REVIEW: Sex and the City [2008]

“The last single girl”

I learn something new everyday. Here I thought the feature adaptation of the immensely popular HBO show “Sex and the City” was written and directed by its creator Michael Patrick King. After a little research, I come to find that King was only a producer on the show, with only 31 writing credits as opposed to the full 94 for real creator Darren Star and literary basis Candace Bushnell. Despite this, though, it would seem that King is now the driving force behind Carrie Bradshaw and friends, becoming the voice of middle-aged women everywhere. Isn’t it a bit strange that a man has written these women to be as pop culture iconic as they are? Kudos to him, because Bradshaw’s opening monologue to the Sex and the City movie is very appropriate—this story is about labels and love in New York City. Thankfully, that’s not all its about; in the end, the tale is actually intelligently written and quite witty, causing this cynical male to laugh and smile more times than he ever could have imagined.

Is it shallow of me to think that the plausibility of it all is a little low though due to the fact our star woman is the least attractive of the group? I know it is, but honestly she probably is the best actress of the bunch, especially in the role, yet I need to ask, would she ever really be part of a five page pictorial in Vogue magazine? I don’t know; it’s just something that kept creeping into my head as I watched, and should not have because Sarah Jessica Parker truly does embody Bradshaw to perfection. Being that it all happens through her point of view, (even when she isn’t present at the event onscreen, she is still the one narrating; believable I guess since this quartet tells each other EVERYTHING), it is crucial that her character lives and breathes reality. A writer of moderate success, she is happily in love with manfriend Mr. Big, (I do enjoy Chris Noth, I don’t know why, never seen “Law and Order”, his smugness just makes me smile though), and threatens to throw her whole existence out the window with the biggest business deal she’s ever shook on, with him as a partner—marriage.

The whole will they or won’t they, stay together/break-up/get married, is actually the most conventional and boring part of the film. This storyline is the quintessential chick flick cliché and it does what it does without surprise. Spanning over a year in time, I did enjoy the six months these two lovebirds are apart, because that is when the proverbial sh*t hits the fan in all their lives. Parker shows some very nice range as the downtrodden, heartbroken waif attempting to pull herself back up and become that strong woman so many viewers idolize and hope to be. But this isn’t the Carrie Bradshaw story, thankfully, because that would have been torture. It is about four women and the different places their lives are at; how they help each other; and how they balance being the women they’ve strived to be while still having a relationship with equally successful males. It’s these stories that truly captivated me into accepting the fact that, while Sex and the City is not my genre, topic, or even sphere of consciousness of choice, it did engross me enough to be happy to have seen it.

Kristin Davis is very enjoyable as Charlotte, the youngster of the bunch in her mid-thirties. With such a bubbly and childlike demeanor and attitude, her zeal for life is contagious and something I think everyone strives for. Being that her mid-movie meltdown concerns having too much good happen to her, making the “inevitable” fall too daunting to imagine, you can see how truly happy she is, especially with husband Evan Handler, (one of the gems in “Californication” and unfortunately wasted here, much like Willie Garson’s Stanford who is nothing more than a prop for the background). Kim Cattrall, on-the-other-hand, is the exact opposite. A lover of sex and promiscuity, she finds herself in a relationship with a younger male that loves her dearly, but the monogamy is too much to deal with. She isn’t ready to realize that being with one man in a relationship does not mean she has become dependant on him. The need for multiple men, to be in full control, is so ingrained that she must find a love for herself—a balance with her body—before she can ever commit to someone else. How can one love if unable to love oneself? It is the age-old question and one that she needs to come to grips with soon, as she turns 50—either to accept or change.

The storyline that really grabbed my attention, though, was of Miranda Hobbes, played wonderfully by Cynthia Nixon. Here is a career-driven lawyer that has compromised herself in order to make a life with husband Steve and child Brady. Whoa, I just realized the husband is Steve Brady and the son Brady Hobbes … guess you have to watch the show to understand that one. Anyways, it is their intriguing evolution as a couple that I found myself wanting to be resolved the most. Whether the two got back together, after a short separation due to his indiscretion, or not, I found myself invested in the subplot. The acting, on the part of both characters, was real and palpable. The love mixed with a loss of trust shone through and you will find yourself pulling for them in the end. Why you ask? Because this film isn’t only about labels and love—just don’t tell Jennifer Hudson since her Louise cares only about each—but also forgiveness.

This isn’t high school where grudges rule and you most likely will move on to never see any of your classmates again; this is a professional world with intelligent and capable women. Life is too messy and too short to go through it with hatred and regret. Bad things happen and you can either walk away, letting them despite what you feel, or fight tooth and nail for everything you want and deserve. Sometimes those tough patches are merely bumps in the road to true bliss, but you have to be willing to find out for sure. And that, I believe, is the real moral behind this story—happiness does come with a price, and even though it may cost a fortune, it most definitely will be worth every penny.

Sex and the City 5/10 | ★ ★

[1] Sarah Jessica Parker (left) stars as “Carrie Bradshaw” and Chris Noth (right) stars as “Mr. Big” in New Line Cinema’s upcoming release of SEX AND THE CITY. Photo Credit: Craig Blankenhorn/New Line Cinema
[2] Kristin Davis (left) stars as “Charlotte York-Goldenblatt”, Kim Cattrall (center) stars as “Samantha Jones” and Cynthia Nixon (right) stars as “Miranda Hobbes” in New Line Cinema’s upcoming release of SEX AND THE CITY. Photo Credit: Craig Blankenhorn/New Line Cinema


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