This movie was not made for me.
I care nothing of shoes, I have never and will never order a Cosmo, and I am not interested in 101 ways to please your man.
SEX AND THE CITY has long been the favorite show for female viewers of HBO. From my time working at an independent video store I can say with confidence that without SEX AND THE CITY rentals, our business likely would have folded. So whatever your opinion of the show is, it has certainly struck a chord. My experience with the show is limited. I’ve seen a handful of episodes that were at times mildly entertaining, at times drowning in awful puns, and at times fortified with fashion jokes that I cannot understand. Yet I always came away from the show realizing why women enjoyed it. The 4 woman the show follows seemed to be intelligent professionals enjoying being liberated of the housewife lifestyle. They were confident and well dressed, they talked openly about sexual conquests in the same manner that men do in contemporary films and the show raised real questions about issues concerning women of that age range living single in the big city.
So what the hell is this movie? What went wrong? Why do these women seem so stupid? So shallow? So devoid of any joy of their independence? This was not my experience with the show, however limited it was.
First there’s Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) who finds herself getting engaged after she is wowed by a fancy apartment that Mr. Big will pay for. Big of course leaves her at the altar (does this EVER happen in real life? because it happens in every goddamn movie). When their limos cross paths, Kristen Davis’ Charlotte screams “NOO!” like the Exorcist in the film’s most terrifying moment. Seriously I expected her head to turn around and spit green vomit at Big.
There’s also Miranda, whose husband just cheated on her because she refuses to sleep with him. Who would have thought that would happen? Steve spends most of the movie trying to get back in Miranda’s good graces much to the confusion of the audience since Miranda seems to be a mean, bitter person with absolutely no respect or love for Steve. Maybe he’d be better off with the philly.
Charlotte doesn’t have much to do so she pretty much just runs around looking doe-eyed. The filmmakers must have realized that there wasn’t much of a story arc for Charlotte so they made sure to insert a scene in which she craps her pants.
Finally there’s Samantha, the great big giant whore of the group. Samantha spends most of the film making puns and double entendres about penises (she even gets a dog that humps everything. Haven’t seen that before). On the bright side, at least Samantha is the only one of these women who knows what she wants. She is selfish, spoiled, and wants to sleep around without being tied down in a relationship. At least she’s honest.
This leads to an excuse for the actors involved to have a glorified vacation disguised as a movie island getaway where the 4 girls can bond and Carrie can heal. This doesn’t really amount to much as Carrie sulks, Samantha drools over the penis of her neighbor, Miranda sneers and Charlotte takes the aforementioned crap in her pants.
Eventually Mr. Big wins back the heart of Carrie by building her a closet.
I’m going to repeat that.
Carrie forgives what would certainly be the most mortifying, embarrassing, heartbreaking experience of her life because her man could buy her a giant closet for her shoes. What happened to the contemporary women from the show who held prestigious jobs like the men did? Who were more than just people waiting around to grab a husband? The independent women of New York? This is all Carrie was looking for? A big closet?
I am baffled by this movie and I suppose that’s to be expected. These do not feel like fully fleshed out characters with anything resembling depth. They settle into their archetypes and don’t break free of them. In the end, Carrie still loves shoes, Charlotte still loves babies, Miranda still loves being icy, and Samantha still loves to bone. There are no character arcs, there are no lessons to be learned or commentary about sex or the city. Perhaps something was lost in translation from small to big screen. Who knows. What I do know is that a fair comparison of this film would be floating around in Charlotte’s pants.