I’m one of those few people who will openly admit, I love watching TV. I won’t watch just anything, mind you, and I don’t spend all my free time in front of the boob tube, but there are some programs that I just won’t miss. And now with Tivo and boxed DVD sets of an entire show’s season, I can easily catch every episode I don’t want to miss.
One of my favorite TV series was and still is HBO’s Sex and the City, so I was really looking forward to the highly anticipated movie version, which initially had trouble getting made due to one of the actors concerns with script and money.
But Hollywood can overcome anything, and soon all four of our favorite Cosmo girls, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Catrall, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristen Davis were back together again giving us commentary through a designer label lens. Thankfully, the head writer of the show Michael Patrick King, was also back to write the script and direct the movie.
The film opens with a quick montage of where our girls are today, picking up where the series finale left off. Carrie is happily together with Big, Miranda and Steve are raising a son in Brooklyn, Charlotte and Harry have adopted a Chinese baby, and Samantha and her actor boy toy Smith have moved to L.A. where she manages his career. All seems right in the world when Big and Carrie decide to not only move in together, but also get married. After that there are several designer clothing montages, including one of wedding dresses for a Vogue photo shoot in which Carrie is the model. The final dress, a Vivienne Westwood sugary confection, starts the downward spiral of Carrie and Big’s wedding plans. New Line Cinema and Warner Brothers have asked reviewers not to give away the plot, which I find rather ironic, given nothing unexpected really happens.
But what I can tell you is that the characters in the movie are extremely true to form to the TV series, which is good since the appeal of the series was its totally character driven plots. The only difference now is that the ladies are all in their 40’s, so they have to deal with issues of being older women in a world that idolizes youth. Also, since Miranda and Charlotte are married with children the issues of parenthood, sexuality, fertility, career, and infidelity are intertwined in the loosely woven subplots.
And I guess if I had any concerns about the movie, it’s just that: too much information crammed into one place makes for a very long movie. As much as I love these characters and as entertaining as the movie is, I feel like it’s several Sex in the City episodes strung together to fill two hours and twenty minutes, which makes for one very bloated episode. I’m sure the filmmakers wanted to give each actress her moment in the spotlight, however, that works better when doled out in bite-size pieces every week.
The movie also introduces a new character named Louise, played by the very talented Jennifer Hudson, who blew us all away as Effie in Dream Girls. Carrie hires Louise as her assistant to help get her life together. The only problem I have with Louise is that she appears to be a little too saintly and wise for a 20-something ingénue who comes to New York looking for love and career. I feel like too much time is spent on the relationship between Carrie and Louise and I found myself wishing those scenes would hurry up and be done so we could get back to the banter of our four leading ladies. The movie is at it’s best when the ladies are together discussing the same real life issues we females all talk about on a typical girls night out. (There’s a scene where they’re sunbathing at a Mexican resort and the topic of bikini waxing comes up. The discussion is hysterical and one that I’ve had several times with my girlfriends.)
But for die-hard Sex and the City fans, none of this criticism will matter. The movie delivers if you’re looking for next Sex and the City installment after the TV finale. The dialogue is the same witty repartee, the clothes are more outrageous than ever, and the points of view of everyone in the film (even the men) are all very feminine.
So is this a good movie? Depends on your barometer for good movies. If you like intellectual chick flicks, you will eat it up. My guess is that women will love it. Men will like it, as long as they’re familiar with the series. The characters are the same ones we grew to love, so watching the movie is like getting reacquainted with old friends. Now if they’d only let you take a bottle of Chardonnay into the movie theatre, it’d be a perfect evening.