June 6, 2008

Movie Review: Sex and the City

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“Carrie fever” is not an affliction experienced solely by Beyonce in Jay-Z’s “’03 Bonnie and Clyde.” Racing to get to an 8:01 p.m. showing of Sex and the City, I ransacked my room searching for something worthy to wear in the presence of The Sex. There was no dress code printed on prepaid tickets, or any memo passed on by the media, but any loyal Bradshaw fan knows that Sex and the City is synonymous with “Sex and Manolos.” Alas, my pragmatic self proved too strong and I chose jeans and a sweatshirt instead, but upon entering the theater I quickly found out that I was severely underdressed for the occasion. Running amuck were packs of girlfriends donning stilettos and mini dresses — they had clearly been planning this ladies’ night out forever. Armed with a Louis Vuitton and a diamond ring, I hoped that I had compensated for my decision against the tiny dress and heels.
So was Sex and the City really all that it was sexed up to be? I have heard both sides of the argument, but to those who left disappointed, I have to ask just what their expectations were. By no means did I expect Sex and the City to be worthy of Oscar praise and cinematic glory. As a loyal fan of The Sex seasons one through six, what always kept me coming back was the frank humor, the fantasy of being a sexually free, successful professional woman in New York and, of course, the shoes. All in all, the movie was just what it was supposed to be: sex, couture and friendship. It was just as fabulous as I had hoped it would be.
I have few nitpicky things to say about the film, although I thought it was slightly lacking in what would usually be a very tightly themed plot. No matter how ridiculous the theme, the Sex and the City writers were masters of consistency and fluidity. Inevitably a show would open with a line introducing the plot and close with Bradshaw’s final related question, always beginning with, “I couldn’t help but wonder.” The movie had only a speckling of the crisp themes I had grown so accustomed to. Although it attempted to weave in Cinderella (most obviously), and forgiveness (kind of), it undoubtedly could have been done better.
The plot didn’t stray far from the usual: Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) is faced with her usual “Big” problem, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) deals with the harsh realities of her own cynicism and stubbornness, Samantha (Kim Cattrall) goes against nature by battling the carnal urge which she is so accustomed to following and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) provides romanticism, as always, in addition to much needed comic relief. Of course, there would be no sex without their men: the no longer anonymous John James Preston aka “Mr. Big” (Chris Noth), Harry Goldenblatt (Evan Handler), Steve Brady (David Eigenberg) and Smith Jarrod (Jason Lewis), who was single-handedly responsible for the gay population present and gave us girls another reason to see The Sex.
Thematic slip-ups aside, the fashions in the movie were like a standard episode —blown-up, glitzed-up with Gucci galore and finished off with five times the Fendi. The fashion montages were abundant: Carrie in Herrera, Carrie in Oscar de la Renta, Carrie in Vivienne Westwood; Samantha carrying Gucci, Samantha carrying Prada, Samantha carrying Versace, and all in a Mercedes! Oh my. It was a fashion-gasm, and that was just what we girls wanted.
As our four favorite women of New York wrestle with conflicts presented by their most dynamic accessories (their men), we watch where their lives are four years after Mr. Big goes to Paris and carries his Carrie away from the inattentive Russian, Aleksandr Petrovsky. The end will leave you wondering whether or not Carrie takes a giant emotional leap forward just to fall two giant leaps back, but I suppose, if Carrie, is Cinderella (just wearing Manolo Blahnik instead of a glass slipper), then the finale was more than “fitting.” Still, I couldn’t help but wonder: Just because the shoe fits, does it mean that the right thing to do is to wear it?