Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Why I Love Carrie Bradshaw

Sex and the City mania has once again swept the globe, and women from 15 to 50 (well, maybe) are pre-booking their tickets and digging out their sparkliest shoes for Friday's big opening night. I was offered tickets to the press screening on Thursday night by my friend Iflicks Ivan as he can't make it, but DAMN YOU WORK! Jokes. I'll be seeing it next week with my lovely girl friends.
But for now, I can content myself with Grazia's mini-mag about all things SATC in this week's issue. From the fabulous fashion to a mini-interview with the film's new cast member Alice Eve (as Charlotte's nanny and a bit of light relief for Harry from his shrieking child-like wife). We love it when a hot young Brit gets her big break beside the A-list.
Here she is next to big names James McAvoy and another fabulous lady and style crush of mine, Rebecca Hall, in Starter for Ten. It always amused me how both Alice and Rebecca play characters called Alice and Rebecca in the film. Sweet. Just in case they get mixed up.
But back to Sex and the City. There's all the swotting info and insider goss you could want in this week's Grazia to prep you for the film's release. Well, apart from lots of topless shots of Smith.
Aside from the lovely double page spread of Carrie's fashion hits and misses over the past six series and first film, what interested me was the page called 'I Love Carrie', where six fellow female writers explain why they, well, love Carrie.
And the reasons, while not particularly surprising or groundbreaking, abounded. From her updating of feminism to her fearless fashion sense and lust for life, Carrie seems to have got a generation of women up and dating up a storm when she burst onto our shelves and screens, and has continued to do so for years to come. She has helped women stop caring about what men think of them and to become independent entities in their own right (though one reason did make me laugh, as the author described Carrie as being '[not the type of] woman who needed a man for financial dependence' - so the episode where her shoe habit catches up with her and, practically bankrupt, takes a cheque from Big, then has to get Charlotte's engagement ring to bail her out doesn't count, does it, because Charlotte's a woman?), and has catapulted any designer she wears onto the 'waiting list as long as your arm' plain.
But of course, Carrie being idolised by the modern woman is bittersweet. On the flipside of a woman like her, all carefree, fancy free and man-free, comes the emotional turmoil, the childish episodes, the subsequent terrorising of men ever since, and let's not forget about her terrible attitude to work and money. She never seems to be able to get a column in on time, and the only person with a worse credit status than her is Becky 'Confessions of a Shopaholic' Bloomwood. (I've waxed lyrical about how irresponsible Carrie (and the writers) is to allow herself to spend so limitlessly and, crucially, never suffering repercussions.)
Plus, the way she screams all the time drives me insane. When she sees the squirrel on Aidan's windowsill, when Steve walks out of her kitchen and says 'hey', making her jump/scream like a banshee, when a mouse runs across her kitchen unit.....Carrie's little girl complex has made her unpopular with straight men the world over. Her obsessive hunt for the perfect man and the perfect pair of shoes is seen, quite rightly, as shallow.
But as she once mused, if one area of your work-home-love triangle is incomplete, no matter how perfect the others may be the glaring hole/failure is the only one you can focus on. And Carrie is, like any modern woman, looking for love.
And that's why I love Carrie. Because she is just like me. The writers (of the show and of the book) could have made her, and the other girls, flawless, improbably Barbie girls with trust funds and sensible, secure careers, sensible wardrobes and perfect boyfriends, but they didn't. They made them real women with real concerns, real flaws, and real humanity. None of them are great beauties. Carrie is childish, fickle, reckless and makes some serious style errors. But so is every woman. Carrie is just like us, but, crucially, Carrie gives us hope for real love, real true friends like hers, and the real joy of one day being able to pursue our dreams, and dream pair of shoes in the big city.

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