One last shot of 'Sex and the City'

Amira Salah-Ahmed
9 Min Read

It’s been four years since the girls of “Sex and the City got together, and fans have been waiting impatiently for the highly anticipated movie, which brought the fabulous four to the big screen.

I was an avid fan of the television series, outlining its merits to anyone who thought it was merely a clichéd show of materialism, designer clothing, flashy shoes, whiny women, and a little too much sex in the bubble that is New York City.

It’s going to be much harder defending the movie, which plays on these very clichés – at least for the first half – leaving all the heart and soul the series had to offer tucked away somewhere in the back of Carrie Bradshaw’s overflowing closet.

It was like running into a good friend from high school you never thought you’d see again. While you’re not exactly impressed by the person they have become, it’s nice to catch up, even if the chance meeting slightly marred the memory you had of them.

While the first half runs long, the second part picks up the pace, with more of the witty dialogue we’ve come to expect of the girls. By the end, the movie is like a great last chapter to a light summer read.

The show became an instant hit because it was all about sisterhood. At a time when high-powered women of the late 90s were giving up on finding true love, and were stepping on each other to climb up the career ladder, Carrie Bradshaw and her posse were a warm reminder of how important it is for girls to have a female support system. Women who you can count on in times of need, cry with when your heart is broken, and help you laugh at yourself when you’re feeling down.

Their camaraderie was something most girls could relate to. They knew each other’s twists and quirks, bonded over lunches, drinks, shopping sprees and candidly dished about the many men in their lives. This of course meant there was a lot of shopping and a lot of sex, but the television series was about more than men and Manolo Blahniks. These were mere props to show off how the fashionable women of NYC love to splurge.

Like eye candy for men, their lavish wardrobes made female fans drool. While the show aired, the characters became trendsetters, and even off-screen, the girls were idolized Hollywood fashionistas. At the same time, the plot was dramatic, and at times, heartening for those who knew the characters well.

To really enjoy the movie, you have to be a fan of the television series.

Otherwise, you’ll most likely lose interest after the first 20 minutes, you won’t know what makes the characters act the way they do, and you probably won’t really care where or with whom they end up. For the same reasons, it’s difficult to find a heterosexual male who was a fan of the show, much less enjoyed the movie.

The movie starts four years after Mr Big (Chris Noth) whisks Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) away from her much older Russian lover in Paris. The two finally decide to move in together and are looking at NYC apartments. Big agrees to pay for a huge penthouse that Carrie loves and promises to build her an oversized closet, which he later inaugurates with a pair of pricey Manolo Blahniks.

After some hesitation, they decide to get married and plan a small wedding, which quickly spirals out of control when Carrie is asked to pose for Vogue in the latest bridal gowns from the hottest designers as “The Last Single Girl.

Big gets antsy as the wedding nears, and eventually leaves Carrie jilted at the altar in her haute couture gown. Their limousines meet as they are driving away, and Carrie attacks Big with her bridal bouquet, and while the scene with flowers petals falling to the floor is cinematography beautiful, the symbolism is too blunt for my taste.

Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda take care of everything and the four go off to Mexico on what was supposed to be Carrie and Big’s honeymoon. This is where the cinematography, one of the movie’s best qualities, really has a chance to shine. The scenery is beautiful and the camera shots were aesthetically pleasing.

Each frame is meticulously designed – whether it’s the costumes, set décor, makeup or lighting – so that if taken on its own, it is literally picture perfect.

Meanwhile, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) struggles to balance work, family and friends, which leads Steve (David Eigenberg) to cheat on her. Once again, the two go their separate ways. This particular storyline was flawed because it contradicts with how Miranda’s character had evolved in the television series.

The cynical career woman had learned to let love in and was able to strike a balance between working and having a family. The way she had begun to care for her senile mother-in-law showed a different side of her that added depth to the character. The loyal Steve that fans knew would never cheat on Miranda, not after years of vying for her love and affection, so this was particularly baffling.

Similarly, after years of focusing on heartthrob Smith Jared’s (Jason Lewis) acting career – and years of suppressing her lust for other men – Samantha leaves him to focus more on herself.

It was a shame to see Samantha revert to her narcissistic sex-crazed self after her character had developed so much in the television series, especially after surviving breast cancer with Smith loyally by her side. To see her go back to lusting after every man she sees is like watching an adult suffer from an accelerated case of regression.

Charlotte (Kristin Davis) is happily married to Harry (Evan Handler), and the two are proud parents of their adopted Chinese daughter, Lily. Fulfilling her maternal instincts, Charlotte stops stressing about having a child of her own. This, ironically, finally allows her to get pregnant. As her friends’ lives fall apart all around her, she has some anxiety that her life may be too perfect, but these are quelled as soon as she resumes her daily morning run.

On her return to the Big Apple, Carrie hires Louise (Jennifer Hudson) as her assistant, and she proves to be a big help in putting the pieces of Carrie’s life back together. At times it seemed Hudson had to dumb down her acting, especially apparent in the scene where the two bond over a Louis Vuitton handbag. As a fan of the show, I was happy with the way the small-screen hit ended, and unlike others, I wasn’t eager for a silver screen finale. Still, it was nice to see the girls strut their stuff in style on the streets of NYC one last time.

A “Sex and the City devotee and a first-time viewer, weigh in on the highly anticipated movie. For the other review, click here:

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