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Japan puts out welcome mat for embattled 'Sex and the City 2'

30 Comments
By Chris Betros

Critics overseas haven’t been too kind to "Sex and the City 2." When that happens with any movie, there is no better tonic for the cast and crew than to head off to Japan to get the feel-good factor back again.

For Sarah Jessica Parker, 45, Cynthia Nixon, 44, Kristin Davis, 45, and Kim Cattrall, 53, the bliss began immediately upon their arrival at Narita where hundreds of women were waiting, bearing flowers and chocolates. Then the tumultuous welcome that the four stars and director Michael Patrick King, 54, received at the red carpet premiere at Roppongi Hills Arena left no doubt that Tokyo women have embraced "Sex and the City" during its six seasons on TV from 1998 through 2004 and the two ensuing films.

“Japanese audiences have been so loving,” gushed Parker. “In fact, Japanese fashions have had a huge influence on the show. Our costumer designer Patricia Field comes to Japan a lot and she would always bring back fashion magazines. From Season 2 on, Japanese fashion styles influenced the way my character of Carrie dressed.”

At the height of the show’s popularity, Japanese women often went to New York on "Sex and the City" tours. “I remember them coming up to us to explain how big the show was in Japan,” said Nixon, while Davis added that Japanese women would tell her much they understood her character’s conservative viewpoints and identified with her. “No matter where we go, no matter how different the culture is, the story translates so well,” said Cattrall. “I used to think it was just about four New York gals, but it seems to be a woman’s movement that cannot be stopped.”

In the new movie, the four women are dealing with the usual issues of love, relationships, aging, menopause, work and fashions. Courtesy of a sheik enamored by Cattrall’s character, the four jet off for a decadent week in Abu Dhabi, complete with chauffeured Maybachs, hotel butlers and lots of designer outfits. This gives the film a chance to take a few potshots at how women are treated in an Arab culture -- illustrated vividly when the quartet sing a karaoke version of "I Am Woman" at the hotel nightclub. They also find that they have much in common with their Muslim sisters beneath their veils, especially a passion for Suzanne Somers’ books.

The UAE segment (actually filmed in Morocco) has generated some controversy abroad, but the stars dismissed it. “We’re not a political show; we’re a social satire,” said Nixon. “For some reason, the TV show has always been incendiary to some people. A few years ago, when the Republican National Convention was being held in New York, I saw women wearing T-shirts that said ‘Carrie Bradshaw doesn’t speak for me, and neither does John Kerry.’ What was that all about? We never set out to be hard-hitting.” King, who also produced and wrote the script for the film, said it is “as fantastic, glamorous and grounded in reality as the women watching it want it to be. Really, all we are doing is exploring the lives and loves of these four characters.”

That exploration has been going on now for 12 years, longer than any of the cast ever thought it would last. “We all first met about 13 years ago,” said Cattrall. “We were having lunch with execs from HBO. They had a pilot script that was only 30 pages and no one knew where it was going. Usually, chemistry doesn’t exist on the page, but for us, that story came to life and we started to shape the show. More writers came on board and they started to write for our strengths and talent. That’s when you know you’re onto something good.”

Parker admitted that the fame of being associated with one part for so long can be a two-edged thing. “It’s delightful to do something you love for so long. People identify with us and we come into their living room each week, but there have been times when I have had to remind people that I’m not Carrie Bradshaw. In that sense, the whole phenomenon can be invasive, but not in a way that I feel resentment. After all, we are here because of the commitment that the women of Japan have made to us.”

© Japan Today

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.


30 Comments
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This movie is supposed to be so bad that even the fans of the series didn't like it, not to mention the total lack of any critical acclaim.

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I smiled when I read sex and welcome mat are used in the same sentence. From my time in the eastend of London, some women were knowing for their welcome mat.....

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"embattled"

It wouldn't be embattled if it didn't feature those 4 battle axes.

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Sex and the City always have some city but almost no sex. The only reason I think the series caught anyone's interest is that the title promises sex, but maybe fans finally figured out that they are not going to deliver?

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japan is the best place to go when your star is waning or you are embattled...

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japan is the best place to go when your star is waning or you are embattled...

down and out major league baseball players have known that for years...

There's a market for everything in this crazy world.

As far as the movie goes, trailers for comedies usually show the funniest scenes to real you in. The "funniest parts" for this movie were absolutely horrible.

No thanks.

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As do many many music stars and bands.

Have a slump, sales are flaking or try to do a comeback after a break = concerts in Japan.

Moderator: Stay on topic please.

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Japanese fans couldn't care less about bad reviews overseas. The reasons that critics cite - bad dialogue, unbelievable characters, situations - mean nothing to fans here.

Did anyone see the Japan premiere at Roppongi Hills? There were 3,000 screaming fans, mostly women. To them, seeing the four stars live was a once-in-a lifetime experience. It's all good fun and a few hours of diversion from the mundane day-to-day life.

I think that is why any TV series or movie strikes a chord with audiences. We each have our own favorite TV show or movie for which that applies, I think. Memorable dialogue, character development and plot have very little to do with it.

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Most people with their own brain couldn`t care less what critics say either.

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"Avatar" got rave reviews from fans in the U.S., but once it got to Japan, the story was met with a resounding, "Meh." Different strokes for different folks and all that.

"Sex and the City" will do fine here in Japan. And if the story, characters, and stars are what Japanese fans like, well, so what? It's great news for everyone involved. And if you don't like the story, characters, or stars, then simply don't go see it.

Kudos to the team that made the film and the fans who can enjoy it when it opens here.

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And part of that "feel-good factor" is this marshmallow of an interview and story.

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The storyline is a bit absurd, and the actors are a bit more than ripe, but I guess the glamour and the craziness that comes with it is what Japan likes about these series.

Probably like a dreamworld in this time of everlasting recession...

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King, who also produced and wrote the script for the film, said it is “as fantastic, glamorous and grounded in reality

Really?! What reality does this idiot live in? As far as know, people are broke, hungry and struggling to make ends meet, not jetting off to Abu Dhabi on some rich Sheik's expense account riding around in Maybachs.

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I think the character's 'glamor' if you can call it that, and their independence speaks to Japanese women. The show is a kind of wish-fulfillment for that demographic.

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embattled? crap more like

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Wow, it's that bad? Good to know, not that I would have watched it anyway.

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Maybe the movie wouldn't be "embattled" if they hadn't cast a bunch of transvestite donkey witches in the four lead roles.

(Thank you, South Park.)

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blunderbuss: I was waiting for a southpark comment. Thanks for the smile.

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If you don't like the movie, or the show, or the characters, fine. However, the continuous hateful, spiteful comments on the actresses age, appearance, clothes, etc is pretty shallow and petty. Again, criticize the movie fine, but geeze not everyone is 20 and no everyone identifies with 20 yr olds! They look great for mature ladies, and that is what they are, mature women - not girls. Tone it down a bit fellas.

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How about a welcome mat for THE COVE!

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From Season 2 on, Japanese fashion styles influenced the way my character of Carrie dressed.”

No wonder I hated all of her outfits.

This movie sounds horrid. I'm ashamed to be a woman and to be thought of as the "target audience" for this big pile of dog poo poo.

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Japanese women often went to New York on “Sex and the City” tours

Tours?? Not minding that for them that's typical...

I had some laughs with the re-runs on the internet, but the movies...they should have left the series alone, with the short episodes. There was nothing much to explore further and torture us with not one movie, but two.

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Sarge, how unkind :p

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Please no more, Sex In The City 3 " Grey Hair Resurrection " will be in a theater near you 2013.

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My co-worker watched it Sunday & said the movie was absolutely awful. She said people were walking in & out, clearly not caring to miss scenes, and afterwards were all complaining about how it was way too long & too boring, and the main actors looking like drag-queens.

SatC is going to lose credibility for its quality TV series if they don't stop now.

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As someone who has watched the series completely and the first film, I didn't like SATC2 very much. I didn't like the long slapstick segments in the film. They seemed so contrived and the ladies seemed out of character.

Also, the mostly Japanese audience hardly laughed at any of the "blue innuendo" offered by the girls especially Samantha. I found myself having to cover my mouth during some laughing outbursts because no one else even giggled.

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Did anyone see the stars on the SMAP program last night? Nakai kept butting in, telling them to let him get a word in. But the boys didn't cook for the ladies, as they usually do with their guests.

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Damn, Blunderbus, I was gonna say the same thing using the Tranny tag!

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The Japanese didnt laugh because they didnt get it!! (The old LOST IN TRANSLATION)

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Please no more, Sex In The City 3 " Grey Hair Resurrection " will be in a theater near you 2013.

I suspect the ladies already had to bathe in virgins' blood for this movie. The next movie will have them attacking Bruce Campbell in slow motion.

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