I'm not going to get into whether women are competitive or not, that's a whole other can of worms. The point is that chick flick catfight movies like Bride Wars or, to a lesser degree, My Best Friend's Wedding, are banking on the fact that female audiences are going to cheer for the catfighters in the movie.
Maybe if they were actual cats.
And whether you think women are catty bitches or not, this makes no sense. Non-competitive women would obviously be unable to identify at all, and most competitive backstabbing women still have enough social awareness to know it's not something to be proud of, and would cringe at having their worst traits magnified on the big screen.
That probably explains why Bride Warssaw a dramatic dropoff due to bad word of mouth after an already-weak opening weekend, since its entire basis was that best friends will turn on each other in an instant if some stupid female treasure like their "perfect wedding" is threatened in any way. Strangely, women did not flock to the movie shouting, "That's me! That's my life! It's funny because it's true!"
"Why, yes! I also try to bite my friend when we have disagreements!"
A Token Weakness
The problem with putting a character on the screen that a normal woman can identify with means that they'll have to be Hollywood fat (average sized) and Hollywood ugly (normal looking), and people don't pay ten bucks to go to a theater and see that business.
But if you make your lady character too perfect, nobody in the audience can identify with her. You can't compromise on the looks or the weight, obviously. You can't compromise by giving her a realistic job. She can't be a jerk, or the audience won't root for her. If you're doing one of those career vs. personal life plots, then her flaw is that she loves her career too much, so you got that cut out for you. Any other plot, the only option you've got left is to make her clumsy.
That's why pretty much all romantic comedy women are clumsy. Like Jessica Alba in Good Luck Chuck, Amy Adams in Leap Year, Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality... oh hell here's a montage.
Some choice excerpts.
It takes hard work and a good eye for human nature to be able to come up with flaws for your character that make them human and relatable, but don't drive away audience sympathy. Better to just go with "clumsy" and leave the afternoon open for cocaine.
Women Be Shopping
I don't care about the stereotype of women shopping. Women do like shopping - at least a lot more than men do - and a lot of women get excited about designer shoes or whatever. That's a big part of Sex and the City's success - they cater to an audience that's interested in Manolo Blahniks and uh... that's the only label I know. Anyway, there's a big audience that definitely cares about that stuff.
I don't want to get on a high horse and say how many kids you could feed for a year so let's just say that will buy you almost 4 Playstations.
So as they moved from the success of the first movie to making Sex and the City 2, apparently they decided to just focus on the clothes, which turned out to be a mistake. Box office dropped to about 66% of the first movie and word of mouth was meh.
See, apparently the first movie, and the show, had at least some semblance of character development and some life lessons about friendship and love, even if it was delivered in that cheesy bullshit way that Sex and the City will do, whereas the second movie was half travelogue and half fashion show, and even series fans didn't feel like their favorite characters were moving through anything more than a series of outfits.
It looks like "costumes" might be a better word.
Apparently the fact that a character likes shopping isn't enough to get a female viewer to invest themselves in that character for, let's see... holy shit, that movie was 2 1/2 hours long? Yeah, bad idea.
They way they treat somewhat "accurate" stereotypes can be just as bad as their misses. Just because a lot of women identify with one thing doesn't mean you can just throw that one thing on some woman characters and wait for the money to start rolling in. I like chocolate and I find "that time of month" annoying but I'm not going to watch a lady eat chocolate and complain about Aunt Flo for 2 hours.
All that said, I suppose it's just a matter of time before this hits theaters: