Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Sex and the City

This post contains Sex and the City spoilers!

I saw the Sex and the City movie yesterday. It was pretty exciting hearing the theme song and seeing Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon and Kim Cattrall back as Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha. As usual, Michael Patrick King's script had a lot of witty one-liners. New York City looked wonderful on the big screen. In the end, I enjoyed it but didn't absolutely love it. At nearly 2 1/2 hours, the movie felt a little bloated, especially after the first 90 minutes.

For one thing, we spent way too much time in Los Angeles with Samantha and her boyfriend Smith, played by Jason Lewis. I've always found them to be two of the least interesting characters in the series. The part where Samantha covers her body in sushi as she waits for Smith to return home from work on Valentine's Day wasn't all that funny. On the other hand, there were some lovely shots of the Pacific, and some very nice next-door neighbor eye candy.

Some characters I wanted to see more of, like Evan Handler's Harry and Willie Garson's Stanford, didn't have a lot to say. I don't think Garson had more than a half-dozen lines. Harry and Charlotte's story didn't have much drama, other than the drama of waiting for Charlotte's baby. Maybe because they were so happy, the movie seemed to spend less time on them.

One of the most haunting images of the HBO series was seeing Charlotte after her miscarriage. I'll never forget how she looked, curled up on a couch, no makeup, looking absolutely exhausted and defeated. This pregnancy is obviously a big deal, but her fears are basically dealt with in a couple lines and then we move on.

Jennifer Hudson's role as Carrie's assistant didn't really do anything for me either. Plus, her character supposedly has a degree in computer science, so don't you think she could have found a better-paying job? I mean, how much could Carrie possibly be paying an assistant?

But like I said, I did enjoy the movie. It was great seeing the four good friends reunited. My favorite scenes were just watching them with each other. I loved Carrie's fashion shoot for Vogue, dressed up in all of those gorgeous wedding gowns. I was really choked up at the New Year's Eve montage, accompanied by a slow, mournful rendition of Auld Lang Syne.

My big problem was what happens in the end between Carrie and Chris Noth's Big. (Wasn't it weird hearing him called by his actual name - John James Preston?)

When they finally decide to get married, Carrie planned an elaborate wedding at the New York Public Library, and a lavish reception for 200 people. Big wanted a simple ceremony at City Hall. So what happens? He gets cold feet and leaves Carrie at the altar. (Actually, before she even makes it to the altar).

She's utterly humiliated, and I cannot believe that she'd ever give him another chance. The guy's been married twice before. He pulls something like this and well, a girl's gotta wonder. Would you trust him? But what happens in the end? Carrie goes back to him. I understand this is a big-budget Hollywood movie, and it's practically against the law to have an unhappy ending. I understand that despite everything, she loves him. Still, it was just a little hard to take.

If Big really was having serious second thoughts on the morning of their wedding, I certainly wouldn't have wanted him to go through with it, just because Carrie was waiting for him. It's just that the way it happened seemed so cruel. She was devastated.

And when they finally do get married, it's the small affair at City Hall that Big wanted in the first place. What Big did was reprehensible. He absolutely ruined the day that she wanted. I imagine that Carrie has dreamed her whole life about having a fairytale wedding. Carrie forgives him, and they tie the knot - but on his terms. I don't know if that portents good or ill for the start of their married life.

I could understand Miranda forgiving David Eigenberg's Steve for his sexual indiscretion. Maybe that doesn't make much sense, given how I feel about Big. Maybe it's just because I think Steve is basically a nice, decent person, but I was glad that they got back together.

Big, on the other hand, has always struck me as a bit self-absorbed. Well, maybe he's changed in the end, because he does tell Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda about the wedding, and everyone - spouses and kids in tow, assembles for a celebratory lunch afterward. So maybe he has turned over a new leaf. I'll take that as a hopeful sign.

Ok, end of rant.

And for the curious: The cute, redheaded Joseph Pupo, apparently making his movie debut as Miranda and Steve's son, is listed in the credits as Brady Hobbes. So apparently, he didn't take Steve's last name and has been spared getting saddled with the unfortunate Brady Brady.


Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Hey Esther, After reading your post, I realized that men and women may indeed live on different planets.

I actually felt very sorry for Mr. Big, who clearly was thinking that Carrie was ignoring his last minute calls. While he may have had cold feet, the fact is, he tried to return only to have Carrie and friends all overreact. The wedding could have gone on.

Making matters worse was that Miranda didn't promptly fess up to her slip of the tongue that could have made the movie about a half hour shorter.

I have always loved the characters in "Sex And The City," including Mr. Big. And it was a pleasure seeing them all on the big screen.

Esther said...

That's funny Steve! Yeah, I guess I can see it from the other perspective. It's not that I hate Big, but if I had to choose a man for Carrie, I would have picked that cute, artsy Aidan! And you're right, it was a pleasure seeing everyone on the big screen.

Joseph said...

I've never been a huge fan of the show (however I've seen a lot of episodes and am pretty familiar with the characters). But the movie was sorta (stick with me on this!) Star Trek-ish. By that I mean, fans of the series enjoyed the movie, while non-fans enjoyed a lot less. At least for me.

Although I would love to see Sex in the Outer Limits of Space. I smell a Mystery Scinece Theatre revival!

Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

I agree with Joseph and understand his logic completely.

Esther said...

Yeah, I agree with Joseph, too. The Star Trek analogy is perfect. I definitely think the movie resonates more with people who love the tv series. I remember going to the first Star Trek movie, too, and as someone who wasn't a huge fan, I'm sure I felt the same way as a non Sex and the City fan.