The A.V. Club is reporting that Michael Patrick King, the writer and director of the Sex & The City movies, has somehow wrangled Meryl Streep, Sandra Bullock, and Oprah Winfrey to star in an upcoming project.
This is great news for many people, none of whom are me.
Look, Meryl Streep is obviously a great actress and Sandra Bullock is obviously likable and pretty and Oprah has done plenty of good things for the world. None of those statements are remotely original, but they’re true.
It’s also true that for every Doubt on Meryl Streep’s resume, there’s a Mamma Mia. It’s a fact that she was the determining factor in the one Clint Eastwood movie that I find to be unwatchable.
Sandra Bullock, meanwhile, unique among movie stars, has never once made a great movie. A couple decent ones and a ton of crap, that’s been her cinematic legacy so far. (I’ll take it all back the instant she agrees to appear in my long-rumored melodrama, Cancer Dog.)
Oprah Winfrey has done almost as much harm to popular culture as she’s done good charity, as she’s one of the primary offenders in bringing pretentiousness and forced sentimentality to the masses.
Sex & The City is responsible for a large percentage of otherwise decent women being encouraged to behave like drag queens, and it’s clearly to blame for the success of Chelsea Handler. I may have as many nice things to say about Streep, Bullock, and Winfrey as I do criticisms, but about Sex & The City I’m positively barren. I think it sucks. Sorry!
So no, I don’t trust that a guy whose primary cultural achievement so far has been Sex & The City will be able put together a movie with that cast that turns out to be anything other than cloying, uninspired, and unbearable to an entire gender. There’s only one triple-named auteur who possibly could, and I guarantee you that Paul Thomas Anderson is working on something else.
You say you liked The Expendables? This is the opposite of The Expendables. This is the Avengers for coffee-stained old busybodies. For anyone who’s ever loved a Lee Marvin movie, it’s the Axis powers all over again, but instead of Germany, Japan, and Italy, it’s the trio who brought you It’s Complicated, All About Steve, and Dr. Phil.
Even I thought at first that I was exaggerating for comedic effect, but Dr. Phil truly is a crime against humanity.
I truly hope that two years from now, I will have been proven wrong, and The Axis (or whatever this as-yet-untitled movie will be called) turns out to be a modern classic, full of genuine humanity and peerless screencraft. But I also kind of hope that it falls apart due to scheduling conflicts. I’m an optimist and a realist all at the same time.