While I wait for the release of Sex and the City the movie in Japan, I can watch Sara Jessica Parker hawk Diet Coke on a popular TV commercial. And let me tell you this commercial embodies everything I dislike about Japan. It’s strange, confusing, distracting, creepy and overly stylized–in a bad way. I think of Brian de Palma and Pedro Almodovar as hyper stylized in a good way. Think of this commercial as a Michael Mann attempt at cute and cutting edge. Anything that “Mann” touches turns to shit, fast.

In the commercial, Sara is in a brightly lit museum staring cross-eyed (literally) at a downright fucked up painting of herself (a bad Lichtenstein knockoff). The music, noise really, is blaring. She suddenly lifts a can of Diet Coke to her lips, takes a sip and then brings the can away from her lips. Again, she stares cross-eyed at her portrait. Suddenly, she is lifted in the air–I’m guessing the diet cola is so freakin’ uncaloric that you levitate. She then smiles this really toothy smile, lifts one leg up against the other so that her foot is near her knee, and then slowly floats back down to the floor. Music blaring.

It’s a noisy, white-washed disaster that makes me NOT want to drink Diet Coke.

To top it all off, when you do buy a Diet Coke in Japan, you get a Pop-like rendering of Sara on your can (of pop). I shit you not. And it’s not at all flattering. Now, I like Mrs. Parker. She’s a cool New Yorker, not some phony L.A. walking boob-job. But really. I don’t think she got final approval on this can of Coke. She looks like a cross-eyed, empty-headed twit, not the cool, sophisticated, urbanite she really is. They done her wrong!