Sex and the City Review
From June 6th 1998 until the final episode in February 22nd 2004, 4 women graced our screens with their lives, their friendships and their lovers. As society has changed over the years so have the television programmes we watch that reflect that change and here the shoe was certainly on the other foot. Out went the macho stereotypical guy their friendships and their many sexual conquests; in came the Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte York (Kirstin Davis) and Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) to show that what any man could do they could at least enjoy more pleasurably. Fashion, coffee shops, multitudes of shoes and a more liberal attitude to sex were the order of the day. At it's heart though was the inter-relationships between the 4 female leads, how they would pull together and more importantly stick together through anything the world might throw their way.
When we last enjoyed their company they were pretty much getting on with the rest of their lives, Miranda settling down with family in Brooklyn, Charlotte adopting a baby from China with Harry, Samantha beating breast cancer and dedicating her sexual adventures from now on with Smith her movie starlet and Carrie finally being told by Big that she is in fact the one for him; some four years after that final curtain call director Michael Patrick King (who directed 10 episodes of the television series and actually starred in the first episode as a mental patient) took up the reigns, reunited the original cast members and took what we were used to on the small screen up to the bright lights of Hollywood.
The story is a simple enough affair, Carrie and Big are now looking for a shared apartment. Realising that she would lose some independence and her home if anything goes wrong they decide to get married, Big actually pops the question over making salad. Things look rosy, their new found apartment is penthouse heaven, her close friends are incredibly supportive and excited for her, she's adorns the pages of Vogue in an article about fashion and bridal wear. The only downside a closest which is a little too small, no worries for Big though who ultimately transforms this into something most would be proud to sleep in never mind rest a collection of shoes which would put Imedla Marcos to shame.
All however does not go according to plan and at the very last moment Big pulls out, the Vivian Westwood attired bride left at the altar. Her only hope for recovery is her friends.
Like the television series this film version is narrated by Carrie herself and ultimately the film falls into two sections; pre marriage and post jilting. Pre marriage the film is a wholly vacuous affair re-introducing the characters to seasoned viewers and newcomers alike, their shopping habits, their love of designer labels, shoes of every shape and size, their current loves and how they have 'stabilised' their lives in the four years since we last saw them. I cared very little for this section of the film; I thought there was no substance for the actors to get their teeth into, nothing there for them to work against. Once the aborted marriage ceremony is past though and Carrie is left alone things change slightly. There is now that level of conflict which I believe is important to any film; this allows the actors to explore some emotional depth.
Director King is more accustomed to television than movies and it shows. Whilst he might be able to write and direct a story in an episodic format, lasting some 45 minutes and perhaps evolving a storyline over a few of these episodes it is certainly apparent that he cannot produce the goods for a good two hours and then some. Often I thought that sections of the film could have been trimmed or removed altogether and ultimately the film is too long for its own good. It drags a little in both acts and if it was some 30 minutes shorter then it may have been a little tighter a little more controlled and certainly a lot more cohesive; but hey, there's a lot of shoes to get through here.
The actors all play their parts remarkably well, fitting back into their roles as though they have never parted from one another. This not only includes the four main female leads but also the sundry characters of Big and Steve who become very important parts of this meandering storyline. Of the heroines Kim Cattrall and Cynthia Nixon have the most meat on their bones, both having to come to terms with personal issues. Kim's character Samantha finally admitting to herself that although she loves the man she is living with that she loves herself even more and rather than go behind his back and have one affair after another decides to go solo so she can enjoy the lifestyle she chooses. Cynthia's Miranda juggling a hectic lifestyle as wife, mother and career lawyer finding her husband Steve committed an indiscretion, removes him from her life then battles with herself wondering if forgiveness is opportune, if she can ultimately forgive him and take him back. Parker's Carrie and Davis' Charlotte I never really cared for finding them all too one dimensional characters. Whilst the heartache is more than apparent on Carrie's face after the aborted marriage, and the viewer does feel some empathy for her, on the whole throughout the length of the film I wasn't that concerned over either of these two characters fate.
The movie still focuses on all the important "girlie issues", such as haute couture, shoes and cosmopolitans, but the underlying theme of the movie, again present in the series, was no matter how many men may come into and go out of your life, your girlfriends will always be there for
you through thick and thin, and that in itself is the best summation for this film. It is best viewed through women's eyes; men don't really care how many pairs of shoes you have and most are not overly concerned with labels. As a buddy movie there's those for the guys and this one firmly falls into the girl section. Guys, do yourself a favour and buy this one up for your loved one; you will get an incredible amount of brownie points. Girls well if you don't already have this in your collection all you need to do is decide on another pair of shoes or this BluRay extended edition; a difficult choice for you.