‘Sex and the City’ Is Great for Fans; Okay for Guys, Too

The girls from Sex and the City

I feel kind of odd reviewing Sex and the City. It’s nothing against the movie, but I am painfully aware that I am so far off the target demographic that I wonder if anyone really cares about what me – a fat man from Ohio – has to say about this film.

Still, I’m not coming at the film with no background. I actually used to watch the show in its early days on HBO. I wouldn’t say I was a fan. Rather, I watched it partly because there was nothing better on elsewhere in that time slot, and partly because I thought the show was a bit of a train wreck.

Apparently, my opinion was in the minority. But what do you expect? I’m a dude.

Still, having missed the final seasons but having a strong familiarity with the characters and their stories, I found myself relatively pleased with the film. As TV shows sent to the big screen, I’ve seen a lot worse.

Sex and the City: The Movie picks up several years after the series left off. Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) is still in Manhattan, happy with her and Big’s relationship. Charlotte (Kristin Davis) is married and converted to Judaism with an adopted Chinese child. Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is married to Steve, living in Brooklyn with their son. And Samantha (Kim Cattrall) has settled down a bit with her movie star boyfriend in L.A.

The bulk of the film revolves around Carrie and her pending nuptials with Big (Chris Noth). However, the plot doesn’t focus exclusively on her. Each of the women get her own story, and they have a bit more depth than I was used to with the show. Miranda’s story, which involves infidelity and a pending divorce, continues to be the most interesting, but the writing has matured a bit, letting Charlotte and Samantha break out of their cookie-cutter roles from the series.

Fans of the series are going to eat this movie up. It is made for the fans, but kindly not inaccessible to new viewers. But there are many, many moments that either call back to the original series or wrap something up. Sex and the City: The Movie is an honest and consistent continuation of the show.

At the same time, the movie doesn’t fell like it’s just another episode. In fact, the weekly raunch factor has been largely abandoned to focus on the more realistic characters. There was a time when the series featured a taboo topic of the week – from tantric sex to golden showers – and that is only a small portion of the movie. I don’t know if this is due to deliberate writing or they just couldn’t find a way to up the ante from such an edgy show that ran for so long on HBO. Whatever the reason is, it works.

I have to say that I feel a bit odd heaping praise on the film – even more odd than attending the 400+ person screening with our illustrious Executive Editor Neil Miller and being two of only about a dozen guys in the house. But there’s a lot of good things in this movie.

Sure, I’m a guy, and I got a little bored with the estrogen moments (of which there are plenty). But I have to commend the filmmakers for actually making a decent film here. Truly, when I heard this film was going into production, I was dreading it.

And for those guys out there who are going to be dragged to this by their wives and girlfriends because they were dragged to Iron Man and Indiana Jones, you can do a lot worse. Play your cards right, and you might have some sex in your city after the show.

THE UPSIDE: An honest and true continuation of the series.

THE DOWNSIDE: Well, it is a chick flick, after all.

ON THE SIDE: It appears that Kristin Davis doesn’t have nipples. Check out the shower scene. It is quite freaky.

Grade: B+

Kevin Carr crawled from the primordial ooze in the early 1970s. He grew up watching movies to the point of irritation for his friends and was a font of useless movie knowledge until he decided to put that knowledge to good use. Now, Kevin is a nationally syndicated critic, heard on dozens of radio stations around the country, and his reviews appear in a variety of online outlets. Kevin is also a proud member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA).

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