I knew the Sex and the City screening was going to be some kind of surreal experience. Here I am, a 26-year-old straight male – the last demographic on the planet for this material – and I’m supposed to sit through two hours of girly girl tripe. Granted, Sex and the City seems to have found a younger demographic over the years than it ever could have hoped for. The crowd at the screening was walking proof. Scantily-clad twenty something Carrie Bradshaw disciples lined up out the door on an unusually cool Columbus, Ohio night. To say the show has superfans is a vast understatement; they act about this how I did about Snakes on a Plane. Make of that what you will, but I connect on that level.
The Sex and the City movie had been rumored essentially since the show went off the air in 2004. It’s one of the few shows that called it quits before it had a chance to get bad, so a continuation became an immediate rumor. Well, fans can now rejoice with what amounts to five new episodes – a two-and-a-half hour film – and a few surprises. Rest assured, fans of the caliber of those at the screening I attended will like this film no matter what. It delivers all the traditional elements of Sex and the City with the same spirit as its 30-minute counterpart. As an outsider’s point-of-view, I thought the film was overlong, occasionally repetitive, and poorly acted in spots, but not nearly as unbearable as it could be for guys who get dragged along by their better halves.
Taking place three years after the end of the show’s run, the story this time focuses on Carrie (Parker) and Big’s (Noth) wedding. You heard me right! Carrie has a new book on the way and she voices concern to Big regarding their future. Being the sly guy that he is, he proposes and the plans are set in motion. Of course, Carrie has three friends who are perfect to help with the festivities: Samantha (Cattrall), now living the high life in L.A., Charlotte (Davis), living the quiet life with her adopted child and man, and Miranda (Nixon), who’s having some relationship problems. Fans know that Sex and the City would never let the audience off this easy with a seeming straight-forward narrative, so you know some drama, comedy, and tears are in store.
The cast has repeatedly stated that reteaming for this effort felt very natural, and it shows onscreen. The same chemistry found in the show is on display here, even as the scenes run a bit longer with the feature length runtime. Sarah Jessica Parker is in every frame of the film and carries it admirably. The supporting cast also steps up, though I have always found Kristin Davis’ overacting as Charlotte to be off-putting and distracting. That doesn’t change here. An interesting addition to the cast is Jennifer Hudson as Carrie’s assistant, Louise. Word on the street is that show came under fire for not being culturally diverse. If the remedy for that is inserting a completely pointless character, then I guess the filmmakers have succeeded.
The fact of the matter is that this review doesn’t matter. Like every other cult movie, Sex and the City is critic-proof. And that goes double when the critic is a straight male who really wanted to see The Strangers instead. Of course the film is perfect for a girls night out, but for the guys in relationships out there who either committed out of fear or are about to get bullied, it’s really a fairly easy watch. Your girl will appreciate it and you can always pop in that Rambo DVD when you get home.
Studio: New Line Cinema
Length: 148 Minutes
Rating: R for strong sexual content, graphic nudity and language.
Theatrical Release: May 30, 2008
Directed by: Michael Patrick King
Written by: Michael Patrick King. Based upon the characters from the book by Candace Bushnell.
Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Chris Noth, Candice Bergen