When Sex and the City went off the air in 2004 after six seasons, a feature film follow-up was immediately put in the offing. Several years of contract negotiations and the biggest marketing blitz this side of Indiana Jones later, and that film is finally here. All that anticipation, all that excitement, and at long last, the climax. Get it, girl!
The good news is that the Sex and the City movie is like an extended episode of the show. That's also the bad news. Basically, devotees of the randy romantic comedy will get plenty of everything they liked about the series in one complete package, but at the same time, it's not nearly the event that the producers have made it out to be.
This is a tough review to write, because chances are most people's minds are made up by their previous history with the show, and any fence sitters are just waiting to hear if it's worth their time. So, yes, there you have it, Sex and the City is worth your time. All the girls are back, as are their problems. Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) is still with Big (Chris Noth), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Steve (David Eigenberg) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and Harry (Evan Handler) are still married, and Samantha (Kim Cattrall) is out in Hollywood, having spent the last three years making her beau Smith (Jason Lewis) into the hunkiest doctor on TV. There will be break-ups, there will be make-ups, and every emotional state in between. The women will talk about sex in frank ways, there will be some bad puns, and we'll get plenty of eye candy for the men and the women alike to chew on when we've had enough of our popcorn. There is also a quick dose of puerile humor involving Charlotte and some pudding that, if this were a boy's movie, every critic would call adolescent. I laughed a lot during that scene, and so did all the women in the theatre--so we now know once and for all that poop jokes have no gender.
I'm loath to get into the plot any deeper than that. Security around the actual storyline has been tighter than Jason Lewis' abs. I knew way more ahead of time about the aforementioned Dr. Jones and his tussle with the Crystal Skull than I knew about what was going to happen to Carrie and crew. There aren't a ton of surprises--really, I'd argue that the movie is like the entire series compressed into one chunk--but who am I to give away the gold?
For as much as there is to enjoy in Sex and the City, there is also plenty to complain about. For one, at over two hours, the movie is way too long, and it sags deeply in its melancholy middle. Likewise, while the old shtick works very well, the lone attempt to inject something new into the story gets short shrift. Jennifer Hudson signed on to the cast as Carrie Bradshaw's new personal assistant, and her scenes all fizzle. She's there to serve as Carrie's reminder of her younger, more innocent days, and really, who cares? The girl doesn't even get to dish any salacious dirt.
Bottom line: if you like the show, you're going to like the movie. You'll laugh, you'll get angry, you'll occasionally feel dirty, you'll marvel at the ridiculous clothes, and you may even tear up a little--the gamut that kept us all sticking around all those years. If you hate Sex and the City, I doubt the movie will change your mind (the way, say, I enjoyed Serenity but didn't care for Firefly). If you've never seen Sex and the City before, then this isn't the best place to start. Go rent season 1 on DVD. By the time you work your way through all the season sets, this flick will likely be ready for you to rent next.
The slogan for the movie is a pun worthy of Carrie herself: "Get Carried Away." Well, I wouldn't go as all out as that might suggest as far as your expectations, but if you just miss the gals and have been itching for another night on the town, then by all means, have fun.
Jamie S. Rich is a novelist and comic book writer. He is best known for his collaborations with JoŽlle Jones, including the hardboiled crime comic book You Have Killed Me, the challenging romance 12 Reasons Why I Love Her, and the 2007 prose novel Have You Seen the Horizon Lately?, for which Jones did the cover. All three were published by Oni Press. His most recent project is the comedy series Spell Checkers, again with Jones and artist Nicolas Hitori de. Follow Rich's blog at Confessions123.com.