Grab your Cosmos — the girls are back! No, seriously, you’re going to need one to take the edge off.
To wallow in stereotypes for a minute, the Sex and the City movie is to women and gay men what the new Indiana Jones installment is to straight guys — the most anticipated movie event of the summer. It’s a chance to return to the glory days of Sex and the City on HBO, when we could tune in weekly to see what wacky situations our favorite four vixens would get into during their search for love in New York City — all while wearing over-the-top couture.
Those who predicted that the film would be one long episode get a gold star. Actually, they get two gold stars because the film feels like one really long episode. Even for someone who is a huge fan of TV shows on DVD, the film feels a little too much like a marathon. Probably because nothing is done that actually elevates the production to a feature film quality. Making a film ups the ante and not meeting that challenge is a huge letdown.
As a television show, Sex and the City ended on as happy a note as possible. Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Big (Chris Noth) were heading happily into the sunset; Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), husband and child were nesting in Brooklyn; Charlotte () was finally getting her baby; and even Samantha (Kim Cattrall) had settled down with a man who wouldn’t leave her side.
But happily ever after doesn’t work as the start to a movie, so writer/director Michael Patrick King packs a whole lot of angst and drama into his almost two and a half hour long ”filmisode.” The Big-est question is: Does Carrie marry Big? To answer that would reveal too much. Let’s just say heartache is a more compelling story arc. In fact, it’s not until there is a little emotional drama going on for all the girls does the movie actually get interesting.
The film meets the most basic expectations: four women talking about men, shoes, and sex. For die-hard fans, it’s a blast to the past; for those hoping for something more, it’s a little too same-old, same-old.
Parker remains as beautiful and lovable as always. A decade after she first donned that iconic tutu in the opening sequence, Parker commands the screen with her beauty and charisma. Sometimes she works her outfits more than she works her lines, but the outfits are more entertaining anyhow.
Of the others, Miranda has the most interesting storyline and Nixon lives up to the challenge. Davis, however, is given very little screen time, but what she has is so quintessential Charlotte — uptight and earnest — that it feels like you’ve had your fill.
It’s Cattrall, however, who continues to inject fun into the whole deal. Even though Samantha has moved to Los Angeles, she’s so filthy rich that she’s in New York so much you’d never think she left. While the rest of the film resorts to fart jokes for a laugh, Cattrall’s one-liners and bizarre sexual situations are the most worthwhile. However, since the whole film as a ”grown up” theme to it, even the most bawdy scenes are relatively tame.
Jennifer Hudson makes a brief appearance as Carrie’s assistant, but she’s far from becoming the fifth in their circle. In fact, it’s fortunate that her part is small since she’s so incredibly flat in the role. She better step it up before she’s labeled a one-note actor.
One can’t discuss SATC without commenting on the fashion — and there’s tons of fashion. In fact, there’s so much fashion that King inserts three different montages just to show off more fashion. Kudos for giving audiences what they want, but try a little harder next time, please.
One has to wonder about King’s goal in turning the insanely popular show into a movie. If it was to give fans a mini-season without ruining the original product, then he succeeded. If it was to add to the legacy of the show, then he fell short of the mark.
In the end, the film is like a Cosmo made with cheap vodka. It’s fine and you’re still going to drink it, but you know that it could have been so much better.