Review: Sex And The City (2008) R 148min
June 2nd, 2008 by Maxim · 3 Comments · 14,119 Views
My wife made me watch it! We made a pact: she sees a Jackie Chan movie with me in exchange for me watching S&C with her. Alas, the stars of the successful HBO series that ran for what… 6 years? are back together again for another glorified episode. One of the reasons for its success was that they had four women that are completely different, so every viewer could relate to at least one of them. We had the main character, Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), a writer of “Sex & The City” column in a major newspaper, where she’d write her thoughts about love, relationships and marriage and actually using “real-life” stories of her three friends, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte, in her articles. Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is a lawyer and a single mom. Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) is PR specialist and probably the most outgoing woman in TV history - she never gets enough. Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) is a conservative girl who believes in perfect marriage, she’s all about doing everything right and straight, and pretty much has her head in the clouds. Charlotte was my favorite girl. The series was about these four women-friends who try to find happiness in the big modern city – New York.
I saw some of the original series’ episodes and in the beginning I liked it. But as series progressed I began to dislike the story and the characters until eventually I began to despise them. Why? As in “The Real House Wives of Orange County”, it’s basically smart, educated, wealthy middle-aged women trying to keep themselves happy. Since they fail at every relationship, they try to make themselves feel better by doing the only thing a real American patriot can do - shopping.
The plot: The movie picks up where series left off. It begins with a slide-show briefing of where characters were in their lives when the series ended. Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) married a wealthy Scottish guy, it didn’t work, she became Jew and married a Jewish lawyer – her divorce attorney Harry Goldenblatt (Evan Handler). They adopted a little girl from China. Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) reunited with her boyfriend Steve Brady (David Eigenberg), who’s also father of her son Brady. Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) moved to Hollywood with her boyfriend and protege, actor and male model Jerry ‘Smith’ Jerrod (Jason Lewis), who had been with her all the time when she was going through chemo-therapy in the series. And finally, Carrie Bradshaw is engaged to the character known in the series as “Mr. Big” (Chris North from Law And Order: Criminal Intent). In this big-screen “episode”, the relationships of all four women are put to the test.
The good: Very predictable dialog, but it was well delivered. Many funny scenes.
This movie probably owns it’s return to the screen to the success of “Devil Wears Prada” with female audiences. Overall, it’s a success, mostly thanks to female audience.
Liked Carrie’s assistant “Louise from St Louis” played by Dreamgirls star Jennifer Hudson – such a character!
The bad: S&C is a glorified TV episode. Too much accent on fashion, more then in the series. There’s A LOT of Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte walking in line to the music. SHALLOW. As classy as four women want to be perceived, they couldn’t avoid poop jokes and ”you gotta make an appointment at the spa for waxing unless you are trying to grow a national forest” jokes. The 2.5 hour movie could have been compressed into 90 minutes, although it doesn’t feel too long. Lots of really cheesy scenes designed to make women weep. The worst part is that this movie is supposed to be about glamour, but it’s really demeaning to women. Except Charlotte, other women in this movie are really bad at relationships, unable to deal with stress and rejection (I wonder why they have to deal with rejection so much – there may be a good reason why they are rejected so often). How do they make themselves feel good about themselves? By shopping! Who needs men? All you ladies need is $500 shoes or a new dress and a cocktail with little straws and umbrellas. One of the women in the movie gets eating disorder, another is drinking and another is spending money like there’s no tomorrow. I began to despise them like I hated them by the end of the series: they have too little problems in life so they have to invent problems and stress to feel more alive – since they don’t have a life. I think they would be so much happier in life if they lived on food-stamps for a while. Instead, 90% of stress in their lives comes from not being able to get something they want. One of the worst days in Samantha’s life, for example, was when her $50,000 bid for a ring at the auction was outbid – a ring she HAD TO HAVE. Can they be any more shallow?
** Spoiler**: Kim Katrall is 51 in real life, and her character Samantha Jones celebrates her 50th birthday in the end of the movie. “50 and still glamorous!”, says Carrie. You can replace the upholstery on an old chair, but you still got an old chair. Except for Charlotte York (Kristin Davis), the rest of the ladies looked pretty damn old. I guess in Hollywood 50 is the new 40. **
The summary: SHALOW. Will work for you and will leave you wanting more if you are in the market for this sort of What Women Want stuff: if you can put up with 300 costume changes and new $500 shoes in every sequence. If you have never watched the series, the characters are not explained. May lead to sequel.
Carrie Bradshaw: [noticing the dog humping her pillow]: That’s a three hundred dollar pillow!
Louise: It would be a crime to leave those $400 shoes in that apartment.
Carrie Bradshaw: Actually, those are $525 shoes.
How did audience in the theater took it? The theater audience was 90% women: out of about 50 people I counted 5 men including myself. There was an applause and cheers during the opening sequence where four women dressed in designed clothes were walking in line. Some were crying when Carrie war reading Big’s love emails (yes, emails. Why didn’t he send love SMS messages or write them on Post-It notes? That way he’d be even more shallow. Talk about men with class…) A round of applause in the end.
The cast: Carrie Bradshaw – Sarah Jessica Parker | Samantha Jones – Kim Cattrall | Miranda Hobbes – Cynthia Nixon | Charlotte York - Kristin Davis | Mr. Big - Christopher Noth | Louise – Jennifer Hudson | Steve Brady – David Eigenberg | Harry Goldenblatt - Evan Handler | Jerry ‘Smith’ Jerrod - Jason Lewis | Magda – Lynn Cohen | Brady Hobbes – Joseph Pupo
The credits: Director – Michael Patrick King | Characters from the book by Candace Bushnell | Written by Michael Patrick King | Producers: Sarah Jessica Parker, Michael Patrick King, John Melfi | Original Music - Aaron Zigman | Cinematography – John Thomas | New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution
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based on TV series | Christopher Noth | Cynthia Nixon | female nudity | Friends | gay stereotype | Jennifer Hudson | Kim Cattrall | Kristin Davis | male frontal nudity | nudity | Sarah Jessica Parker | sex