Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sex and the City and The X-Files: The Summer of the Epilogue

If you're a fangirl, there are really only two big movies coming out this summer. One is The X-Files: I Want To Believe and the other is Sex and the City: The Movie. Both are long-awaited returns to fandom's favorite cities, characters, and couples, and I can guarantee you that I'll be in the audience at both opening nights. I may even be dressed up.

As we join our OTPs already-in-progress, teasers are making it pretty clear that I'm going to be watching two very different movies.

Humor me here. Obviously, I wasn't really expecting Sex and the City and The X-Files to deliver strikingly similar plots or anything.

But I've got to say, in certain respects, I want the same things from these two movies.

It's called the epilogue.

Think about the movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. (For romantic comedies, epilogues are unbelievably critical. Audiences are looking for happily ever after.) I really love this movie—like, a lot—but I hate the ending. Kate Hudson jumps on the back of Matthew McConaughey's motorcycle, presumably to live happily ever after. But presumably doesn't work for me. For all I know, Kate falls off the back of that motorcycle five minutes later and dies. Even one of my top-five movies of all time, Say Anything, has a fairly unfulfilling ending. It doesn't take much to please me. The footage during the credits of Sweet Home Alabama makes me giddy with happiness.

I mean, imagine if 27 Dresses had ended without Katherine Heigl getting married or Baby Mama had ended without Tina Fey getting a baby.

Epilogues are all-important to storytelling, no matter the media.

Harry Potter? Fantastic (if hokey) epilogue. When Harry Met Sally...? Undeniably my favorite movie epilogue EVER. Alias? Precisely what I needed to send Sydney, Vaughn, and the rest of the Spy!Fam riding off into the sunset.

So when a much-beloved show ends on such an unsettled note as The X-Files did, it's impossible not to hope for a sweet shipper tie-up to the story.

The show's ending was so bittersweet. We did see some really tender moments for Mulder and Scully, but a lot of it came at the expense of, well, their parenthood. Oh, and their freedom. Our favorite couple finished the series in each others' arms—but fugitives. Six years later, there's prime opportunity for showing us how my firsts got back on the government's good side and got their baby back. (Who's so not a baby anymore—William was born seven freaking years ago.)

Sex and the City already gave everyone pretty happy endings and seems to be using the movie to just expand on that. Sure, we've heard rumors about Steve being a cheater, Samantha moving to Los Angeles (eek!), and Carrie having more commitment issues with Big, but I think we all know how this movie's going to end.

Fluff fluff fluff.

Charlotte will have a baby. Carrie and Big will get married. Samantha will return to New York. They'll have brunch. They'll buy shoes. They'll drink cosmos. They'll have sex. All four women will end up happy in love.

I can't remember where I read it, but there was an interview with Michael Patrick King where he said that the purpose of the movie was to make these women happy.

And he didn't mean the SATC girls. He meant the women in the audiences. The women who are, like, taking weekend trips to the city with their girlfriends to do the Sex and the City tour and see the movie. He means Caroline Carter, who will make her friends call her Carrie for the evening while they drink cosmos at the bar across the street from the movie theater and who is secretly hoping she'll meet a handsome Mr. Bradshaw just for namesake purposes.

I have no doubts about Sex and the City: The Movie's devotion to giving me and the rest of the girls a big fancy epilogue.

It's my other namesake, Mr. Chris Carter, who's got me terrified.

He had nine years and yet refused to wrap up anything, really. And with the movie's departure from the mytharc, it's not looking to be a pretty little cherry on top of my beloved cupcake.

They say William doesn't go unmentioned, but I'm not holding out any hope for Baby!Steal '08, Part Deux. (For Part One, just ask Kate Austen.) In fact, thanks to the following shorty-short clips (in character, we're told), it might appear that my first loves have not even spent the last six years in each other's company:

How is this possible? The other blog girls and I are very upset about this. I just have a hard time believing that after everything these two have been through, they wouldn't be together forever. Part of what I loved about the final scene—aside from the always-appreciated pilot throwback—was just how those two clung to each other. There was something desperate and sweet about it, loving without being maudlin or explicit.

Now, I'm confident that they'll get a good kiss or two, and that they'll probably end up in the same ambiguously-togetherness in which they ended the series, but I'm not looking to this lamely-titled movie for happy endings. The hardest part of being a phile is accepting the fact that these two aren't going to get your stereotypical happy ending. And that's hard when you're the girl who can't imagine a universe--real or imagined--in which fairytales don't come true and heroes don't slay the proverbial dragon and get the girl. (Hello! This is why I'm a Jater!) But I think it's important for me--and the rest of this fandom--to go ahead and just accept the fact that they're not going to get their son back. Mulder isn't going to build spaceship sandcastles with William, and the agents aren't going to have double-date dinner parties with Doggett and Reyes. If we just disabuse ourselves of those notions right now, I think we'll be better off in the long run. This movie's going to have plenty of awesome stuff that the Sex and the City movie won't--think gross stuff.

I'm jazzed for both movies but totally aware that I should have whoa different expectations for each. Someone from these parts will be blogging about Sex and the City: The Movie after it premieres, I'm sure, and we'll be having a whole week of excitement--including blogs and podcasts--when the X-Files movie debuts in July.

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