Sex and the City

Review by Jane Freebury

OMG, a review of SATC when I haven’t paid attention to the series on TV! What to say? Much of my thirties spent in t-shirts, flat shoes and in the company of small children, might disqualify me from the show’s demographic of swinging singles in four-inch heels and designer dresses. Can only fess up.

So that’s me. Now for the movie. For the initiated, it’s probably a welcome return after four years of reruns since the series finished. And as a stand alone for the uninitiated, the opening montage and voice-over explains enough about the four girlfriends, their lives in New York and how things have panned out since we last heard from them. You don’t need to be a fan to get it.

I had thought the movie would be a yawn, something to be feared when you embark on two hours and half hours of running time. The first hour was indeed vacuous, but then Mr Big (Chris Noth) – seriously, what a nickname! – did what Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) feared he would, again. At last, the girls had an excuse to bond anew with a holiday in luxury resort in Mexico.

The bonding is what SATC does best, I think, showing how women can really care for each other, and be generous and kind. Though I wonder how well this intimacy, normally shared with viewers huddled around the telly, translates to the big screen.

Up to Carrie’s heartbreak, SATC seemed to care only for designer labels and outlandish earrings. When a walk-in-robe or a pair of Manolo Blahnik stilettos, was more likely to bring on orgasm than a clinch with a good man. The endless parade of brand names is a reminder that product placement is self-regulated in the US – and doesn’t it show!

If the fashions were compensatory, I have to say I agree with the girls, because most of the men they know lack substance, after all. Miranda and Charlotte are married to decent blokes, but they don’t have much profile and the other male characters are written with so little to them. Including the amply proportioned Mr Big, who has all the personality of a shopfront mannequin.

As expected, the girl talk is frank, the sex is explicit and the men don’t get much of a say. I wonder how the fellas like Dante (Gilles Marini), the object of Samantha’s desire, feel about how they are represented as hunks without much in the top paddock. Over 40 years have passed since Helen Gurley Brown’s book Sex and the Single Girl first tried to turn the tables. They’re pretty well turned in SATC, that’s for sure.

2.5 stars

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