Rating: 3.5 stars
Sex and the City ran for six seasons on HBO and, amazingly, it never once jumped the shark. If anything, the final seasons were its strongest—with the show’s addictive blend of fashion, sex, friendship, and clever bon mots honed to near perfection. When the show went off the air in 2004, women around the world mourned—and rumors of a Sex and the City movie immediately surfaced.
Once those rumors became a reality—confirmed by paparazzi photos of our four fashionista galpals filming in New York—anticipation reached a frenzied pitch. I can safely say that no movie that I’ve ever reviewed has been more buzzed over—with more of my friends helpfully “volunteering” to accompany me to my critics’ screening (thanks, girls)—than Sex and the City.
So, does it live up to the hype?
Sex and the City, the movie, really does feel like a giant, gift-wrapped present (from a high-end Fifth Avenue boutique, naturally) to fans of the show. In many ways, it plays a lot like the TV show, except the fashion has been dialed up a notch (a Vivienne Westwood wedding dress is a real showstopper) and the sex has been somewhat dialed down (some of the show’s more outrageous sexual exploits would befuddle the MPAA’s rating system). But the show’s greatest strength—its superlative acting and writing—are in great form.
Let’s start with Sarah Jessica Parker: Isn’t it time to acknowledge what a miracle her Carrie Bradshaw is? How this woman manages to embody all of Carrie’s contradictions—her swagger and her vulnerability, her steadfast loyalty and her recklessness—and make the character so damn loveable is beyond me. But she does, brilliantly. The movie, which follows the ups and downs of Carrie’s romance with the Mr. Darcy–like Mr. Big (Chris Noth, sexy as ever) is a tour de force for Parker, and she relishes every costume change, every crying jag, every perfectly modulated pun, and every all-girl bonding session with gusto.
As for the rest of the cast—they’re uniformly excellent. I’ve always thought that Kim Catrell, in particular, was underrated for her fearless take on she-stud Samantha. In the movie, Samantha has moved to L.A. (fear not, she wears out those frequent flier miles to New York) and tries to make a go of it with man-candy Smith Jerrod (Jason Lewis). Meanwhile, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is still married to Steve (David Eigenberg) and living in—quelle horreur—Brooklyn with their young son and mirthless nanny. Charlotte (Kristen Davis) remains happily married to her mensch Henry (Evan Handler) while raising their adopted Chinese daughter. Of course, there will be obstacles along the way—and best friends around to pick up the pieces.
For the rest of this review, check out the July issue of Baltimore.