Sex and the City – Review

As bloated as Kim Cattrall’s contract demands with a hint of disaster

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Director: Michael Patrick King
Notable Cast:
Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall, Chris Noth, Jennifer Hudson

Apparently six seasons of watching a group of aging harlots desperately cling to the hope of landing a rich man to take care of them hasn’t been enough as Sex in the City, and its four mediocre-looking middle aged women, heads to the silver screen for what appears to be its swan song. Expanded to cinematic length to 2.5 hours, at its heart the film is a love letter to its ardent fan base. To everyone else, it’ll be 2.5 hours of your life that you’ll never get back.

When we meet the women this time around, life has progressed since the series finale. Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) is now in a stable relationship with Mr. Big (Chris Noth) and the two are planning on getting married. Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is discovering what it’s like to be in a sexless marriage. Charlotte (Kristin Davis) has the life she always wanted with a daughter (adopted, albeit) and the perfect husband. Samantha (Kim Cattrall) finds out that life in Hollywood, and monogamy, are not all what they are cracked up to be. The film follows their progress as they deal with life’s changes over a year. And while the cast is game to reprise characters that made them top stars, the film itself is as bloated as a bad menstrual cramp.

The problem is that while the series was able to develop the women as more than just one note characters, the film leaves it at just that. They come as shrill and harpy-like, making sympathy for them almost impossible. Big emotional moments come off as flat an uninspired because Michael Patrick King doesn’t do anything with his characters. Instead he’s assuming that his audience is going to be composed of fans only and tailors the film accordingly. For those who haven’t seen an episode, it makes the film tough to stomach because the four ladies are given zero redemptive qualities. They are the same people when they begin this long journey, with no development, and as such the big finale falls markedly flat.

Getting there is half the problem as well. At over two and a half hours the film runs on for at least an hour more than it really needs to. The film’s plot isn’t epic or deserving of almost 150 minutes and yet the film is given the ability to develop a story for that long of time. It leaves huge gaps of monotony; a better editor is needed to trim down King’s excesses. Considering he was an integral part of the film and the television show, it’s kind of sad to see, but the disappointing part is just how lousy the finished product is.

A huge problem is the story itself. It really doesn’t provide much in terms of entertainment when the attempts at humor are removed. With plenty of blue humor to go around, most of which is markedly unfunny, the trademark witty dialogue and shocking circumstances have been replaced with trite and cliché banter between the gals that takes away whatever enjoyment there is to be had with the film. For a show that pushed boundaries, the film is rather tame and tends to stray within established perimeters.

Sex and the City is a must see for fans of the show, as they’ll be able to laugh and cry with a group of women who spent six years on the small screen. For everyone else, there’s Iron Man.