I’m usually not surprised by critical reception of movies. Indeed, I knew Sex and the City would receive mixed to negative reviews. But what’s interesting about this is the gender differential. I thought — silly me! — that female critics, needing to prove how impervious they are to highly-gendered movies (i.e. how “serious” they are), would pan the movie. They would, as they have on other films, join the male establishment and rally to the butch cause.
The opposite happened. Female critics mostly liked the movie. Male critics were lukewarm at best.*
The Times’ Manohla Dargis is the one outlier — the only female to give a bad review. My guess is the lone female critic at the nation’s most prestigious newspaper couldn’t bring herself to like such schmaltz. Other critics could afford a little more indulgence, to take the movie a little less seriously. Dargis was vicious though, so much so it calls to question whether she was — consciously or not — sharpening her criticism to show she can’t be won over by silly feminine things. She’s a “real” critic. She only likes stuff it’s okay to like, serious French movies like The Valet, for instance.
*I used Metacritic because it filters through the critics more than Rotten Tomatoes and has a more nuanced scoring system.