Monday, June 2, 2008

Sex and the City: The Movie

Let’s talk about Sex. Those of you (mostly women, I’ll assume) who swore by HBO’s hit series can find comfort in the latest emotional ups and downs of Carrie and Co. It’s been four years since the show ended and the film wastes no time catching us up.

Where we left off: Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) and her longtime flame Mr. Big (Chris Noth) proclaimed their undying love for one another. Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) moved to Brooklyn with companion Steve and their son. Samantha (Kim Cattrall) found a lasting love in television actor Smith (Jason Lewis), and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) was living happily ever after with husband Harry and their newly adapted baby.

Where we are now: In the four years since the show ended, Carrie is now a published and popular book writer. She is still with Big and they are still happy. Miranda is still working too hard as a lawyer, taking her work home with her far too often (like… no sex in six months too often), Samantha lives in Hollywood working as Smith’s manager, and Charlotte, well, she lives happily ever after with husband Harry and their now older adapted child.

Where the conflict is: Carrie and Big get a swank, 5th Avenue pad, and decide to get married. Steve tells Miranda about a slip, Samantha misses New York and is sexually frustrated (“We’re going to be one of those couples that only has sex three or four times a week.”), and Charlotte, well, she gets what she’s always wanted in her happy ever after fairy tale life.

The good news is that fans of the show will like getting more of the same. The bad news is that it is just too damn long. We are used to watching a 22 minute episode, and when that is bumped up to a two and half hour movie, well, it can wear and tear at your patience. The film is basically five episodes viewed back to back, spanning a year in the lives of your favorite women.

Series writer Michael Patrick King directs the film with the same sensibilities as the series; meaning, the women are great, particularly Parker who has never seemed more comfortable as an actress than playing Carrie in Milanos.

Sex and the City the TV show was full of spunk and raging wit. The film has that, but in a dragged out, endurance -testing format. Where the show thrived on unique storytelling, the film boils down to basic chick-flick formula, not too many surprises are given; even the most dedicated fans could find themselves wanting more.

Given the film’s monstrous first weekend box office gross ($55.7 million for an R-rated film is amazing, $55.7 million for an R-rated chick flick is unheard of) I expect that you will be seeing a lot more Sex, sooner rather than later. B-


  1. You hit it on the head - too long. At least it was better than the second movie, which was just about unwatchable.

    I tried to think of TV series that continued as movies. Not the basis for, or a remake of, but just took a regular series and kept going with at least some of the same main cast. It's not as common as I thought. And then trying to find some that were actually good was of course a smaller subset. Some people would note sci-fi series (Star Trek, Firefly/Serenity, X-Files, MST3K), but I wouldn't quite call those good, just longer episodes. Maybe Twin Peaks? I imagine the main problem is that most of the source tv shows aren't that great to start with, so there's no reason a longer version would be better.

    1. Shit man, I honestly consider the sequel to this film to be one, if not THE very worst film ever made. Fucking atrocious.

      Yep, I agree, I'm not sure most of those TV shows-turned movies were very good to begin with, and therein lies the problem. I also agree that most of the movies are just extended episodes of the show, which is... I dunno, cheap feeling, in a way.

      Mark Wahlberg has been trying to get an Entourage movie made since that show went off the air. Now, I LOVED that show, but it got noticeably worse as time went on. We're used to 27 minutes at a time. 127 may be a tad too many.

    2. The sequel is bad. Very bad. No, worse than that. But it can't be the worst film ever made, because Tom Green isn't in it.

  2. Seeing the comment above I kind of agree that most movie continuations of TV series are pretty bad, but there are also some great ones, like South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, Borat, Wayne's World and The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!. All funny. But there are also some good films based on tv series, like The Muppets, Starsky & Hutch, Maverick, The Addams Family, Star Trek 2009 (I dig it, but kind of meh), and some great ones 21 Jump Street, Mission: Impossible, The Untouchables (another De Palma one), Get Smart, The Fugitive and, one that I never saw but I heard is great, Traffic. And some others that I didn't watch Veronica Mars, In the Loop, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, The Equalizer, Miami Vice and Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa.

    1. It's a hit or miss genre, for sure. Some good, some great. Some meh, some horrible. Wayne's World... I love that damn film.