Thanks for checking out our Sex and the City review. There hasn’t been a more female gender pop cultural phenomena in my lifetime than the hit TV show “Sex and the City“. Just about every woman I’ve known the last few years own at least one season on DVD, and many of them own them all. Even women I’ve dated would talk to me at times in allegories from the show… which would always go totally over my head since I’ve never seen a single episode (then again, it’s not like I ever understood women anyway… no man has).
So off I tromp to see Sex and the City. I went with two women I know and the theater was pretty full. One of the girls turned to me about 5 minutes before the movies was supposed to start and said “I don’t see any men in here”. I looked around, and sure enough all I saw were a lot of ladies. So I yelled out “Are there any other men here!?!?!” Two men raised their hands… and yes… they were each with their wives.
A few minutes later to much fanfare and much anticipation, the movie began. Was Sex and the City any good? Would I, a MAN who has never seen a single episode be able to enjoy it? Surprisingly yes!
THE GENERAL IDEA
The synopsis for Sex and the City looks something like this: “Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), successful author and everyone’s favorite fashion icon-next-door, is back, her famously sardonic wit intact and sharper than ever, as she continues to narrate her own story about sex, love and the fashion-obsessed single woman in New York City.
Sex and the City finds Carrie, Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) four years after the hit HBO series ended, as our favorite femmes fashionables continue to juggle jobs, friendships and relationships while they start to navigate motherhood, marriage and Manhattan real estate… some of them may even — brace yourself — brave other boroughs outside Manhattan.”
Essentially, Carrie and Mr. Big (her long time love interest on the show) decide to get married. The film then races through various themes of love, commitment, individuality, forgiveness, friendship, loss, loneliness… and just about every other human condition you can think of.
The film was funny. Pure and simple it did the one thing I didn’t really expect it to be able to do: It made me laugh. A lot. I know this will sound odd, but there were a number of times I caught myself picturing Judd Apatow writing the film. No seriously… I think if Apaow had written a Sex and the City the movie… this is the movie he probably would have come up with. The humor was more “male” than I expected it to be… and a little more crude at times… I loved it. 4-5 solid laugh out loud moments… with many many more giggles. On that level, quite entertaining.
In most movies, you have characters that make their way through the story. But Sex and the City didn’t really have a story. The characters WERE the story, and in this context it really worked because of the diversity in the 4 main characters and their legitimate charm and likeability (aside from the Miranda character)… but most importantly because of the long tested chemistry between them all. The chemistry of that on screen friendship was palpable and carried the movie.
Although sometimes a bit forced, I found the emotional and touching scenes worked. Each of the main characters go through significant challenges emotionally in the movie (which is a weakness… but I’ll get to that in a bit) and at times it is communicated quite well.
At just a hair under 2 hours and 20 minutes, Sex and the City is TOO LONG. The movie had a wonderful pace to it right up to about the 90 minute mark, and it felt like the movie was totally ready at that point to head into a 10-15 minute wrap up. It would have been perfect. But instead, the movie dragged on for over another half hour before heading into that wrap up. It was at that point that the movie felt stretched out and unnecessary. A part of the reason the film was too long was….
There was simply too much going on. For some reason the producers felt the need to give each and every one of the 4 main characters a significant story line sub-plot instead of one central story or without tying them together. 4 full stories takes screen time, each one interrupting the other and causing far to many themes to be brought into it. It’s not that any of the stories weren’t good, nor that any of the themes introduced weren’t worthy ones to be explored… but in food terms, if you’re making a soup, it doesn’t matter if you use 100 good ingredients, if you use all 100 the soup becomes a bit of a mess. You’re unable to appreciate the flavors of each one because it all becomes lost in the jumble of competing flavors. Sex and the City had too many ingredients going at the same time, and as such it hindered our ability to savor or appreciate any single one of them.
Some of the “life lessons” in the movie I found to be total nonsense. But really that isn’t important. The movie is about the characters and what they think… not about what I agree with. If their life lessons were consistent with the characters from the show, that’s what’s important I guess.
Surprisingly… nay… SHOCKINGLY I, a male who had never seen an episode of the show before, ended up enjoying the Sex and the City movie and found myself having been entertained by the end. Very funny, some great crude yet smart humor and charming characters with a great chemistry are all strong enough to overcome an unnecessarily over stuffed script with too many sub plots and themes and an extra 30-40 minutes of unneeded run time. Not a “great” movie when all is said and done, but certainly a movie worth watching. Overall I give Sex and the City a 6.5 out of 10