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Sex and the City
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I saw this film on opening night in Seattle, where 90 percent of the people milling around the lobby were women in groups, dressed to kill with heels as tall as they could stand, gorgeous tops and pants, or great dresses from the far reaches of their closets. It was the closest thing to actual public sex you could have without being arrested.
And they were not disappointed; they laughed, applauded, nodded and murmured at every reminder of the television show. At the end of the film they applauded; I think they went home satisfied. I wasn't quite with them, but the fact is I liked the movie much more than I thought I would. It was not a film where one looks for insights into the human condition; it was a two-and-a-half-hour piece of fluff, and frankly there is a time and a place for fluff; we've been without it for too long, and "Sex and the City" came along at the right time.
What happens in the film is pretty much what you'd think. It is four years after the television show came to an end, and Carrie and Mr. Big (Chris Noth) now are finally ready to get married. So the first half of the film is the preparation for it; all her pals come together to help her move out of her apartment and into a new penthouse on Fifth Avenue that Mr. Big has bought for them.
Then, of course, things go wrong; very wrong. Very, very wrong. Wrong. And most of the rest of the film is concerned with how Carrie and her friends survive the wrongness, in this case by going to Mexico and making sure that all of them have had their pubic hair waxed.
Is there a happy ending? Well, yes, in a way. But now my critical faculties, such as they are, kick in. Chris Noth, who's been largely an offscreen presence in the HBO series, must now come forward to play an important role in the film, and the fact is that he is a big lump, not sexy, not attractive, and worst of all, not a good actor. He projects no personality, nothing that would make Carrie attracted to him, and you can almost see how hard she tries to make their intimate moments work on screen. But he is hopeless as a romantic lead, and so you start thinking of other ways to deal with him; how about having him killed early on, so then Carrie can find another guy? Or maybe he decides to climb Mt. Everest and falls off the mountain? Or maybe he becomes a monk or a priest and can't marry? But then he could preside at the marriage ceremony between Carrie and her new guy. Or anything other than what actually happens, which even in a piece of fluff just doesn't work. Anyway, the women were all fine, and that's really what the film is about, so hopefully "Sex and the City" has now run its course, and everyone who was there at the premiere can go home and take off those heels.
5/30/08 <! new pasted review ends on line above>