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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Too many scenes seemed written merely to give the characters something to do, especially Charlotte, who's not given much of conflict like the other women. Jennifer Hudson has a small part as Carrie's assistant, but the director admitted he only cast her in the role because she's African-American, thus as a way to open it up to black audiences. I'd like to think she would have been cast because of her talent.

I suppose I could find Sex and the City entertaining and worthy of moviegoers' time and dollars had the characters been compelling and humble, but they're not. Carrie and Samantha, especially, only seem to care about their images. When Mr. Big disappoints Carrie in a big way, she doesn't seem upset because she's hurt but because she's embarrassed, thinking to herself, how is this going to make me look after I've already appeared in Vogue magazine? Later on, as a way to save face, she changes her hair color. What kind of message does this send? Should we disguise ourselves when the going gets tough because of what other people might think?

I know the show prides itself on being about fashion, fancy coffee, trendy gadgets, expensive food and drinks, etc., and I know that many women (and men for that matter) dream of having enough money to buy all this stuff, but I think this a sad reflection of what's wrong with our society. These are just products. Do they really enrich our lives? Or do we buy them as a way to conform and calm our fears so that we're not different from other people?


Even as a comedy and fluffy entertainment, I didn't find Sex and the City funny, witty or fun. It felt like one giant commercial for Starbucks, Apple, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Mercedes Benz. Yeah, I know, people really do buy this stuff, so it does have an air of authenticity, but the labels call too much attention to themselves and I sensed my movie-going experience being corporatized.

If the movie had only been about Miranda, it would have really taken off (coincidentally, Cynthia Nixon also gives the movie's best performance). Maybe it's because Miranda is the only one looking for something besides the perfect Manhattan apartment, the biggest closet, the sexiest man, the cutest baby clothes. She's looking for things that seem to matter, like trust, commitment, accomplishment. Call me old-fashioned, but shouldn't we all be looking for these things instead of synthetics and image-enhancers?

With the exception of Miranda, I never felt like the women of Sex and the City were real, and maybe they're not meant to be. Maybe the whole Sex and the City concept is meant to be a fairy tale for women who want to live the guilty pleasure lifestyle, who never want to wear the same outfit twice, who always eat at fancy restaurants and have obscene amounts of money to buy everything and anything their little hearts desire. Fine, but I don't care to be a part of it. After all, what, in the end, will all the shopping bags and products from Fifth Avenue bring these women? I hope it's that everlasting happiness they all desire because I don't feel like watching Sex and the City 2.

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