Jun 6, 2008
Back in October, I wrote this piece about the Sex and the City movie.
I may have had some reservations, but hell, it's Sex and the City, and there was no way I was going to miss an opening day screening.
I'm glad to say it was a worthy successor to the TV series, and some of my predictions thankfully came true.
Beware of spoilers if you continue reading!
While it began like an ad for Bride magazine and a massive suck up to the world's top designers, I knew the love-in couldn't last. Thankfully, and not too implausibly, Carrie was stood up at the altar by Mr Big, who cannot be accused of inconstancy, if only for the fact that his inconstancy is constancy of some measure. Hooray. A marvellously gloomy grim forewarning to young ladeez everywhere that a goddamn glitzy wedding is NOT what it's all about. Click click, mmm-hmm, that's right girlfriend.
So the Vivienne Westwood-gifted frou-frou dress, with accompanying bird headdress, was boxed up, with Carrie & Co re-routed to Mexico to make the best out of a bad honeymoon situation.
The fabulous Samantha, always the guts and splendour of the series, returns to form here, after being tamed by the tinsel of Hollywood and monogamy. Her seaside LA home may be all glass and light, but never before has Samantha been so boxed in.
Miranda's marital woes begin in the bedroom, and end in an apartment on the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge. Steve makes a terrible mistake, one quite rightly to be harshly punished, but is Miranda too inflexible? Her story will spark the most controversy among fans, her choice the most debatable.
Of all, Charlotte's plotline is the weakest, save for a deep feeling of gloom that her life remains picture perfect while all around her are in turmoil. She has, however, the dubious honour of the most disgusting yet hilarious physical mishap in the film. As the writers have Carrie say, "I think you're done."
Big is as Big always was: at once the hero and the villain. Steve's error is uncharacteristic, but he remains a good man (what do you do to become a bad man?, one asks). We don't see nearly enough of Stanford and Anthony, and Harry's appearances are charming as always. Smith Jerrod is under-used - his enforced separation from Samantha due to being required on movie sets denies us more glimpses of his Absolut hunk pecs and sending Samantha do-lally over Dante her naughty LA neighbour (warning: wang alert!).
The addition of Jennifer Hudson as Carrie's assistant, St Louise from St Louis, proves a tactical manueovre - while not really necessary to the film's plot, Louise does help motivate Carrie to return to the land of the living, and remind her that being hopeful is always more rewarding than being fatalistic.
And as for Carrie herself - she remains flawed yet flawless, wronged yet doing wrong. Carrie is at once a glamourous fantasy, and a realistic 40-something woman. It's only the clothes that change. And, vindicating my own opinion back in October, the labels that don't exist that really count.
There are moments of unbelievability, moments of outrage, moments of stupidity, moments of unreality. But always there is the friendship of the four main characters. That is, was and always has been the magic of Sex and the City, the chemistry not between the four main actors and their onscreen beaux, but the chemistry between the actors themselves. Watching Sex and the City makes me wish I had the same level of intimacy with girlfriends; I envy that relationship more than I envy any of the romantic ones. It carried the series, and it carries the movie. So I declare the film imperfect, as they all are, but worthy nonetheless.
Now - what did you think of Sex and the City?