Sex and the City

June, 2008, Comedy

Directed by:Michael Patrick King

Starring:Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Chris Noth, Jennifer Hudson, and Candice Bergen

The opinion of any male, (especially one standing in the shadow of his septuagenarian years) on this big-screen version of the highly successful HBO series is probably fated to be completely ignored by any woman who takes the time to read what follows. Nevertheless, let it be said at the beginning; the return of the “shoe ‘n couture” quartet in this 148 minute reprise fails to favorably compare, in clever dialogue or subversive social observation, to any 5 randomly-selected T.V. episodes, even though it’s longer than they are collectively. What it does have, (in additional to more tits and ass than the series) are endless displays of stunning women’s clothes wrapped around questions from the original’s story lines. Will Mr. Big dump Carrie - - again? Will Miranda and Steve’s marriage survive her frequent descents into harridan hell? Will Charlotte’s wide-eyed enthusiasm for motherhood fade? Will Samantha give up her insatiable propensity for random humping? For nearly 2 and ½ interminable hours, these themes get milked more thoroughly than a herd of Guernsey dairy cows.

Ah, but the clothes - - somewhere in cinematic heaven, Buzzy Berkley must be smiling, for never in the years since his Depression-era extravaganzas has there been a display of high, (and low) fashion like the one presented here. It’s a tribute to the producers’ determination to never allow any of the principal female characters to appear on screen twice in the same outfit and most of them are every bit as impressive as the pre-release hype led audiences to believe they would be. Say what you will about Sarah Jessica Parker’s acting skills - - she looks great in her clothes, the number and cost of which would surely have bankrupted Mr. Big had he been forced to buy them, (and she’s the only member of this foursome never seen in the buff). 

The film’s first scene neatly reprises the gist of the richly various plots introduced previously, but despite some brief snippets of the bitingly acute dialogue that made the series such a success, Sex the movie fails to sustain the rapier sharpness of its small-screen predecessor. Carrie’s still winsome, Samantha’s still unapologetically hedonistic, Miranda remains a vulnerable pain in the ass and Charlotte’s as sweet and vacuous as ever - - yet despite all they’ve gone through together, none of them seem to have learned anything at all about themselves or each other, so the movie’s storyline becomes a revolving door through which the same four women appear, look fabulous, disappear and reappear…changed only in what they wear, not who they are.

Time was when many a man had to wince in recognition at the painful skewering our gender took in episode after episode of the original series…but that’s the problem; here, there’s simply nothing, beyond the gowns, shoes and jewelry, that’s in any way new or interesting. 

The verdict? An intermittently clever recycling of the real deal.

Jake's Takes comments powered by Disqus