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Was it misogyny that made so many critics hate “Sex and the City 2”?

Was it misogyny that made so many critics hate “Sex and the City 2”? (photo)

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It was inevitable that someone would get around to accusing “Sex and the City 2” detractors of not-so-latent misogyny. The task finally fell to the Guardian‘s Bidisha, who lays out the case.

Her basics: reviews were fixated on the women’s looks, failed to reserve similar vitriol for “a convicted rapist such as Roman Polanski” (which doesn’t really seem germane), and — finally — don’t deal with the many other films that are “all standard ignorant, cliched, macho, brutal, brainless, gung-ho, numb-knuckle, totally male-dominated,” and that “feature large clubs of self-involved obsessive stupid men and their multiple male nemeses and cronies and one or two completely outnumbered women in demeaning, underscripted roles.” So now what?

What’s being kicked around here is the question of whether women deserve movies as stupid, condescending, thoughtless and reductive as the ones targeted at men, and whether we should celebrate that for its own sake. “Sex and the City 2” is certainly a more graphic (well, more everything) beast than your average romcom: it’s seemingly calculated to push everyone’s buttons. And if your best argument for it is that well it’s not worse than the fare produced for money, you’re really gasping for rhetorical air.

06042010_city.jpgThat question, though, seems all wrong. I mean, sure: women deserve to be exploited as much as men. (Well, not “deserve,” but work with me.) And certainly there’s an argument to be made that such sneering, breaking-a-butterfly-on-a-wheel reviews have an ugly undercurrent to them that can’t just be explained as the results of a recession and anger at the gap between the critic’s lifestyle and the one being depicted on-screen.

On the other hand, let’s assume — just for a second — that, by and large, most male critics are not raging misogynists. It’s very easy to say, as the New York Times‘ Manohla Dargis does, that the main culprit here is an underlying hatred that fixates suspiciously on superficial matters of appearance.

But there’s something else here, something that’s weirder and sadder. Plastic surgery, defying age, asserting yourself through sheer anti-aging force of will (and pure obnoxiousness): these are manifestations of the oft-voiced American idea that death is optional.

Misogyny may well have something to do with it, but there’s something else that makes people uneasy, and I think it’s that — the tension between how unhealthy (literally) the society is and the way the movie absolutely refuses to engage with that, not just economically but physically.

[Photos: “Sex and the City 2,” Warner Bros, 2010]

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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