Sex and the City
Packed in a Louis Vuitton Box...

Look, let’s just get this out on the table: if you’re a fan, you’re going to see this movie no matter what I say. If you’re not a fan, this review isn’t going to change your mind. So ultimately—as a review—this article doesn’t really matter. Instead, think of it as a travelogue documenting a trip to a strange, mysterious place known as Sex and the City.

Although I’ve never actually seen an episode of the television series, I was vaguely aware of the basic plot. Four single friends, living in New York, wearing fashionable clothing, and presumably having sex. The movie picks up the plot four years later. Things have moved on. They’re not all single, they don’t all live in New York, they still wear fashionable clothing and at least one of them isn’t having sex. I’m not telling which one.

Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the CityThe main plot revolves around Carrie and Big, and their quest for the perfect apartment. No wait, maybe I got that wrong. The main plot is the relationship struggles between Miranda and Steve. Or, hmm… it might be the ongoing story of Charlotte and Harry’s attempts to have a child. If that’s not it, it has to be Samantha’s angst at finding herself in a monogamous relationship. I don’t know, take your pick. There are limitless of plotlines here. Something for everyone!

All of the favorite characters from the series are back, reprised by the original actors. Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Chris Noth and more. Joining them is Academy Award‑winning actress Jennifer Hudson, who appears as Carrie’s assistant after a series of interviews that provided some of the more humorous parts of the movie.

The characters aren’t the only ones with issues here. As a movie, Sex and the City has problems of its own; unsurprisingly, many of them are driven by the fact that this is an ensemble cast, with four leading actresses who each have their screen time, story, and resolution. It adds up to a ponderous film with a running time around two and a half hours.

I’m sure that for fans this isn’t a deal breaker. For the uninitiated it results in a real marathon experience, particularly when you don’t already have an investment in the story. The other problem I have is that I didn’t get the sense that the movie was substantially different from the television series. Normally, when a show leaps from the small screen to the big screen, an effort is made to amp things up to the next level; this, however, just felt like two or three weekly (or, perhaps, weakly) episodes all crammed together.

In my estimation, the end result is basically a really long movie about nothing much at all—the cinematic equivalent, perhaps, of a lightweight romance novel sponsored by Louis Vuitton, Vera Wang, and Mercedes Benz. It’s the sort of thing that has a built-in audience of devotees, but doesn’t make a ripple outside of that circle. And honestly, I think that’s what the makers intended. Sex and the City is a film deliberately designed to satisfy the fans of the series while providing a sense of closure after a six-season run on television. Judging by the enthusiastic response from the test audience with which I screened it, I’d say they hit their mark.

Sex and the City is rated R for “strong sexual content, graphic nudity and language.” Indeed, they are having sex in the city. But honestly, this isn’t surprising is it?

Courtesy of a local publicist, Michael attended a promotional screening of Sex and the City.