selective hearing

Is Sex and the City‘s Michael Patrick King Annoying Anybody Else?

I’m getting a bit annoyed with Michael Patrick King, the director behind Sex and the City 2. For someone who’s so perturbed about anyone saying the flick has a specific gay-interest bent (which it does), he sure is hung up on straight guys who watch his movies. Got a complex much?

King says the notion that SATC is a gay story is an “antique question.” Which it is; but it doesn’t make the premise a false one. “I always said that the reason that Sex and the City actually became present in people’s minds is it was a voice that needed to be heard, and at that time it was the single girl as leper, the outsider, anyone who wasn’t married after 30 when society told them they should be married.”

And then there’s this: “I don’t really think that gay men are drawn to this any more than anyone who likes a good story.”

Oh please, you silly fag. You know exactly why gay men are drawn to this story more than straight male audiences. It’s not even about the shoes or the wardrobe; it’s that we identify with these four women, from their sex drives to their emotional rollercoasters, because we trudge through the same things, only in less glamorous surroundings. Generally speaking, straight men don’t talk about their emotions and feelings and fears the way Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte — and gay men — do.

So it was a bit disturbing, then, to see King wondering aloud whether straight guys are going to finally “admit” to watching SATC. Jesus, buddy, how bad do you want to be the popular kid?

It seems a lot of straight men need a word coach or a lawyer when it comes to discussing Sex and the City.

First comes the disclaimer: “My wife makes me watch it with her.” I always imagine these guys tied to a chair, like Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange, head in a vice, forced in the direction of HBO on Demand. I picture their loving wife or girlfriend sitting next to them, sipping a Cosmo, tears of joy glistening in the corners of her eyes as she leans over and says, “That wasn’t so bad was it?”

There is also the “I was so drunk last night, I don’t remember a thing” straight man approach. This usually involves some sort of denial that leads to a confession: “I was flipping around on the remote, and at first I didn’t know what it was—then I realized what I was watching—and I thought, ‘Hey, let me see what the fuss is all about.’” At this point, I lean in expectantly, hoping to hear his positive reaction to the show or the movie—but nothing comes. He’ll confess to watching to see what the fuss is all about, but that’s as far into the fuss about the fuss as he’s going to go.

And when King does see evidence that, hey, maybe straight guys like his stuff? He shits on it.

Recently, I heard that Jonah Hill—young, cool, straight, brilliant, funny Jonah Hill—told a reporter that he is excited to see Sex and the City 2. As much as I am thrilled with that information, a good part of my more realistic self thinks: He’s just going to see it to get laid. (And if that is the case, I am happy to help a brother out.)

Michael Patrick King has more successes and bank account zeroes than I’ll ever have, but there’s something just really obnoxious about this guy pretending he isn’t making candy fare for the gays. A community to which he belongs. I understand he needs to market the movie to mass audiences, so maybe he doesn’t entirely believe his own remarks, but I’m beginning to truly doubt it.

That doesn’t mean I’m not going to go see your little Abu Dhabi brochure movie.