Sex and the City: The Movie Review
By Shawn McKenzie 05/30/2008
Four years have passed since friends Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte York (Kristin Davis), and Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) had sex in New York City for all of us to enjoy on HBO (and for you cheapskates…the censored version on TBS.) There have been some changes…but not a whole lot. Brooklyn lawyer Miranda is still with her husband Steve Brady (David Eigenberg), and they are raising their son Brady (Joseph Pupo.) Even though she still has her Ukrainian housekeeper nanny Magda (Lynn Cohen) to help, Miranda finds her life stressful and overworked. Her and Steve’s sex life has gotten stagnant (aside from the boring sex scene in the beginning of the movie, the couple hasn’t had sex in six months.) On the complete flipside…Charlotte is still happily married to Jewish divorce lawyer Harry Goldenblatt (Evan Handler) and loves raising their adopted Chinese daughter Lily (twins Alexandra and Parker Fong.) She continues to enjoy jogging daily, and the only problem she has is stopping Lily from learning adult words while she is around her three friends (“f**king” was replaced with “coloring” in an early scene.) Samantha is unfortunately living in Los Angeles where she is managing the career of her younger model/TV star boyfriend, Jerry “Smith” Jerrod (Jason Lewis.) While she loves him, she feels trapped being in a monogamous relationship…which is making things even harder for her, since her new favorite activity is watching her sexually active neighbor Dante (Gilles Marini) openly having sex with a different woman (or two) every night. For Carrie, she has quit The New York Star and freelances with Vogue magazine, where Enid Frick (Candice Bergen) is still her editor. She has written three best-selling books about finding love and sex in New York City, and she is working on her fourth, which is all about when you have finally found that love with someone. She has the inspiration, because she is still dating financier John James Preston, a.k.a. “Mr. Big” (Chris Noth.) She has lived in her brownstone apartment for many years, but Big buys her a beautiful penthouse suite for them to live in together, which is her dream residence…except that the closet needs work. She does some thinking though…he bought the place, so it would be his place. Since they aren’t married, she would be just squatting there. Big casually asks her if she would want to get married then…and from there, things spiral out of control. Enid has her do a photo shoot modeling several designer wedding dresses, and Charlotte’s “gay,” event planner Anthony Marentino (Mario Cantone), manages her and Big’s wedding, while Carrie’s “gay,” talent agent Stanford Blatch (Willie Garson), supports her. At the rehearsal dinner, things change in the negative direction when bitter Miranda tells Big that he and Carrie are crazy to get married. Miranda is just upset because she and Steve are now separated after Steve admitted to her that he cheated on her one time during their sex drought, but the twice-divorced Big was having cold feet anyway, because the guest list was reaching 200+ people. On their wedding day, Big doesn’t get out of the car to go to the wedding, and Carrie is devastated. After a vacation to Mexico with her friends (which was supposed to be her and Big’s honeymoon), she picks up her life again and hires personal assistant Louise (Jennifer Hudson) to help her sort out her belongings and life. Louise from St. Louis is an inexperienced woman who moved to New York to find love after a bad breakup with her ex-boyfriend Will (Josh Henry), but she is the most sincere one that Carrie could have hired after several crazies. That is only the first half of this almost 2 ½-hour movie!
Let’s get this out of the way right now…Big doesn’t not die in the movie! I thought we were watching Sex and the City: The Movie…not The Sopranos: The Movie. Anyway…I had forgotten about why I liked the TV show when I watched the screening of the movie version. That six-season Emmy-winning show, created by Darren Star and based on the best-selling novel by Candace Bushnell, was possibly one of the more realistic portrayals of different types of women in society (or at least New York society.) Yes…as a straight guy, I did see every episode (keep in mind…I am a TV critic as well as a movie critic, and a good show is a good show, even if it is labeled a “chick show.”) The network rip-offs that followed (ABC’s mercifully cancelled “Cashmere Mafia,” NBC’s unfortunately renewed “Lipstick Jungle”) paled in comparison. After years of negotiating, they finally made the movie (Cattrall was the biggest holdout.) Even though the four main actresses have gone on with their lives and careers, their return to the roles feels natural…as if not much time has passed. Honestly…given its long running time, it almost feels like watching five episodes back-to-back. While I was a fan of the show, it wasn’t one of those shows I obsessed about. Every woman in my life though (with the exception of my mother, who falls slightly outside the show’s 18-49 demographic) did obsess over the show. We would talk about specific episodes that were relevant to them, since the episodes would mirror something that had gone on their own lives. I followed the adventures of the foursome, and I was caught up in the storylines so much that I cared about them (and, as a guy…the occasional sex scenes were pretty hot!) I have to say that I didn’t like how Carrie’s storyline ended in the last episode, because I would have figured that Carrie was smart enough to realize that Big is a cad who can’t be tamed. Carrie’s blind love to Big was one of the things that frustrated me about the TV show and the movie…but it’s that frustration that made me love the show and the movie, since those characters felt real to me. Co-executive producer (of the TV show) Michael Patrick King, the director of several episodes of the show, directed and wrote the screenplay for the movie…and he gave the fans of the show exactly what they wanted. There might be a problem with that though…because it is so insider that only fans of the show might like it. Samantha’s chemo, Charlotte’s inability to get pregnant, Aidan…it’s all mentioned in the movie, which might confuse the uninitiated. Unlike last year’s Simpsons Movie, non-fans of the show might not fully enjoy it in the same way that a fan would. That being said…if you are a fan, you won’t be disappointed. Say it with me ladies…“What is Carrie thinking going back to Big again??? She was better off with Aidan!!!”
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