Review: Sex and the City

Sex and the City

It’s here. It’s here! After all that waiting, it’s finally here.

Much like the January sales, there are strategies to be used when you’re going to watch something as anticipated as Sex and the City: the movie. Either you wait all night camped outside and then be the first in before everyone else, or you wait until everyone has been crushed under foot and enter at your leisure afterwards.

Which is why I’m sauntering in with a review of Sex and the City over a week after it opened.

What do you mean I shouldn’t be watching this cos I’m a bloke? Watching movies about women is ‘so gay’? Do you want to have a think about that?

Plot

Carrie’s getting married at last. Really, you want me to spoil it more than that for you?

Is it any good?

Pretty much a great big yes, if you liked the series itself. Obviously, if you hated it, then you’re not going to like the movie either.

The movie picks up a few years after the events of the last TV episode. Everyone’s still with their original partners, even Samantha who’s moved to LA to represent Smith. Carrie and John (aka Big) are moving in together.

And that’s all I’m going to say to avoid spoiling you, other than all the cast are back and as good as ever (except Jason Lewis, who plays Smith like he’s on Novocain). Surprisingly, Kristen Davis (Charlotte) is by far the standout. Who’d have thought it?

It feels pretty much like a season of Sex and the City compressed into two hours or so. As you might expect, some of the men do bad things, causing heartache for the women, and they all come together to help each other through their tribulations. It meanders a little around the middle and – heretical suggestion, I know – could have done with a bit of cutting, mainly of Carrie’s new PA if I could express a preference, but it’s a reasonably strong plot that features just about every important character the show’s had (bar ex-boyfriends). And there are some real tear-jerking moments. Really.

Subtext

I’m a little wary of some of the subtext. One of the criticisms of the final episode of Sex and the City was that it went for the fairytale endings for the various friends: they all ended up with what they wanted. Which was nice. I liked that, even though what they wanted was really to do with their personal, rather than professional, intellectual, etc, lives, and generally involved a fair old bit of compromise and sacrifice. You might even argue that the women only found happiness by accepting more traditional female roles than through the routes they’d been walking for the previous seasons.

But for there to be drama, obviously the fairy tales have to end, so I feel like I’ve been cheated of my happy ending a bit. I can’t watch the near-perfect final episode now without thinking, “Ah. You look happy now, but just you wait…”

All the same, to a certain extent, the tearing down of that fairy tale to show that it won’t necessarily bring you happiness, could have been a good thing. It could have spelt a return to the strong independent woman motif of early seasons. Yet in the movie, even though it’s the men who do the really bad things for the most part, it’s the women who end up apologising. I’m not sure about that.

All the same, there’s a bit of sex, a bit of city, some farce, some good one-liners. Overlong, but enjoyable.

Rating

4/5

Men

As mentioned, some of the men do come out of this badly. Some don’t. But if you are a man, you really should spend a little time in a cinema in which the entire audience of women are watching a movie populated with female stars and that objectifies a male model doing a full frontal. There’s a phrase about walking in someone else’s Manolos, I think.

Consumerism

While there are obvious, repetitive criticisms to be made about the consumerism, with much of the film dwelling on the theme “Wouldn’t it be nice if we had more money than God?”, it wasn’t that overpowering and felt far more natural than the obvious product placement in Casino Royale, for example. We’re talking about a Vogue writer here, people, for heaven’s sake! What do you think she’s going to be talking about all day?

Here’s the trailer

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