Why Samantha’s Hormonal Hell in “Sex and the City 2” Is The Awful Film’s Most Relatable Moment
When it’s a rainy Saturday afternoon — and the allergies you inherited as a gift for welcoming your forties — kick in with a vengeance — there’s nothing else to do but tuck in and lazily gaze at a bad movie.
Sex and the City 2 — arrived just in time and I allowed myself the opportunity to recall if it was as bad as I thought it was when my friend and I treated ourselves to the premier back in the summer of 2010.
Of course that was almost a decade ago — when I was younger and naively confident about the future and how it would play out in my favor.
In 2010 — I was stationed at a cubicle in the building that managed the multi-million dollar assets of America’s wealthiest — and in order to validate the hours spent processing due diligence forms —I gingerly secured an over-priced studio in the Upper East Side section of Manhattan.
It was there — during my off time — that I convinced myself that I was the more modest version of Carrie Bradshaw — since there was no way I could afford the spacious apartment or the hundreds of dollars she spent on Christian Louboutin heels.
But — I was doing okay for a single New Yorker who managed to juggle her day job with writing duties — that were hosted in a room with a view of the skyline — as inspiration and reassurance of better tomorrows. There was also the delightful fact that I was just a couple of blocks away from my bestie who was thrilled that we were within reach of each other.
When we walked down to 86th and Lexington to get comfortably tipsy before settling into the second installment of what seemed to be a budding franchise — the mood was carefree and playful and it continued through what turned out to be a dud of a movie.
It was hard for us to pinpoint exactly why Sex and the City 2 was so awful — and as we made the trek back to my apartment for more glasses of wine — in the deliciously warm summer night — we both concluded that our disappointment stemmed from being deceived by the perfection of the first film.
But — after watching it again as an older and less idealistic woman — who is now bunking with her parents under the guise that the current arrangement will be over — sooner rather than later — the low points of the second entry of the now-defunct franchise are glaringly obvious.
Aside from the painful scenes depicting the outrageousness of stereotypical wirings that are supposed to make racists feel better about their pathetically small minds — there was Samantha’s hormonal woes that meant nothing to me back when such a thing was foreign.
As I watched her freak out session when she had to contend with the confiscation of her “hormone-enhancing drugs” at the airport in Abu Dhabi — due to potential violation of UAE laws — I felt the surge of empathy as my ability to relate to her unanticipated hell matched my own reality.
I was also angry as fuck at the other women — particularly Carrie who was royally unlikeable in most of the SATC sequel — for dismissing their longtime friend’s valid impediment as just another excuse for her to play up her “diva” status.
There were other scenes in the movie that show Samantha struggling to survive her debilitating crisis — while aiming to maintain a level of sanity that is almost impossible to sustain — when your hormones are attacking the very core of your being. And each time she voices or demonstrates her nagging symptoms — the other ladies impatiently roll their eyes and rudely interrupt or change the subject.
It’s hard to imagine that a woman could’ve written a script that would allow for such a blatant disregard of a real issue that tons of women in their forties and beyond and sometimes a little bit younger — grapple with in mostly unsupportive environments — which inevitably creates a sense of alienation that is emotionally crippling.
When I did the research — I wasn’t shocked to discover that it was in fact a man that penned the god-awful script — and I was even more taken aback to find out that the film’s star Sarah Jessica Parker was one of the producers. I have to wonder how and why Parker wasn’t appalled enough to voice her disapproval at the insensitive way Samantha’s menopausal phase was being handled.
I also choose to believe that actress Kim Cattrall is still holding Parker responsible for her character’s unfortunate mishandling — which explains the public feud between the two women — that erupted from Cattrall’s sensible decision to give up the role of Samantha Jones — for good.
Truth be told — I would do exactly the same thing if I had the displeasure of being humiliated in the most personal way — via a well-beloved and almost iconic character. And if you really want to watch a more dignified and enlightening portrayal of an aging woman — with all the ups and downs — and everything in-between — treat yourself to Netflix’s Sensitive Skin — featuring none other than Cattrall.
Watching Sex and the City 2 — wouldn’t be a memorable experience if not for the part where the middle-aged woman is shamed for committing the sin of getting older.
Interestingly enough — Samantha’s “older status” also seemed to be exaggerated — to create the impression that she’s much older than her gal pals — when in reality the gap isn’t that impressive. Cattrall is only about eight years older than her co-stars — and that fact also translated on the hit show.
This makes the shittiness Samantha had to deal with even more infuriating when you consider that the other women were old enough to comprehend their friend’s intense discomfort — due to their own early onset of symptoms — that can definitely present themselves as women approach their mid-forties.
My personal experience with the complexities of hormonal imbalance happened without warning at a time in my life when I was ill-prepared — both emotionally and physically.
I thought the “fabulous forties” were going to make the already jarring transition — a smoother and seamless ride — but I was hit with an avalanche of disruptive bullet points — that held me hostage for two years — and during that period — I couldn’t decide if I wanted to live or die.
The plan was to drink myself to death — but then after seeing and feeling the consequences of that exercise — I chose to live.
So — I adopted a healthier lifestyle with the aid of supplements that are slowly providing hope to a woman who felt close to the brink of flatlining.
Nobody really talks about pre-menopause or how getting older for a woman can include the good and lots more of the bad.
It’s a shocking thing to go from being a healthy young woman with the streak of fertility to a not-so-old woman who may never be able to have a child because her body is rebelling at the audacity of her forties.
I hate that SATC 2 vandalized a great opportunity to elevate Samantha’s hormonal issues by rendering her the “used up hag” who desperately wants to hold on to her sexual prowess — instead of accepting her defeat by the claws of “a rite of passage” — that many of us know about — but don’t really know about — until we’re “a woman of a certain age.”
I’m glad that the movie bombed and I’m also elated that Cattrall has made her unapologetic exit from an enterprise that shouldn’t be revived — under any circumstances.
Besides — without Samantha — the party is definitely over.