Synecdoche, New York
If we don't "go to the movies" in any form, our minds wither and sicken.
Gidget Gormley, "the world's cutest dog," stars in SATC.
In the Answer Man column for Friday, June 13, I write: "Oddly enough, searching the AM's Google Mail account for questions about "Sex and the City." I found that all the messages, every single one, dealt only with matters of masturbating female dogs. But surely I was mistaken? Surely with such a popular film there would be messages about something else, especially since it was a popular movie, my review was negative, and my hit-counting software indicated that tens of thousands had read it? Was the only thing they wanted to write me about was the leisure activity of Samantha's pet dog? Surely not. Then I had a brainstorm.
Some weeks ago, to rid the Answer Man of tons of spam, I changed its gMail address. Perhaps there was a glitch, and there would be more broadly-based SATC messages back at the old address. I went back and looked. That account has piled up an inbox of more than 22,000 messages, but only one was about "Sex and the City!" There seemed to be a total disinclination to write me about my review, however widely-read it may have been.
The author of that single message deserves recognition. He is Ian Gallaher of Fullerton, CA, and he writes to me: "In your review of "Sex and the City," you wrote, 'But this is probably the exact "Sex and the City" film that fans of the TV series are lusting for,' and, as a 24-year-old straight male who's seen the entire series (but only after my sister already bought it) I can say the movie was a complete letdown. To the casual observer, the series was inch-deep raunchy girl talk, but if you give the series time, you get to know each character and their intricate personalities and subtextually honest flaws. The television episodes truly are a work of art, if you can peel back the glossy pink wallpaper and take a look at why the walls and foundation of these girls lives are deeply flawed. But alas, the movie was a disappointment. The girls' pasts were apparently wiped away in favor of cookie-cutter representations of their previously rich selves. My only guess is that the producers got ahold of the script and watered it down in order to appeal to everybody, and, in doing so, made it universally unappealing. If you have the opportunity, give the series some time, it is excellent."
I regret, Ian, that I will never have the opportunity. Wild horses could not drag me to the opportunity. SATC is so definitely not my cup of tea that, for me, it is not tea at all, and does not come in a cup. As I made clear in the first sentence of my review, "I am not the person to review this movie." But I found aspects of the movie curious, and one of those aspects was the sight of Samantha's female dog masturbating with great joy and energy in a way that my sadly limited experience had led me to believe was unlikely. I always had male dogs, who went about such matters in a straightforward way. In the Answer Man column you will find how ignorant I was, and I am informed that a great many female dogs masturbate just like male dogs and apparently have no complaints.
Trying to puzzle out this situation, I have concluded: (1) Those who loved SATC or hated my review just abandoned me as a hopeless case, but that (2) people love their pets, and love to talk about them. So those few shining sentences about Baby, Samantha's dog, stood out for them in a sea of hopelessness, and they sprang to their computers, eager to tell me about Tessa, Timoune, and other beloved lady dogs. The lesson, of course, is that sex is important, but our pets are more important, and have a more direct connection to our daily lives than do the sex lives of four fictional women in The City.
I talked to lots of friends who rushed to the various midnight screenings and Cosmopolitan-drink-fests that accompanied the opening of the film, and what I gathered was: (1) Yeah, the movie was okay; (2) it was pretty long; (3) it helped if you've seen the series; (4) the Cosmo is pleasant as a drink, but not as a habit. (The recipe, Wikipedia reports, involves: "vodka, Cointreau or Triple Sec, cranberry juice, and fresh-squeezed lime juice or sweetened lime juice. Informally, it is referred to as a Cosmo." A man named John Caine brought it from the Midwest to San Francisco around 1987, and then faded from the pages of history.)
So I am back where I started. Millions of people watched the series, wanted to see the movie, and have. They are not much moved to defend it or discuss it, at least not on my web site. But their mother-in-law's beloved Tessa is altogether another matter. I recommend a sequel titled, "Tessa and the City."
The question is, what dog would it star? Here at the movie desk we stop at nothing to inform our readers, and so I can tell you that Baby is played by a dog named Gidget Gormley, who has countless web pages in her honor, mostly pink. Search as I did, I found no information about how Gidget was trained to masturbate on demand. but since Gidget is billed as "the world's cutest dog," maybe all it took was a mirror.
A review of the third and final season of Jessica Jones, now playing on Netflix.
This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...