Sex and the City: The Movie

July 6, 2008 at 9:00 pm | Posted in DVD, movies, tv shows | Leave a comment

Mr. Big: You make me very happy.
Carrie Bradshaw: Yeah, yeah… put it in writing.

Sex and the City: The Movie
AMC Stony Brook – June 14 & June 27, 2008

As one can tell by the extreme lateness of this review, I had a little trouble harnessing my full reaction. Not for any negative reasons mind you, but because personally I am processing relationships – romantic and otherwise- a little differently these days. But when my gay best friend and my best girl friend starting crying out and shunning me over it (not seriously, of course), I figured it was finally time to finish it.

Let me begin by saying I truly love and respect the SATC series. So much so that I own that certain pink fuzzy boxset, now worn from use. These four women have had an profound effect on my life, and therefore I vibrantly joined the female masses in glee as the continuation of this story became a feature length film. As Oprah says, “Sex is back in the city and they bring it to the screen as only this fabulous foursome can.”

For those that have not seen the film (better yet, have not completed the series), I would turn away now. There really is no way to review the film without picking up where the series ended. The plot progresses, as all human lives do, into the next chapter of the four main characters’ lives. To truly appreciate the emotional spectrum (ok, now I’m really a girl), I implore you to finish the series!

When we last left the girls, Carrie was reunited in Paris with her one and only, Mr. Big (aka John James Preston). Charlotte and Harry were blessed with the gift of a daughter. Miranda reached new heights in her commitment to Steve while caring for his ailing mother. And Samantha fell deeply in love with Smith, the sexy waiter who turned movie star and the man Samantha truly needed. Fast forward three years and all is well in New York. As with the series, the plot lines blur, twist and turn and culminate in the coffee shop. Carrie and Big manage to stay happily together and decide to take things to the next level, much to the surprise of the other ladies. This is the main throughline of the movie, particularly when things go horribly, horribly wrong. (like the bird veil?????)

Prior to the release of the movie, there was a lot of speculation on this particular plot point, especially when all the leaked publicity shots of Carrie in what was clearly a wedding dress. The ladies revealed on a special SATC-centric Oprah (video link courtesy of Back in Skinny Jeans) that the cast and crew did everything they could to keep their top secret script under wraps. “While we were shooting, both sides of the streets would crowd with fans, taking cellphone pictures and writing down dialogue. We started yelling out, “This is some crazy dream sequence we’re shooting today…” just to gaslight people a little bit.” Rumors such as Cynthia Nixon’s supposed slip about someone dying in the film (leading me to wild theories such as Big keeling over from a heart attack – which wasn’t too far fetched considering his character’s health issues) did keep the gossips at bay, at least for a while. The Oprah audience was treated to a sneak preview of the film, however were strictly instructed by Parker to “brag, but not blog.”

In retrospect, the story honored the characters from the show, but plot circumstances did cast an overall gloom and strife through a good portion of it. As Sarah Jessica Parker proudly explains in an interview on Reel Talk, its a story of how women at 40 fall in and out of love, not twenty-something city gals. Not only did she star in the film, she also played the role as Executive Producer, as she did on from the 3rd season on in the series as well.

Dealing with more mature and severely melancholic tones, Parker took the turmoil and despair as a hugely gratifying challenge as an actor. It was interesting to see from a character development point of view how Carrie dealt with the loss of her relationship. She didn’t bemoan around a restaurant table, bitching and retorting on what an asshole Big had been. It was not a time for a bunch of white chicks to sit around bonding and commiserating about men (and life), which admittedly was the heart and soul of the series. Carrie was so deeply crushed that there really were no words to describe it. The pain that only comes from life experience, handled delicately and sweetly by the other girls, showed poignant growth in her character.

And in other news, Miranda gets thrown for a devastating loop when Steve cheats on her. I had trouble following the movie’s logic here. I agreed with Miranda’s decision to leave, even with Brady in the picture. And all the eyebrow raising thrown around by the girls – particularly Samantha – threw me for a loop as well. I thought when a partner cheats in a marriage, that supposed to be it. It’s a slippery slope and the lesson ultimately is about forgiveness. What can we forgive? Carrie forgives Big because in her heart, she could not imagine herself with anyone else. For me, this is a head scratcher. However in the end, I am glad they (meaning both couples) got back together. Personal anecdotes aside, I heavy-heartedly related to their (meaning Miranda and Steve’s) storyline the most, particularly their reunion. But that’s another story…

Unfortunately, it seemed like the other plots slightly paled by comparison. In my mind’s eye, the comedy of naked hand-rolled sushi and pregnant hissyfits could do little to outweigh the severity of the other two threads. I do appreciate the division of humor here and if I weren’t so soft for all four characters, I don’t know how my reaction would have played out otherwise.

Rounding back to the beginning of this review, I decided for the sake of objectivity to see this film twice. Once as a jittering with excitement fan (the first viewing obviously) and the second as a more impartial viewer. I was curious to see if the film might hold water for those who did not see the series at all. It was difficult to “unlearn” the history behind these characters. Nevertheless, to my complete surprise, I concluded that this is not nor would not be as enjoyable without the loving backstory of the fabulous foursome, not to mention the scads of cameos from beloved recurring characters. Not to be overly dramatic about it, but I literally felt drunk while watching this movie. That is to say, I drank in this movie. It beyond fulfilled my expectations and did a true fan proud.

The Ladies: Kristin Davis (What is she wearing????), Kim Catrall, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon

Now, I feel obliged to say that the fashion part of it eludes me. Beyond the concept of fabulousness, I appreciated the unique style of the four ladies throughout the series and continuing through the film. As far as “Labels and Love” go, I’ll leave that to the supposed twenty-something girls flooding the streets of Manhattan with high heels, high ideals and even higher credit-card debt.

RATING: *****/5 (Of course it’s a 5!)
Recommendation: You’ve gotten this far, which probably means you’ve already seen it. So let’s hear it for a sequel! (Actually no, just bring back the show while you are at it! lol)


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