Friday, June 27, 2008

Sex and the City: The Movie

Unless you're a hardcore fan, the film will probably leave you feeling a bit pissed on the superficiality of the whole affair

A review by EMMA MUNN

Darren Star’s Sex and the City (which will hereby be known as SATC due to typing laziness) is something that most women love and most men hate, unless they are gay or metrosexual and find Manolos fabulous. It’s a generalisation but it’s true.

I fall in the (obsessive) love side, and have followed the series since the beginning, mainly because of my love of fashion.

So, like the majority of 20-something women, I almost messed myself when, last year, I discovered a film was being made. Cue endless re-watches of every episode, nail biting and scouring the internet for clues. Is it true that Miranda dies?! What about Samantha getting cancer again?! Will Carrie and Mr. Big finally tie the knot?!

Well, the answers to those questions are no, no and yes in fact, because I eventually got to see the film yesterday, after many months of near-breakdowns and doing my boyfriend’s head in about Carrie’s outfits.

If you’re anything like me, you’d have found series 6 of SATC (especially the finale, An American Girl in Paris Parts une et deux) one of the most heartbreaking, tear jerking and applause-inducing pieces of television ever made. It quite simply left you begging for more. Following on from Samantha’s (Kim Catrall‘s character, promiscuous patron for STIs and misjudged clashing colours but arguably the star of the show) recovery from breast cancer, Carrie’s (Sarah Jessica Parker’s curly haired sex columnist) flash-in-the-pan romance with an arrogant Russian who took her to Paris, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon’s fiery redhead lawyer) deciding that her husband’s terminally ill mum can live with them and Charlotte’s (Kristin Davis’ love-hopeful traditionalist) adoption of an Asian baby there was a hell of a lot of stuff to look forward to and a hell of a lot of unanswered questions.

From a fan’s point of view, the film was exactly what I wanted and more. Endless flurries of jaw-droppingly beautiful clothes, skyscraper heels, glamorous bars and glamorous people, basically so much glitter that you almost feel yourself frothing at the mouth from all the, well, frothiness.
Also, if you are an avid fan (desperately trying not to sound like a weirdo, here) you start to care about the characters and really wonder about what they’ve been doing, so in a way it was like catching up with old friends. Old friends who have a significantly fatter current account than you do, are sexier than you and manage to get you in to lots of pretty bars with waiting lists, that is. Oh to dream.

So, given all that, what does it offer to non-fans or newbies?
Well, sod all really.
Unless you’ve at least experienced one of the latter series of SATC, the film will probably leave you feeling a bit lost and disillusioned by the whole thing, and will probably also leave you feeling a bit pissed on the superficiality of the whole affair. Because, even though I adore this show, SATC is obviously a very superficial series. Fashion and nice photography has always been the primary objective. The script is okay, but just okay. It's weak, and that's a big shame. A meatier script would have made this film perfect, and above all more accesible to non-fans, who may not give a toss about the fashion but would have had a stronger plotline to hold onto.
The strange thing about the film, however, is that in all the two and a half hours (yes, only half an hour less than Titanic so bring a cushion) of it, there’s an undeniable sense that the storyline is second place to Carrie’s wardrobe. In one scene, Carrie is asked to do a bridal photo-shoot for Vogue, and after much protesting (what’s wrong with you, woman?) she agrees. Cue five minutes of nice angles of her face, and her reciting the names of the designers she’s modelling,
“Christian Dior, Vivienne Westwood, Oscar de la Renta… and CHRISTIAN LACROIX!!!) and another scene where she cleans out her wardrobe and walks around wearing her old outfits from seasons past (yes, THAT tutu, too) while her pals vote, with cards, whether she should keep them or not.
This kind of stuff is great for a couple of minutes, but there are only so many times one can say ’Oooh! Lovely dress, I remember that one… Nice… lucky cow…” Cue rabid froth once again.

And yes, Carrie does marry Mr. Big. Once almost, one properly. She’s still knocking about with him, which does bring the “SATC is female empowerment personified” argument into question. You go out on and off for ten years, he dumps you 48 times, he stands you up at the altar, but he emails (hello?) you a love letter by Byron and all is forgiven. Ms. Greer would have something to say about this, maybe. Also, there is a very drawn out scenario regarding Miranda's very sweet husband's infidelity (he shags another woman because she's very busy and she's gone off sex) which leaves you screaming at the screen for the great majority of the movie, until flogged horses come into view.

Samantha, as always, is hilarious, with some of the funniest scenes in the film. The best being an aborted Valentine's Day surprise involving sushi, "I got wasabi in places one should never get wasabi", and Charlotte's shock pregnancy will have you rooting for her after her long, heartbreaking struggle to conceive.

In short, SATC: The Movie is perfect for long-term fans like myself, girly nights in and something to watch when you’ve been dumped, but if producer Michael Patrick King wants to attract new fans from this film, he’s going to fail spectacularly.

1 comment:

Adamgv said...

I think a better plot for the story would be all the girls get rich
like in the show "Roseanne". Remember how well the show did after that plot change?