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sex and the city

Sex and The City
Michael Patrick King
Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Chris Noth, Candice Bergen, Jennifer Hudson

Richard Tara

June 24, 2008


This movie picks up where the original HBO series left off.  Much to the credit of the director Michael Patrick King, who is also the main screenwriter, the movie starts with a short rehash of the background story of the four very attractive girls who moved to New York City, actually Manhattan,  twenty years ago when they were in their twenties and their escapades with different men.

For the benefit of those of you who do not have HBO or those of you who will read this review a few years from now, when the original TV series would have long been forgotten, here is a short overview.

This movie is about four girls who have been friends for nearly 20 years.  Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) is married to Steve (David Eigenberg) and they have a young son.  They have a happy life as many couples do except that Miranda is a frigid woman and does not enjoy having sex. She is a lawyer and is more interested in her work than satisfying the natural urges of her husband who is going around the bend because of his unrequited sexuality.  Kristin Davis (Charlotte York) is married to Harry Goldenblatt.  Since they could not conceive, they have adopted an Asian girl. Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) is living with her boyfriend, Jerry, who is in the movies, in a beach house in the Los Angeles area, but she misses New York so much that she uses every excuse to fly over and meet her friends.

Finally, our star, the emotionally insecure Carrie Bradshaw played by Sarah Jessica Parker is still writing books and lives in Manhattan.  Her regular boyfriend is Mr. Big (Chris Noth) who has been married and burned twice before but is madly in love with Carrie.

Okay so far?  Now we have four stories that run in parallel.  The movie reviewer’s life is sometimes difficult since he or she has to explain the plot to the readers as well as critique the movie. Sometimes the plot is stupidly complicated and does not make sense.  However, this is not one of those occasions even though this long movie of nearly two and a half hours has many flashbacks and cut-ins.

The easiest thread to follow is the life of Kristin Davis.  After a steamy night of sex with her husband she finds out that, against all odds, she is pregnant.  Her main accomplishment for the rest of the story is to defecate (shit) in her pants while in Mexico with her three girlfriends.

Carrie Bradshaw, who is over forty and scared of being left behind by the new generation of promiscuous younger girls that are moving to the Big Apple every day, subliminally suggests marriage to Mr. Big who, on the spur of the moment, accepts the idea even though he is a two-time loser.  Carrie sells her apartment and prepares to move in to the new penthouse apartment that he has purchased for both of them.  However, Mr. Big soon has doubts about being a third time looser.  Who wouldn’t be?  At 54 he does not have another 54 years ahead of him.

Steve, Miranda’s husband who is physically and mentally deprived, finds another woman and has a relationship with her. Unlike most husbands he cannot live with his enormous guilt feeling and admits to his wife that, out of desperation, he has had a one time affair with another woman.  Miranda, the Iceberg queen, goes ballistic and leaves her husband.

The most interesting character is played by Kim Cattrall.  She is a woman approaching 50 –in real life she was 51 at the time of making this movie- who is suddenly afraid that life is passing her by.  She lives in a lonely beach house with her boyfriend.  As time goes on she feels more isolated from him since he spends most of his waking hours at the studio.  The rest of the time he is sleeping.  She was always the most promiscuous of the four.  Somehow, she has decided to be faithful to her boyfriend Jerry.  However, things are not easy in the household.  A sensuously handsome man, Dante, moves next door.  He is young, dark, gorgeous and extremely virile.  He has a new girl friend every night and to top it all performs his sexual activities in view of the frustrated sex hungry Samantha.  His sexuality drives Samantha wild with desire and then when, one night, he has sex with two young girls, poor Samantha has had enough.

Kim Cattrall exhibits one of the best performances of her acting life here.  When she looks at the striking body of Dante taking a shower you could almost sense her glands exploding, her mouth watering and her hungry eyes getting misty. 

In the second part of this movie, Mr. Big gets cold feet and does not turn up for the wedding. The jilted bride Carrie loses her bearings and has a nervous breakdown.  However, her three friends take her to Mexico for a vacation and she eventually recovers.  If we all had friends like that!

Carrie returns to New York and finds a new assistant Louise (Jennifer Hudson) and eventually returns to her normal self. But, she is over 40 and unmarried and feels the wave of the new twenty and thirty something generations pushing her out of the way into eventual oblivion.  Even her trusted assistant the twenty something Louise dumps her and heads back to Saint Louise to marry her boyfriend.

Fortunately, the movie has a happy ending for most of the participants. Carrie and Mr. Big reunite and have a quickie civil marriage in the town hall. Miranda forgives her pitiable husband and returns home.  At last, we see her having a very steamy sex session with her wimpy husband. And, steamy it was!

Kristin Davis has a new baby girl and lives happily ever after.

This brings us to Samantha.  At 50, overweight and underachieved and hankering for her New York roots, Samantha decides to leave her boyfriend. Strangely enough, he seems to be happy to get rid of her also.  He is many years younger and his star is in ascendance.

So, the four beautiful girls are all back together and celebrate their reunion at one of their favorite haunts.

Sarah Jessica Parker has always been a favorite of ours. There is something about this petite woman that is exciting. But, she has seldom had to play dramatic parts. In the middle of the movie, when she is in Mexico with her friends, she looks in the mirror and pulls her hair back to the side.  Suddenly, without makeup, she looks old.  The beauty is gone and she looks over fifty.  Her hands seem wrinkled.   That is a very poignant moment in this movie.

Cynthia Nixon is well cast as the frosty wife who was never much of a party girl.  She is statuesque and yet cold and calculating. She has found the man to breed with and has lost all interest in sex. To her having sex with her husband is more of a duty and part of their marriage agreement and that is why she goes so ballistic when she finds out about his one indiscretion.   The poor husband is a weakling character who is forever apologizing and belittling himself hoping to win back her cold affections.

We have always thought that Jennifer Hudson was a talented actress and singer.  She has proven us right in her new role. If only she would loose a few pounds.

Chris Noth has been an actor for many years.  He does not look like a 54 year old man. We would have placed him nearer late thirties.  However, he did not show any acting talent in this movie at all, just looked extremely bored most of the time.

Candice Bergen used to be the toast the TV land for many years.  She was beautiful and agile.  In this movie, she is the editor of the Vogue magazine.  She is overweight and moves ever so clumsily.  Nothing like Candice Bergen of old who glided on stage so easily and flawlessly years ago when she was a major TV star.

In our opinion, Kim Cattrall stole the show. She is a wonderful comedian with a perfect sense of facial timing.  Her interaction with herself after Dante, the sex god, moves next door is so wonderfully funny and yet poignantly heartrending.  Kim’s Samantha is a woman who has not lost any of her primitive impulses toward the opposite sex, but she realizes that the time is passing her by in favor of newer generation of players such as Dante and his many girl friends.  So, she turns into eating as a compensation and when that does not solve anything, she finally decides to leave her much younger lover Jerry and head back home to familiar surroundings.  If this was not a comedy it could have been a heart wrenching true life drama of many middle-aged women.

There are some scenes that only people who have lived in New York City would understand such as when Carrie complains to her girl friend that, in her new apartment, she has been assigned a 347 area code and she has always been a 917 girl!  I wonder how they are going to explain that in the say, Italian or the Chinese version of this movie.  This movie has several almost explicit sex scenes.  There are also scenes of gay men kissing each other on the lips.  Unlike many other movies, these are not gratuitous shots.  They are part of the plot. However since the director has gone that far to have those explicit scenes included, perhaps he should have made them last a few seconds longer to make the audience fully identify the participants and become part of the activities, fake though they may be.  We are not advocating erotica or porn, even though they have their places too.  Come to think of it, fifteen years ago, these scenes would have probably earned the movie an X rating.

We gladly give this movie star starstar1/2 and recommend that you see it. However, due to sexual content, we do not recommend seeing this movie with your youngsters.

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