Sex for the masses
Confession time: I used to whine when my girlfriend would make me watch Sex and the City with her every week. But, underneath all the whining (which just seemed like the cool thing to do at the time) I really kind of liked the show. I used to watch it when she wasn’t around, and I was kind of hooked. Also, I’ve harbored a bit of a crush on Sarah Jessica Parker since I was 14 watching her on the short-lived sitcom Square Pegs. I think she’s beautiful, and Maxim magazine—who recently called her “the unsexiest woman alive"—can go to hell.
Time for another confession: As I sat down to watch this movie with a friend of mine who is an intense Sex and the City fan, I was doing the whole whining routine again while secretly, kind-of-sort-of looking forward to it. Was Carrie (Parker) going to marry Mr. Big (Chris Noth)? Was Kristin Davis still unspeakably cute and scared of naked men on her white sofa? Is Samantha (Kim Cattrall) still gross and full of herself?
As it turns out, the film is isn’t quite up to par with the average Sex episode. At nearly two and a half hours, it drags at times. While the show was witty and intelligent, the humor gets sophomoric for the movie. For fans, there’s plenty to like and root for, but for the average movie viewer, getting through it could be a task.
Carrie and Mr. Big are still dating. They’ve found a big new apartment in which they plan to cohabitate, and they start exploring the possibility of marriage. Samantha has moved to Los Angeles with her younger, superstar boyfriend, yet she makes frequent trips (seemingly every day) to Manhattan for nights out on the town. Charlotte (Davis) remains married to Harry (Evan Handler), and they’ve adopted a child, while Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) finds herself entering into marital crisis.
The first half of the movie focuses on Carrie’s preparations for her wedding to Big, a wedding that may or may not happen. This paves the way for a cute scene where she models wedding dresses for a magazine shoot. One of the things Sex does have going for it is that it’s a nice showcase for designer clothes. In the transition to the big screen, its impeccable fashion sense has remained intact.
While the Carrie and Big plot is intriguing, the Samantha section is a bore. I am not the biggest fan of Cattrall and her character’s affected speech pattern. I think director Michael Patrick King could’ve cut his movie’s running time in half if he demanded that Cattrall speak normally, at an average human’s pace. Her voice grates on me, to the point where I really couldn’t give a damn what’s going on with her character.
Actually, had Cattrall continued her contractual standoff that delayed this movie and chosen to abstain from Sex, I think the movie would’ve been better off without her. I know that’s a statement that will send Sex fans into a frenzy, but I have to be honest about these things.
Charlotte’s storyline focusing on motherhood is adorable. Davis is asked to perform a funny moment involving digestive distress, and she pulls it off with flying colors. Nixon’s chunk of the movie involving marital troubles with the meek Steve Brady (David Eigenberg) is handled well. I liked Eigenberg’s shaky charm on the show, and he brings all of it to the movie.
Noth has a lot of fun returning to the Big character. He has some genuinely romantic moments with Parker, and he remains somewhat of a charming screw-up. With all of the movie’s inconsistencies, it did make me care about how the couple ended up.
In the end, I can’t really recommend the film unless you are a diehard SATC fan, and you think Samantha is the best. Cattrall made too much of this movie a bad time for me, but if you get off on her stuffy routine, you’ll be safe.