May 30, 2008, - 2:25 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
If you have a daughter under the age of 17, and you have any sense of parenting, I hope you will read my review of the movie, “Sex and the City,” before deciding whether to let your daughter go see this trashy movie. No straight boys (or men) want to be caught dead at this flick, so I’m not addressing their parents.
The movie is filthy and disgusting and extremely explicit.
Unfortunately, Tim Warner Inc’s New Line Cinema–the studio that made this trash–is heavily marketing it to underaged girls. And it’s all the rage. Phony “wholesome” “Hannah Montana” star Miley Cyrus, of sexy-photos-with-Dad fame, is a huge fan, comparing it to her show marketed at young girls. That’s very sad, given the uber-racy and disgusting content of the movie. And that’s aside from it’s anti-male message.
More on the dilemma and on the sad appeal these four sleazy, middle-aged sluts have with young girls:
The season’s biggest female event is also generating buzz in a group that isn’t supposed to see it: girls under 17 years of age.
The situation — and the tricky marketing challenge it poses for Time Warner Inc.’s New Line Cinema — reflects the fact that a lot has changed for Carrie Bradshaw and her friends since the original HBO series had its finale in 2004. On HBO, the series was known for using bawdy sexuality and frank language to chronicle the night-crawling lifestyle of four Manhattan women.
But for the past few years, a sanitized version of the show has been in heavy rotation on Time Warner’s TBS network, and it has drawn the under-18 crowd, who now make up 10% of the audience. A new survey by the marketing consultant Intelligence Group indicates that “Sex and the City” is one of the most anticipated summer movies for teen girls, right up there with “Indiana Jones.” Miley Cyrus, the 15-year-old star of the Disney Channel series “Hannah Montana,” has called the show “her favorite” and compared the sexy series to her own show.
Teen girls are drawn to the show’s nonstop fashion parade, led by its star, who last year launched Bitten Sarah Jessica Parker, a budget clothing line that routinely sells dresses for less than $10 and appeals to teenagers. “I love Carrie’s style: the way she is confident and wears things that are crazy and doesn’t care,” says Rachel Nyberg, a 16-year-old from Minneapolis who plans to see “Sex and the City” as soon as it opens. . . .
The studio did, however, purchase ad time for “Sex and the City” on TV programs that turned out to have substantial teen audiences, including some in which more than 35% of the viewers are 17 or under, according to Nielsen Co. . . . The studio always recognized the potential of drawing a younger audience. . . .
[Director Michael Patrick] King says he deliberately crafted a story that would have multigenerational appeal. He added a 20-something character who plays Carrie Bradshaw’s assistant to appeal to younger viewers, he says. . . .
Mr. King — who invited his 16-year-old niece to the film’s New York premiere this week — notes that much of the marketing is built around adult brands like Mercedes-Benz and Skyy Vodka. “The reality is that most of the marketing is very grown-up, but that’s OK — it’s supposed to be aspirational,” he says. . . .
“Sixteen is the new 20,” adds Shelley Zalis, CEO of OTX, a consumer research firm that tracks film demographics. “Sixteen-year-olds want to see films with more adult subject matter.” . . .
Melissa Benjamin, a 16-year-old from Chappaqua, N.Y., says that her three best friends got advance tickets to see the movie Friday because they watched the show for hours in middle school. “We’d come home at 3:30 p.m. and watch until 9 o’clock on HBO on Demand,” she says. “We’d like to say which character we all thought we were most like. Secretly,” she confides, “I really relate to Carrie, but my other friend wanted to be Carrie.”
Guh-reat. They relate to a major ho in nicer clothing. I love how this movie is “supposed to be aspirational.” Aspirational to what–herpes incubation?
If you are a responsible parent, you will tell your young daughter she is above this trash and ask her to rent a better movie, instead.