Sunday, June 01, 2008


For all the guys who say they would rather be trampled by elephants than see the SEX AND THE CITY movie, I think you’re missing the big picture. For you dudes trying to win a young lady’s heart (okay…get her into bed), this is the greatest thing since alcohol. It’s the chance to show how really sensitive you assholes are.

In the old days saying you were an Alan Alda fan had the same effect.

The problem comes of course when the girl of your immediate dreams asks you specifics about the movie. Uh oh. This is tough because you’d take your wisdom teeth out with a pair of garden sheers before actually seeing it.

First hurdle – getting her to believe that you did see it since I’m sure she views you as every schlub from a Judd Apatow movie. But let that work for you. You were stoned and wandered into the wrong theatre in the Cineplex. For the first hour you thought it was just the trailer. You were going to leave to see COLLEGE ROAD TRIP but much to your surprise you started getting really into it.

Hurdle number two – discussing it with her.

Do your homework, Romeos.

Go on line. Find rave reviews. Look for women critics and Jeffrey Lyons. Write down some catchphrases and put them in your own words.

A couple of examples: “It’s so cool to really hear how women talk.” “I wish my friends could be that open and honest.” “I just kept thinking, wow, YOU would look so amazing in those clothes.”

She’ll of course ask you which clothes in particular. Start by saying the stilettos but be careful -- when she says what else? don’t tell the truth and say, “Nothing, just the stilettos.” You’re fairly safe with “that sexy little black outfit”. But don’t linger on this topic. Do not let the conversation get around to hand bags.

Look for reviews with SPOILER ALERTS. Read them first. The movie is two-and-a-half hours long, fellas. That’s the same length as APOCALYPSE NOW. Memorize the plot summary. Learn who the women are. Here’s a quick refresher:

Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) – writes this weekly column and narrates the show. Has really insightful observations. Things you yourself had thought about but could never put into words. Don’t stare at me blankly. Just write this down.

Samantha (Kim Cattrall) – The blonde actress who has gone from MANNEQUIN to MILF (even though she doesn’t have children and isn’t made of wood).

Charlotte (Kristin Davis) – Hot brunette. The more goody-goody of the group. The romantic. You’d do well to say you side with her worldview over Samantha’s.

Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) – Redhead cynical lawyer. Now has a baby. You can get away with just saying she’s the best actress of the group.

You liked all the pithy lines. You can’t remember any – or even one – because there were just too many of them. And because you’re open to new things you're going to order your first Cosmo (along with her fourth).

SEX AND THE CITY can really grease the tracks for you, guys. Embrace it as you would a book on hypnotism or hair restorer. The only thing I would caution: don’t lay it on too thick. You don’t want her getting you the box set of Seasons 1-4 and wanting to watch them with you.


Anonymous said...

Sound advice Ken.

Hopefully for your next post you can talk us through 'the intercourse' with our girlfriends/wives.

Miss Banshee said...

The only thing I hate more than Sex and the City is the idea that all women love/relate to Sex and the City and that men just have to valiantly endure this in order to land chicks. Way to perpetuate the stereotype, Ken.

Emily Blake said...

I like manly men. If a man told me he knew the ins and outs of Sex and the City I would punch him in the face before running in the opposite direction from his candy ass.

Anonymous said...

Wow, these comments are unnecessarily harsh. I enjoyed the post. I went and saw SATC with a guy friend, an ex-boyfriend actually, and he and I ended up in an at least semi-intelligent conversation about "guy films" versus "women films." Women in our society are looked at as hot, kind of badass sexy if we go see the Die Hard equivalents of the 2000s thus far... but it's near sinful for a guy to even consider seeing a film like this, that attempts to really explore the "female experience," if you can call it that. But - all that aside - the post was fun and funny. Thanks, Ken.

Anonymous said...

Very funny post, and vastly preferable to actually seeing the film. Just remember not to say, "I liked when the ants ate the show store."

I hear women are having stretch-limo tailgate parties, and dressing up as their favorite characters. How do they do that? Uncomfortable shoes, gaudy overpriced dresses, bad wigs and a rubber Sarah Jessica Parker mask? It's like Star Trek for cougars.

I am very grateful for it, as it was responsible for my being able to see Indiana Jones on Friday evening at the Arclight Cinerama Dome in a near-empty house, with an unobstructed view, no one on phones, no one talking near me, no one annoying me. It was like watching it on DVD in my living room, only with a screen the size of a house, and a great sound system.

I was amused by Lauren Hutton's attack on SATC, during which she admitted she'd never seen even one episode of it, so it was an informed opinion. She blamed gay men for it. I'm a gay man, and you couldn't pay me to see it. But I did see most of the series, so mine is an informed boredom. Consumer-porn, particularly of women's clothes and shoes, does zilch for me. Now if "Mr. Big" fist-fought Nazis while tobogganing naked down Mount Everest, I'd be there.

But what about advice for women who want, like Emily Blake, manly men? Could you teach them to fake having watched baseball? "I loved when they ran home." "No dear, that was a home run."

iabanon said...

yeah i agree with banshee and emily, if a guy i was dating admitted he watched sex and the city he would be dumped pretty fast. you cannot say in all sincerity that watching it makes you a sensitive sort. that show is in its essence very un sensitive. i consider it shallow and cheap and boring.
here's some REAL good advice for you guys.
be yourselves and find a woman that likes you being yourself. it's not actually that hard. the stereotypes are a myth. the stereotypes don't really exist, at least not in my world.
and i much prefer sci fi and action/thriller flicks to romances. but i'm not butch or trendy or whatever. i'm a normal feminine woman who likes to watch a bit of fun and imagination on the screen.

Anonymous said...

If any guy even OFFERED (b/c I would not ask) to go see Sex and the City with me I would just laugh in his face.

ALSO, a Sex and the City fan will not be shocked by you answering what you really think... as in "nothing, just the stilletos" throw in a charming smile after that and you might convince her into role-playing Samantha with you later. ;)

Think about it, girls are just into SEX as men are... you don't need these stupid 'torture yourself and seem sensitive' techniques!!

Anonymous said...

Levine 101!

By Ken Levine said...

Some thoughts:

I was in Westwood this evening and walked by the Bruin theatre, which was showing SATC. There was a line of about thirty people. Not one single guy. None.

And the other thing (which I hate to have to point out but I suppose I do) the post was facetious. Instead of just bashing a movie that many of you probably saw and liked (and I didn't see so any review would be dishonest), or going with the obvious "Real men hate this" take I tried to find a different, fresher angle that might also be amusing.

I stand by the post, even if you want to beat me with stiettos.

Anonymous said...

Never saw the TV series. No interest in seeing the movie. I'll turn in my X chromosomes at the door when I leave. But I have a completely unrelated question that I don't know where to post, so it's here, sorry:

How do you pronounce your last name, Ken?

Lah-VEEN? LEV-in? Other?

Love the blog, and in trying to recommend it to friends, I've been winging it on butchering the pronunciation of whose blog it is I'm recommending exactly.

iabanon said...

geez ken, we know it was facetious. but when you stereotype you're still gonna get people who will give their 'take' on your views. facetious or not. no one's beating you with stilettos. i don't even have any stilettos.
and as for all those females going to see sex and the city. i'm again ashamed of my gender. :(

By Ken Levine said...

I pronounce my name Le-VINE, as in Hollywood and...

Anonymous said...

you know what I hate more than Sex and the City? Men who think they'll suddenly grow ovaries after seeing 5 minutes of the film. I don't like the series, I'll never watch the film, but I'm so sick and tired of seeing all the men running for their lives like it was the antichrist. It's an overhyped movie, just like Indy and Speed Racer and every big budget summer flick. Let's get over it and move on.

Bitter Animator said...

Wouldn't all this just serve to prove you're gay? Although I guess women love gay guys so that might fit...

D.McEwan blows my theory away though. D, are you the only gay guy who doesn't love it or are there more of you?

Anonymous said...

Hey, I'll see it, but then my idea of a great three-way is BBG.

Anonymous said...


Nice post. Very funny. Seems like you touched a nerve with some of your readers, but I hope they realize that you were not only skewering the SATC phenomenon, but also us dumb males with only one thing on our tiny minds.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't we just be honest and say we think that SATC is soft core porn--especially with the male lead being "Mr. BIg" and having four reasonably hot chicks drooling over him--and that's why we want to go with our girlfriends or wives to see the movie? I think they'd like that response rather than faking our way through by pretending to be "sensitive," don't you?

Nathan said...

My GF worked on the movie and got passes for one of the NY screenings last week. I was all set to take one for the team and go with her until she saw on the news how a couple of thousand ticket holders were turned away from the first night even though the had RSVP'd. She decided we weren't going to go stand in line for hours to get to see what she already new would be a POS.

Phew! Dodged that bullet.

ahmad wiyono said...

i love this blog! keep up good works. See you again..

Anonymous said...

A simple solution for the movie bluffer:

Who needs to see them when you can get a pithy summary?

Tim W. said...

Anyone who thinks someone's aversion to a Sex and the City movie is a sign of manliness has a few issues, in my opinion. I'd rather watch an episode of Sex and the City than an episode of Home Improvement, King of Queens or other shows that show a stereotype of men I can't relate to at all. I would think a woman would want to run screaming from a stereotypical manly man pretty quick, from the ones that I've met. Then again, what do I know? I've only been with my wife for 16 years. Maybe most women prefer beer-swilling, emotionally distant, insensitive cretans who behave like over-sized children most of the time. I guess they make better partners.

Bitter Animator said...

If you're male and can relate better to four old hags who demonstrate each and every episode why no man in their right mind should ever want them, well, I think people should be forgiven for questioning manliness in that scenario.

But, having said that, I'm not sure I agree with even your most basic idea, Tim - that we watch those who act most like us. I watch King of Queens because it's funny. I don't watch Sex and the City because it makes me want to tear my whole face off. But I'm not in any way like Doug from King of Queens.

Anonymous said...

I think if any guy admitted to seeing the movie and picking up on the fashion, the first instinct the girl will have is "oh, you're gay."

Jamie said...

I'm a lady behind the times - I was watching MASH last night and all I could think was "Man, Alan Alda is so cute." Oh, and I feel overwhelming apathy towards SATC.

Richard Cooper said...

Okay, so I have this, um, friend who actually sneaked into the back of SATC, and noticed that the entire handful of men in the theater laughed in unison at funny stuff none of the women were laughing at... but then again [SPOILER] maybe the jilted Carrie smashing Mr. Big with a bouquet of wedding flowers wasn't supposed to be all that funny. So, I thought - I mean my friend thought it would be a great idea to share this new-found knowledge of NYC women (and their love of Patricia Field's fashion line) with his girlfriend.

But when my friend told her, she said, "YOU'RE SUCH A GIRL!" and punched him in the face.

BTW, if Emily is still here - I got this, um, black eye in a manly boxing match at Gold's Gym, so call me, k?

Tim W. said...

I've only watched a few full episodes of Sex and the City, which is about the same as King of Queens, but I find the characters on Sex and the City vastly more interesting than King of Queens, the storylines less predictable and the writing better than King of Queens. Plus, I don't sit through the entire episode wondering why more women don't become lesbians. I don't find stereotypical men funny. I find them sad and annoying.

Martin_B said...

Oh come on guys. SATC was taboo-breaking TV that put certain issues on the table. I watched quite a bit of it.

Although I have to say they should have called it "Samantha and the Three Neurotics." She was easily the best thing in it.

I used to wonder -- if I ever met a real-life Samantha, what would I do? Same as most other men, I guess. Run a mile.

Anonymous said...

So is watching HOME IMPROVEMENT or KING OF QUEENS the only alternative to watching SATC? Myself, I don't care for any of the three. In this age of hundreds of channels,and DVD and VHS, there's really no reason to watch something you don't like. And most sets still have that "OFF" option also.

Bitter Ani, I am not the only gay man who could not be dragged into a theater playing SATC. There are a lot of gay men out there who will see (and probably by now have seen) it. Those guys Rac saw in a theater were all probably gay. (Straight men were the men snoozing next to women. Men sitting together without female dates are gay.)

But none of my immediate circle of gay friends are interested in it. In fact, squealing over Carrie, or worse, squealing over shoes, hell, just squealing, is a fair sign a man isn't my tupe of gay man. We come in all varieties.

Den, men aren't afraid watching it will cause them to grow ovaries. They're afraid they'll have to spend two and a half hours (It makes Indiana Jones look like a short subject) being intensely bored, listening to conversation that affects them like nails on a chalkboard, sitting through a film where the people act like a romantic breakup is the equivilant of having your children shot in front of you.

Jake, only one of the four women drools over Mr. Big. One of them is in love with Evan Handler, which would be anti-porn. My memories of the series (It's been several years since I glanced at it) is that the other three women didn't like Mr. Big, and tolerated him only because Carrie insisted on dragging him along.

And I have never understood why anyone wants softcore porn, when hardcore is available. (And for me, to qualify as porn, there can't be any women in it.)

Karen Scott said...

and as for all those females going to see sex and the city. i'm again ashamed of my gender. :(

What an utterly ridiculous statement. You're ashamed just because other women went to see a film that doesn't float your boat? If you don't mind me saying so darling, that's sheer stupidity.

As for the whole men and SATC thing, there is no way in hell I'd have wanted to share the experience wih my husband. I'll leave him to go and watch Harrison Ford pretend he's still in his twenties.

The hype that surrounds films such as Batman, Superman, Die Hard etc etc is ok, but when it surrounds a film that a lot of women actually want to watch, it's comparable to having one's face torn off?

Ken, I do like you, but you do talk out of your arse sometimes.

Karen Scott said...

I like manly men. If a man told me he knew the ins and outs of Sex and the City I would punch him in the face before running in the opposite direction from his candy ass.

Yeah, because all men who happen to watch and enjoy SATC are gay. Way to go with that generalisation.

You're lucky that all men who watch SATC are gay, because if they were manly men, they'd probably punch you back.

Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of ridiculous statements:

"watch Harrison Ford pretend he's still in his twenties."

Harrison didn't do that, even in the originals. In the new one he's frank about his age, much of the plot hangs on it (Like his having a grown son), and some of it is about accepting the limitations of his age. And in the originals, Harrison was in his late 30s in the first, and in his 40s in the the other two. Indy always came across as weathered and experienced; "lived in". He was a college teacher, not a college student. Harrison hasn't pretended to be in his 20s since AMERICAN GRAFITTI.

"You're lucky that all men who watch SATC are gay, because if they were manly men, they'd probably punch you back."

So gay men can't be manly?

Lots of gay men don't care for SATC, and the movie even more so, since it features notorious religous homophobe Jennifer Hudson. (Horrible bad taste even to have cast her.)

Anyway, as my manly dad told me again and again, "A Man NEVER strikes a women. A man who hits a woman isn't a man."

So real manly men wouldn't hit Emily back. Only vicious brutes would do that. (Though Emily should not be hitting people for liking a movie she feels they shouldn't. That's what blog comment columns are for.)

Looks like Ken isn't the only one who is talking out of his "arse". I'll bet you hve to stand up to be heard as well.

Tim W. said...

Home Improvement and King of Queens are not the only alternative to Sex and the City, but I mentioned them because they featured stereotypically manly males who are so insecure about their masculinity they feel anything deemed `unmasculine' might turn them gay, or something. Personally, I watch almost no television, so it's not a choice between the two shows, or anything else, for that matter.

I have no problem with someone not liking Sex and the City. I found the few episodes I watched mildly entertaining, but it's never been something I would actually seek out to watch, I have found it better than at least 90% of what else is on television, however. And my brain doesn't actually try and revolt in self preservation if it happens to be on when the show is on and I walk in the room, which is often what does happen.

And if I were a single guy, the Sex and the City movie is definitely something I would think about going to see considering the audiences I saw watching the movie. Or more precisely, I'd think about waiting in line to get into the movie, since anyone who actually talked during the movie would be immediately be considered undateable.

Anonymous said...

I think Karen was merely making a deliberately absurd generalization as a counter to emily's generalization.

At any rate, this is getting a bit silly isn't it? I recall seeing one or two episodes of the series, and it didn't work for me. I'm straight, but I don't think that was a factor; I just didn't find it very funny. Having so little familiarity with the show, I'll skip the movie. If it weren't the continuation of a series, I might see it.

My heterosexuality has managed to withstand repeated exposure to musicals, melodramatic "weepies," romantic comedies and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Perhaps this suggests that I'm not as straight as I think I am. But if anyone feels the need to punch me - please, not the face. ;)

Karen Scott said...

Harrison didn't do that, even in the originals.

You don't have to tell me that, I watched and loved each and every single Indiana film, prior to this one, but I'm gratified that I moved you enough to staunchly defend Harrison Ford, the movie and his age from somebody who obviously didn't appreciate the film as much as you did. Funny how that happens isn't it?

So gay men can't be manly?

I was being ironic actually. And had you not been so annoyed about me taking the piss out of Harrison Ford, you might have caught it.

Anyway, as my manly dad told me again and again, "A Man NEVER strikes a women. A man who hits a woman isn't a man."

See above explanation.

I'll bet you hve to stand up to be heard as well.

Being a Brit, I have no idea what the above means or pertains to, so perhaps you would like to enlighten me?

How do they do that? Uncomfortable shoes, gaudy overpriced dresses, bad wigs and a rubber Sarah Jessica Parker mask? It's like Star Trek for cougars.

That's the thing about talking out of one's arse, it can be downright contagious

By Ken Levine said...

Kids. Kids. Play nice.

David J. Loehr said...

That’s the same length as APOCALYPSE NOW.

If I'm not mistaken, it's almost the same plot, too. War, things go to hell, the big man vanishes, trip to foreign country with embarrassing bodily functions, it's all there.

Anonymous said...

Great post. I had a long conversation with a bunch of guys I know, and I was the only one who said I'd go see this with a girl (although, to date, I haven't and hope never to.) I said - semi-seriously - it was a slam-dunk blue chip, to have and to hold in your pocket, to be used freely at a later date, and I was roundly lambasted. We have eyes but we do not see.

Anonymous said...

"A Man NEVER strikes a women. A man who hits a woman isn't a man."

Who wrote that rule anyway?

If you're bad enough to hit somebody, then you're ass ought to be tough enough to not be shocked (or moan that , men aren't supposed to hit women) when somebody smacks you back...everybody screams that they want "equality," when what they really mean is that they want all the perceived advantages without any of the pain.

Anonymous said...

Not all things are for all people. Thank goodness. Then we get lots of choices! Loved the series of SATC. Looking forward to seeing the movie soon. I'll probably see Indy first. Saw IRON MAN the other night. Ken, your review was right on! I really enjoyed it.

If a man I was dating said he'd go see SATC with me, I'd think he was exceptionally sweet and loving to offer... and never make him make good on it.

Alicia said...

Ken Levine... helping men get laid everywhere.

Anonymous said...

I giggled my way through this entire post - thanks for writing it and making me laugh!

Seriously though, I don't think my husband would be capable of resisting the "just the stilettos" line.

Unknown said...

Just wanted to point out that I got the angle even before Ken was so fair to explain it for all the kids fighting on this thread.

I'll go and have sex with my woman now while you folks keep discussing who is the more manly woman and who's the more girly man. Have fun.

Anonymous said...

i wanna watch this ! sex and the city

Anonymous said...

Ken, enjoyed the blurb about your daughter in the Northwestern Alumni mag.

And my hubby (a very manly man of 50) volunteered to go with me to SATC since our daughter is oversees. We'd never seen any of the series, mainly went to see how Lt. Valeris, who's my age, has aged. Better than me, I'm afraid.

Anonymous said...

The comments on this piece are cracking me up.

I watched the series and loved it. I saw the movie and enjoyed it.

The thing I loved most about the series was the way relationships were dealt with and just looking at Chris Noth! The man to me is Sex on Wheels!

Whoever mentioned the bit about Carrie hitting Big with the bouquet being was! I was in a theatre full of women and a good share of them laughed. Maybe it was just because it was New York women and they laugh at such things!

I know straight guys who watched the series and loved it. Gay guys who hated it.

To each their own!

I love reading your work Ken! It often times makes me laugh out loud at work and I get strange looks! Keep it up!

Cathy said...

I already bought the Sex and the city dvd . Two thumbs up!