Back to the City

18 06 2008

“Sex and the City” 2008

Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis

Boy had I been waiting a long time to see this one. I grew up with Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha (slight exaggeration there-I actually “met” these women in high school, but for all my world-wisdom then I might as well have been a toddler), and I have missed them. Terribly (Okay not too terribly. I still have regular dates with my sister’s “Sex and the City” DVD collection).

Two of my best friends and I waited for two torturous weeks after the film opened before seeing it. Our fourth girlfriend planned a visit from her home in New York City as soon after the film opening as work would allow her, so that we could all be together as we had been for so many “Sex and the City” milestones that had come before.

It was worth the wait. Sort of. I believe it’s safe to say that I would have loved any film with these four central characters that told the “after happily ever after” story, no matter how badly the director botched it. And I don’t really think this was botched as badly as I was anxiously preparing myself for.

The thing about this film is-it isn’t much like the series at all. I remember thinking, while watching the series finale several years ago, that they packed enough juicy storylines into the forty-five minute running time to make it feel like a two-hour feature. “Sex and the City: The Movie” is a two-and-a-half hour feature. And you could’ve given us most of what we needed to know in the same amount of time as that series finale. The short and snappy style that was characteristic to the series was absent in the film. Instead, there were noticeable silences, lulls in the action that seemed out of place when placed among scenes with these particular women.

Speaking of these particular women. The girls are back and they look the same, talk the same (mostly), and dress in the same confusingly fashionable styles that are signature to their Big Apple. But there is something different about each and every one of them. The differences are slight and may only be noticeable to those of us who have seen every episode of the entire series at least once or twice (oh who am I kidding? Five or six times). It’s been four years since Sarah Jessica Parker had to slip into Carrie Bradshaw’s Manolos. Has she possible misplaced her keys to the character she created?

Of course the problem may be that the movie’s Carrie is the most miserable and pathetic soul on the island of Manhattan (and at a fancy resort in Mexico, for that matter). The film has no reservations about dragging its leading lady through the dirt. Heartbreak and humiliation pile on top of heartbreak, betrayal and humiliation. And the thing is, unlike the show, the film doesn’t show us that Carrie is still the same fiercely independent spirit who can always pick herself up after a particularly devastating fall. In this chapter, the man is really the answer. In my opinion, this violates the very essence of the series that made it such a powerful phenomenon for women in the first place.

Do I sound like I didn’t like it? I think I have a slight tendency to get all of my movie-bashing out of the way before I get to the good stuff. Because the truth is, I came out of the movie smiling and satisfied.

They’re back. They’re still four women with strong personalities who show us the many ways that “having it all” won’t turn out looking like you thought it would look (stole a passage from the series. Sorry). What they do have is one another, and the most indestructible, supportive, and, let’s face it, unattainable bonds of friendship that their devoted viewers have ever seen. They are not perfect, even to each other, but they find ways to forgive. It’s kind of like the film itself. It has its flaws, just like the characters it loves. We can certainly find a way to forgive it for that much.

♦♦♦

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One response

18 06 2008
patrick

Sex and the City seems to have a polarizing effect on both men and women… people either love the movie or hate it

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