| 'Sex and the City' delightful
One of the most talked about television series of all time makes the transition to the big screen. The popular HBO series was a must-see every Sunday night.
Created by Darren Star and based on the autobiographical newspaper columns written by Candace Bushnell, the series debuted in 1998 and ran for six illustrious seasons before the finale in 2004. The series received 57 Emmy nominations.
The movie, which takes place four years later in present day, was written and directed by longtime executive producer and writer of the television series, Michael Patrick King.
The resulting film is a mixed bag. For devoted and rabid fans like me, it is a great opportunity to spend more time with these fictional characters. For all others, don’t bother to test the waters since there are better romantic comedies out there to watch.
The movie takes you on an emotional roller coaster ride. You experience the highs and lows of the ongoing relationships of four intelligent and beautiful women.
Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) is the central figure. She is a successful author now in her late 40s working on her fourth book. She is still single and living in Manhattan. Things are about to change when she moves into a swanky penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue with her handsome yet elusive boyfriend Mr. Big (Chris Noth). Could their on-again, off-again pairing become permanent?
The traditional, conservative and sweet-natured Charlotte (Kristin Davis) is living out her fairy tale existence on Park Avenue with her dependable and loving husband, Harry. Lily, their adopted daughter from China, is now 5 years old.
Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is the sarcastic, tough-minded lawyer living in Brooklyn with her husband, Steve, and their young son, Brady. She has a difficult time balancing work with being a mother and wife.
Samantha (Kim Cattrall) has fully recovered from breast cancer and is trying to adjust to a monogamous relationship with her actor boyfriend Smith Jerrod. Living in a Malibu beach house, she feels cut off from her gal pals.
The movie plays out like a half season of five separate episodes. It becomes unwieldy trying to pack in too much material. It should have been tightened up with better editing.
There are at least three extended fashion shows and more than 300 costume changes. Costume designer Patricia Field should be nominated for an Oscar. The wardrobes on display dazzle the eyes. They range from the sublime to the outrageous. There is a full range of colors and new ideas to accentuate the female figure.
New York City adds another dimension. Location shots include prominent stores like Tiffany’s, Saks, Vitra and Diane Von Furstenberg. Other familiar landmarks include Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, the main branch of the New York Public Library, Park Avenue and Fifth Avenue.
The movie is at its best during the hilarious moments and when the four women sit around and talk openly about men, sex and happiness. It is not afraid to bring up taboo subjects like bikini waxing.
Jennifer Hudson (“Dreamgirls”) brings a fresh outlook playing Carrie’s assistant, Louise from St. Louis. She appears at the halfway mark and picks up the pace after a real traumatic downer event occurs.
All four women appear in bedroom sex scenes. The most nudity and erotic scenes are turned in by Samantha’s next-door neighbor Dante (Gilles Marini). He is a beefcake hunk who bares all and brings out the voyeur in Samantha.
The television series was about the search for love and labels. The movie concerns itself with what happens after finding true love. The movie comes full circle after a myriad of break-ups and make-ups. It is the equivalent of a sumptuous full course meal from drinks and appetizers to a sinful dessert.
Being adult enough to say you are sorry and forgiveness are the overriding themes to this romantic love letter. It gives men another opportunity to go behind closed doors and get a better understanding of how women think and act.
Women in their 30s and 40s will vicariously identify with the trials and tribulations of these four fascinating feminine role models. Strap on your favorite designer shoes, grab a mixed alcoholic beverage and enjoy this delightful cinematic guilty pleasure.
Keith Cohen, The Movie Guy