Sex And The City: The Movie
Review by Jack Foley
IT’S best to acknowledge from the start of this review that I’m not the target audience for Sex & The City. I also only caught fleeting glimpses of the show.
In that sense, I entered the movie with zero expectation. My wife, however, carried the hopes and fears of a long-term fan: pleased to be reunited with four women that had offered so much comfort and laughter over the years of the television series, yet worried that a drawn out cinematic outing might tarnish those warm memories.
From my point of view, as a seasoned (but not yet cynical) filmgoer, Sex And The City: The Movie is fun in places but mostly a superficial, self-indulgent bum-number. My wife, the target audience, enjoyed it and could well imagine snuggling into a sofa in a pair of PJs and watching it again on DVD, a large glass of red wine in hand. We both agreed, however, that almost two and a half hours was excessive.
The story is one of the main problems. For a plot that’s been kept so under wraps, it doesn’t add up to much. Suffice to say, it involves trials and romantic tribulations for all four principals, not to mention the odd fashion faux par and crisis!
For Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) it’s whether to have a big wedding… and whether Mr Big (Chris Noth) will see the big day through. For Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), it’s coping with a crisis at home. For Charlotte (Kristin Davis) it’s an unexpected surprise. And for Samantha (Kim Cattrall) it’s the same old same old: how to satisfy that insatiable sex drive.
For long-term admirers of the show, the various storylines are designed to represent an emotional rollercoaster that will leave viewers laughing and crying in equal measure.
But what worked in a tightly written, sexually frank half an hour episode feels stretched to breaking point in movie form. There are moments to savour – for fans and non-fans alike – such as Samantha’s ill-fated attempt to seduce her boyfriend with sushi, or Charlotte’s unfortunate shower incident in Mexico.
And there’s a great deal of admiration for the bravery of the performances which don’t shy away from the big issues concerning 40-something women – or the revelation of too much flesh. Let’s face it, women can be scathing at the best of times, so bearing all is a gutsy thing to do (hats off, then, to Nixon and Cattrall especially).
But as good as some moments are, there’s an awful lot of self-indulgence and male members of the audience may well find themselves wincing at the never-ending fashion parades, diamond admiring and girly-girly screaming that takes place. As adult as the film pretends to be, it’s awfully juvenile in places. And the messages, when they finally arrive, tend to be gob-smackingly obvious.
Hence, the overall verdict on Sex And The City: The Movie is that it’s as hit-and-miss as the numerous outfits worn by the women. That is to say, sometimes fun, sometimes revealing, mostly easy on the eye, but prone to some truly hideous gaffes. The overriding suspicion is that it probably should have stayed on the small screen as it doesn’t really bring anything new to the formula, or push boundaries.
Fans will (and should) still go and indulge but interested observers pondering what the fuss is all about may still find themselves pondering… whilst rubbing a very sore behind afterwards!
Running time: 135mins
UK DVD Release: September 22, 2008
- Buy it (1-disc edition) (Amazon)
- Buy it (2-disc edition) (Amazon)
- Buy it on Blu-ray (Amazon)
- Buy Seasons 1 - 6 Complete Box Set (Amazon)
- Read the review
- Sex And The City exceeds US box office expectations
- Sarah Jessica Parker interview
- Kim Cattrall interview
- Kristin Davis interview
- Cynthia Nixon interview
- Sex & The City photo gallery