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Movie Review: Sex and the City

By Matthew Huntley

June 2, 2008

Sarah Jessica Parker's inability to remember her lines is well documented.

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I'm not sure I should be the one reviewing Sex and the City. Not only am I unfamiliar with the HBO series (I've only seen one or two episodes), I'm also not a fan of these characters. That is to say, I don't find them particularly interesting. To me, Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda (actually, Miranda may be the lone exception) are self-centered, superficial, chipper and wasteful individuals. It's hard for me to sympathize with them. They only seem to be preoccupied with one thing: themselves. Granted, they're not mean or judgmental, but they prance around New York City in their hedonistic search for love, comfort and happiness. They're not people I care to spend time with.

I know I'm in the minority on this. There are millions of SATC fans out there who adore what these women stand for and what they do, but I am not one of them. My girlfriend suggests my negative review comes as a result of my being male, not to mention each male character in the movie is either looked upon negatively or barely allotted any screen time. I'm willing to accept that theory, but I think my opinion has also been formed by the simple fact this movie lacks an interesting story, three-dimensional characters and a sharp visual style. Maybe it has nothing to do with my being male. It's possible this is just poor filmmaking.

In a lively opening montage, Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) brings us up to speed on her love life and those of her three "fabulous" friends - the hyper-sexualized Samantha (Kim Cattrall), now managing her actor-boyfriend in Los Angeles; the cute-faced Charlotte (Kristin Davis), married and raising her adopted child; and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), married, raising her own child, and trying to balance her demanding job as an attorney.




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Over the course of a year, we watch these women deal with their changing lives and relationships, primarily Carrie, who struggles with plans to wed her longtime, on-again/off-again boyfriend, Mr. Big (Chris Noth). The three others deal with various issues pertaining to fidelity, forgiveness, fear and uncertainty, although using these words makes it sound like the movie has more substance than it really does.

For me, the problem with this long, drawn out comedy-drama was being unable to find a story within it that's worth caring about. As someone who's unfamiliar with the show, I never felt like writer-director Michael Patrick King made enough of an effort to appeal it to non-fans of the series. It's not that I couldn't follow it; it's that I didn't care about it. Perhaps if I watched the show regularly, I would, but the movie shouldn't make that a requirement. If The Simpsons Movie could make itself accessible to non-Simpsons fans, surely SATC could too.

The narrative is jumbled and lacks a sound structure. With an exceedingly long 135-minute runtime, it never finds a balance and is unable to give all its characters ample weight, especially the men. They're tossed aside and only appear at the convenience of the screenplay.


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