Roll out the pink carpet

The ladies are back, and this time they’re talking about love more than sex

AGING GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN<br>The women of <i>Sex and the City</i>—laughing all the way to the bank.

The women of Sex and the City—laughing all the way to the bank.

Sex and the City
Starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon. Directed by Michael Patrick King. Rated R.
Rated 4.0

Sex and the City is like a girls’ night out. There’s plenty of gossip, no shortage on cocktails, and emotional outbursts are inevitable. But perhaps the most important factor is friendship, which is where the movie, like the HBO series that spawned it, shines.

Meeting up with the girls—ahem, women—four long years after the TV show went off the air is a welcome reunion for many a female (my sister, who lives in New York City, says opening weekend there was sold out three weeks in advance).

When we are reintroduced to the four main characters—Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), Samantha (Kim Cattrall) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis)—they have more or less stayed put. Carrie is still with Big (Chris Noth); Miranda and Steve are living in Brooklyn with their son; Samantha is living it up Hollywood-style with her hunky actor boyfriend; and Charlotte and Harry are raising their adopted daughter.

Carrie no longer writes her sex column, which is appropriate because she’s no longer single and neither she nor any of her friends are having much sex (indeed both the sex and the city take a backseat in this film). Instead, she’s working on her third book, about love. So, her narration naturally takes a look at the love around her—both between women and men and between friends.

Nothing is perfect on either front. An affair, a jilting and a spat between two friends spotlight the importance of love, and what can and can’t be forgiven.

The television show never shied away from difficult topics like infidelity or even cancer. What’s different this time around is that, well, the women are older, although they still look fabulous (a crying scene, however, shows Carrie’s under-eye baggage). And while their age doesn’t detract from the overall story, they’ve hit milestones—Carrie is 40 and Samantha turns (gasp!) 50—hinting that they might not be as young and hip as they used to be.

The acting is predictably good, with a surprise jolt of emotion from Davis’ Charlotte, directed toward Big. Fans know these characters well and what to expect from them, but while those who never watched the show won’t have the background, the story will be no less laugh- or tear-inducing.

Sex and the City broke through a barrier when it aired on HBO by depicting women in their 30s (and the slightly older Samantha) as single, successful and happy. It was liberating. The film proves that 40 just might be the new 30, and that the bond of friendship transcends all others.