and experiences women have, juxtaposed with the exaggerated characters and lives that don’t reflect most women’s reality at all.
To me, the most fascinating element of “Sex and the City” is the way Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristen Davis) are able to maintain a strong friendship, though they are all so different. When it comes to men, age, political view and how we like our coffee has little correlation with how we feel. When a woman crushes on a guy, most become insecure, emotional, over-analytical, and obsessed with why he hasn’t called in two weeks. And like these characters, it’s these similarities that prove we’re all a lot more alike than we realize.
Whether an Abercrombie-donning sorority sister, a thirtysomething career-obsessed woman, a fiftysomething divorcée, or anything in between, we’re all still girls inside. The stuff that makes us tick, that makes us cry, that makes us scared, doesn’t change all that much. Through it all, it’s our girlfriends — those who dry our tears, help us up, cheer us on or simply listen — who get us through those moments. Those are the ingredients that go into the Sex and the City secret sauce that keep so many of us wanting more.
In this “Thinking Out Loud,” Dr. Christine Whelan and I compare thoughts on SATC and how it relates to our own adventures in dating, friendship, married life and even our faith lives.