Disclaimer: I’m just barely a fan of the Sex and the City
series. I know the basics on the four main characters – Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker
), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), Charlotte (Kristin Davis), and Samantha (Kim Cattrall) – but I never made it through an entire season. It was more like I caught a few episodes here and there over the course of its six year run. My favorite male love interest was John Corbett
(not in the film) and I was never into Mr. Big (Chris Noth
). With that background info disclosed, here’s my review of Sex and the City: The Movie
Sex and the City: The Movie
is – as a member of the cast said at the film’s New York premiere – pretty much a critic-proof movie. It’s a film that knows its audience well, caters to that audience, and doesn’t really care one bit about whether or not it will attract new viewers. The Sex and the City
gang realize their fans want to see the latest fashions, be on the cutting edge of new trends, and maybe even live vicariously by way of one of the four lead women. That’s what’s expected and that’s what Sex and the City: The Movie
does a decent job of delivering.
Even casual observers like me know who these women are, and the film takes full advantage of that familiarity and runs with it. Although there’s no real need to set up backstories or delve into anyone’s personal history, Sex and the City: The Movie does open with a quick tutorial on the four ladies, effectively refreshing the audience’s memory and getting us up to date on their lives. The plot picks up neatly four years after the series’ final episode, and writer/director Michael Patrick King makes revisiting these women as easy and comforting as slipping into your favorite Jimmy Choo shoes.
Chris Noth as Mr Big and Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie.© New Line Cinema
Carrie’s story is, of course, the centerpiece of the movie, but King does an impressive job of parceling out the rest of the film amongst the other three ladies. The series wasn’t just the Carrie Show and neither is the movie, although if truth be told it would likely be revealed all the audience really wants is to see what happens to Carrie and Big. Yet the other storylines aren’t just filler material. King’s script allows all four women to move forward with their lives, with the paths they take as diverse as their individual sense of fashion.
The big question – pardon the pun – on everyone’s minds going in is whether Carrie and Big tie the knot, but you’ll have to check out the film yourself for the answer to that. Sex and the City: The Movie finds Charlotte happily married and still looking as girl-next-door perky and pretty as always. Samantha’s still more interested in sex than in breathing, and she’s still, against all odds, in a monogamous relationship with hunky actor Smith Jerrod (Jason Lewis). And Miranda is attempting to balance work, marriage and motherhood, with her husband placing third on her prioritized list.
In addition to the leading ladies and their men, many of the other familiar faces return, including Mario Cantone as Anthony Marentino and Willie Garson as Stanford Blatch who, as always, can be counted on for comic relief when the situation gets heavy. Dreamgirls’
Jennifer Hudson takes on the role of Carrie’s assistant, a newcomer to New York looking for love after a devastating break-up. Hudson does a lot with an underwritten supporting role, adding a youthful spark to the group of 40ish stars. Another new face who makes quite an impression is Gilles Marini, showing off his impressive looks playing Samantha’s studly next door neighbor, Dante. Dante’s a male version of Samantha, and women jonesing for some younger male eye candy are going to drool over his 6’1” toned body.
Sex and the City: The Movie doesn’t shirk its fashion duties, allowing Parker as Carrie the chance to flaunt the signature style created by the show/film’s costume designer, Patricia Field. In one touching scene, Carrie puts on a mini fashion show, donning outfits from the past while her friends judge whether it’s a keeper or ready for the donation box (it’s fun to check out looks from years past, both the hits and the disastrous misses). But Parker’s not the only one who gets to play dress up, and Field must have had a field day getting another chance to clothe these attractive women.
Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall, and Sarah Jessica Parker.© New Line Cinema
The meat of the series always seemed to me to be the times when the women got together around a table and just let it all out. It was all about sex, sex, and more sex, relationships, and men in general. Their frank discussions drew in millions of viewers while the series ran on HBO, and what worked on the small screen works almost as well in the feature film.
For those not totally absorbed by the world of SATC, the 2 ½ running time is a bit excessive. However, the diehard Sex and the City fans in the audience at the preview screening I attended barely moved in their seats. Hardly anyone got up for popcorn or sodas, and that speaks well of the job King did in recapturing the spirit of the series and in satisfying its fans. Serving up sex, fashion, and friendship, Sex and the City: The Movie is the cherry on top of the series, and a fitting way to say a final good-bye to Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, Charlotte, and all their men.
Sex and the City: The Movie was directed by Michael Patrick King and is rated R for strong sexual content, graphic nudity and language.
Theatrical Release Date: May 30, 2008