Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth
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Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth

Will Sex & The City Make You Into A Communist?

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Last midnight my sister somehow saw the Sex & The City movie and furiously wrote me a review that made me wonder, could this be the movie that finally shakes my faith in the virtues of market capitalism? Seriously, ever since she took this Marxism seminar my sister has hated her fellow man too much to want to extend him the benefit of any sort of social safety net, but this movie seemed to force her to reconsider. Is Sex & The City just a movie cashing in on a cash cow, or a tool of dialectical materialists designed to incite class struggle? Does this movie have a "message" other than"feel free to wear absurd outfits to work"? Yeah, probably not, but check the amusing email — and, uh, note the time stamp — after the Leap.

Christina Tkacik

to Maureen Tkacik

date Fri, May 30, 2008 at 4:14 AM

subject satc movie was RIDICULOUS


hide details 4:14 AM (12 hours ago)


but i saw it so you dont have to!

The labouring population therefore produces, along with the

accumulation of capital produced by it, the means by which itself is

made superfluous…"

(Capital, Volume I Section 3)

I would quote a longer excerpt here but if Marx were actually a

quotable sort of guy then right-thinking people would actually have

listened to him and the Sex and the City Film would never have

happened. Or, as Marx would say, the conditions that produced the

world of the Sex and the City film would never have been brought into


While Marxist critiques surely have only begun to scratch the surface

of this film (and will write untold unread tomes in years to come

regarding the significance of the choice of Vivienne Westwood to

design Carrie's wedding dress)… I will here provide a brief analysis

of key elements of the film.

a) The characters are slaves to their own fetishization of

commodities. This fetishization is responsible for the failure of

Carrie's wedding to Big. Dressed in their billowing designer costumes

like unwitting circus clowns, she and her friends fuss around the

limousine to carry Carrie to her wedding. "It's like trying to push a

cream-puff through a keyhole," comments the token homosexual figure

(who serves as the Jester) regarding the difficulty of fitting

Carrie's extravagant Vivienne Westwood gown within the limousine.

Here, Carrie is quite literally overwhelmed by her own materialism.

She does not realize that the Groom, the key component to her Wedding

(the church ceremony of materialism in our times) — is missing.

Castrated by materialism as he may be, Big is overwhelmed both by the

public spectacle of the Event and fear of commitment. Following the

embarrassment of the failed wedding, Carrie returns to her apartment,

where stacks of wedding gifts mock her with their now obvious

uselessness. While the irony is apparent to the viewer, Carrie is too

fatuous to pick up on it.

b) A key component of the film is the use of hired labour to address

all bourgeoisie problems: when, for example, Carrie wishes to have her

possessions from Big, but does not wish to face him in person,

Samantha comments "We can pay people to do that." These anonymous

servants — be they movers, nannies (see Magda), or the man Carrie

hires to hold the coats at Charlotte's baby shower — may be paid as

intermediaries for all human contact. Thus the wealthier characters

only further alienate themselves from one another, and become lost

within their own materialistic egos.

a. Another significant use of hired labour may be seen in Carrie's

hiring of Jennifer Hudson, Louise from St. Louis, who serves as a

Mystical Negro character representing some vaguely "alternative"

viewpoint to Carrie's New Yorker bourgeosie; this is sufficient to

satiate Carrie's shallowly "bohemian" perspective. (Bohemian only in

the modern connotations of the word, which bears little semblance to

the 'bohemians' of yore...) However, their relationship imparts no

true "change" upon Carrie, and instead only serves to further

indoctrinate the Jennifer Hudson character into the cult of the

commodity when Carrie purchases for her a louis vuitton handbag— thus

ensuring she share in future enslavement to the capitalist system

which has claimed Carrie and her "friends."

c) Samantha is the only character of the film who possesses, against

all odds, and despite her inherent materialism, a true sense of

compassion for her fellow man. She is also the only character who

claims to yearn for some sense of "meaning" in her life; unable to

find it either in her romantic relationship with a television star or

the new age literature she reads, her only recourse is to purchase a

dog, whose tendency to "hump" inanimate objects Samantha relates to on

a level impossible with her "friends". At the end of the film, she

naturally turns away from her vapid circle to her dog, as well as to

binge-eating. However, she herself remains entrenched within the

capitalistic system and cannot bring herself to fully escape its iron