While it was on TV, Sex And The City was up there will the likes of Will & Grace that any straight forward male wouldn’t be caught dead watching. But, just like in that episode of Seinfeld, if you hooked any of those straight forward male’s up to a lie detector machine, the truth would come out, and they would have to admit that, yes, they did watch it, and yes, they did enjoy it. And not just because of the boobs.
The show was laced with wit, humour and real emotions, with four women at the core finally shown as real women are (or at least as close as a form of light entertainment can allow) and the bad guy in every relationship’s breakdown isn’t always the guy. And so, several years after the show’s end, and once all the pay packets have been finally agreed upon, the movie is upon us. And so, the real question; how can a straight forward guy enjoy this film without relinquishing his masculinity? As it turns out, its not that hard.
As of late, comedy’s have been a strictly male affair. All the best comedies from perhaps the last ten years have been boys own stuff, from American Pie to Superbad, Anchorman to Wedding Crashers, Knocked Up to Forgetting Sarah Marshall, girls have been pushed to the supporting characters on the big comedic screen. And while Sex And The City isn’t a straight forward comedy, it is one of the funnier films of 2008 so far. That being said, it suffers from The Simpsons Movie-syndrome; its good and all, but its basically a couple of episodes strung back to back, and after how great the episodes used to be, it doesn’t add up to the sum of its parts.
Quick plot outline; Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) is happily living with Mr. Big (Chris Noth) and they are about to tie the note. Samantha (Kim Cattrall) is happily living out in L.A. with her big time model/actor boyfriend Smith (Jason Lewis). Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and her husband Harry (Evan Handler) are happily married with their adopted asian daughter, and finally Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is still happily married to Steve (David Eigenberg) with their young son. But, as things often do, when everything is going happily ever after, plot twists will make sure it doesn’t stay that way for long. Without giving anything away, bad things happen to nearly everyone in the film which make them reassess their situations in life, lessons are learned, cocktails are drunk, and men are had sex with.
The actresses each own their roles by now, and there’s not a dud turn between them, with a special shout out to Kristin Davis who can make anyone laugh with one raised eyebrow, and almost runs away with this film with her highly tuned comedic timing placed into some well written comedic situations. There is very little different from this film than there is to the show, except its exceptional length, at almost 2 and a half hours. And that for some reason, Samantha, the trademark sex addict of the show, doesn’t get a proper sex scene, with all the more explicit scenes going to Miranda instead.
The major drawbacks to the film is its episodic nature, which shouldn’t be such a bad thing, given the high quality of the episodes, but it does cause a ebb and flow in interest in the film itself. There are also about fifteen too many clothes changing montages, and for the most part, the men in the show are the villians of the piece, with barely a non-despicable male between them. And for all the talk of new entry Jennifer Hudson making a splash, hot off her star making turn in DreamGirls, she barely gets a look in here, and seems to be primarily used to tell the audience that it is now possible to rent out expensive handbags.
So, in summation, its funny and sad and well acted and is nice to look at. But its got the depth of a paddling pool and at the end of the movie you’ll be buggered to notice if there’s been any real progression in the story from when it started 150 minutes earlier. And most men will “hate” it.
Six Out Of Ten