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Batman, Iron Man, Hulk, Blah, Blah Blah: Wake Me When Carrie Bradshaw Slips Her Manolos Back On

Sjpwhite You can search for me all you want: this weekend, I will be in none of the 4,366 theaters in this country that will be showing The Dark Knight. I don’t care if people think I’m a party pooper. Earlier this year when I blasted back against the tidal wave of critical fawning over the pretentious, vomit-inducing Juno with this defiant review, I was thrilled by the surge of support I received in the comments section. Turns out there were loads of people who shared my desire to beat Diablo Cody to a bloody pulp. “Honest to blog.”

I’m not sure how many of those people will stand in solidarity this time by paying a visit to a singing Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia! instead of patronizing the millionth incarnation of a white man in a rubber costume pretending he knows what it’s like to be a misunderstood outcast. Still, I can’t be alone in my eye-rolling over the teeming Comic-Con nerds who obsess over the dull minutiae of various plastic figurines, brightly-colored Bat-renderings, or worst of all, try to justify all the tedium with some yawn-fest discussion about Bruce Wayne’s inner psyche.

Perhaps even more deplorable, however, are the droves of drones who will blindly purchase tickets to the next comic book superhero spectacle that the big studios dictate to us is the next thing you will pay us to see because we said so.

Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that that “next thing” was the Incredible Hulk? At least in that one the central figure spent a significant amount of the film not technically being “white.” But as any ethnic cast member of Broadway’s Wicked can attest, green does not count as a minority. And a few weeks before that, wasn’t a newly sober former Ally McBeal guest-star covered in maroon plastic the hot superhero that was supposed to make me gladly hand over my $12.50? After a while, it all starts blending together. Yawn, stretch, wake me when the fervor dies down.

I racked my brain to think of an occasion on which I shared in the same collective enthusiasm that seems to permeate the movie-going American public for this boring imminent Batfest. I tossed the contents of my recent pop-culture memory…I was stumped…until a stunning vision emerged from my distant recollection: the bejeweled, silk taffeta-swathed Sarah Jessica Parker bursting out of a shiny black limousine like a blooming rose in time-lapse photography. Yes. That Sex & The City opening weekend was, for me, my girlfriends, and women across the country, an event with all the building anticipation and thrill of a bona-fide cultural phenomenon. As we settled into our seats in the packed theater and the lights dimmed, the chirping girlish chatter fell to a respectful hush, and then, after the slightest poetic silence, a glorious, rousing applause. Estrogen-fueled whistles and cheers erupted in the room. Then, once again, when Ms. Bradshaw first appeared majestically on screen in full giant-cloth-hibiscus regalia, another collective vocal surge of giddy adoration.

Yes. I remember thinking how unique and rare that moment was, that I could finally feel, as a woman, as a minority, as a finicky pop-culture consumer, like I was at last a participant in the sweeping, studio-endorsed worship of a genuine superhero.

Instead of bulky rubber and synthetics, Carrie’s costume is made of luscious silks with caviar-beading, and her defensive footwear is enhanced with weapon-like stiletto heels. And she sure as hell fights crime. Because isn’t it basically a crime that white men get to feel this excited about every other movie ever? This industry will throw gobs of money at repeated rehashings of comic book characters and yet force Super Sarah Jessica to go begging to Skyy Vodka for a product-integration/production funds exchange. Isn’t that a travesty that deserves to be rectified?

I hope they all have a great time this weekend in all 4,366 of those theaters. I’ll be singing along with Meryl to the hit songs of ABBA, and then I’m going down for a nap so that I can rest up for the next time Carrie slips on her Manolo Blahniks to continue her jewel-encrusted crusade. She might decide she needs an extra sidekick.

Photo courtesy New Line Cinema.

Miki Yamashita
SAG   AFTRA   AEA

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Comments

I totally see your point. But I think the comic-geeks have one over on the Sex & the City League of Fashion Heroes this time out: Christopher Nolan is directing and co-writing "Dark Knight." The guy who brought us cinematic thrills like "Following," "Memento," and "The Prestige" has teamed up with crackling acting talent like Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, and Cillian Murphy -- whether "Dark Knight" is another comic-book movie or an off-off-Broadway play or a radio-show doesn't matter. Follow the talent. It's blistering indie-on-a-megabudget goodness, and not your standard-issue no-story-all-CG Hollywood-summer brainkiller. This is no "Transformers" or "Hulk" or "Batman and Robin" or "X-Men 3." It's not helmed by Schumacher, Ratner, or Bay. It's Nolan and one of the greatest ensemble casts of the decade. So what the characters have capes and things blow up every five minutes. Bats is back! On the other hand, I'm now willing to watch any movie that's not "Fool's Gold," 2008's most aggressively unfunny big-budget flick.

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