ENTERTAINMENT/FILM

Urban Review Of “Sex And The City,” In Theaters Now

SEX AND THE CITY: THE MOVIE ®

Movie Biases:
Potential great date movie?

Major Players:
Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis, Chris Noth, and writer/director Michael Patrick King (all from TV’s “Sex and the City”).

Carrie. Miranda. Charlotte. Samantha Jones. Oh yes, the ladies (and their wardrobes) are back, as fierce and stylistically puzzling as ever. This movie doesn’t need me, your garden variety heterosexual single black man. What this movie is, however, is a clarion call to women the world over. Despite some backlash from the black female community, “Sex and the City” is so ingrained in a woman’s DNA - much like Oprah - that my ex’s Pavlovian response at 11 PM was to turn to TBS to get her Carrie Bradshaw fix every weeknight like most Prada-lovin’ American females. Is there ANYTHING in this movie for the fellas? Gentlemen, there are rubies to be found if you just hang around…

I get why the plot has been little hush-hush. The ladies are four years older, if not happier: Samantha’s (Cattrall) still her potty-mouthed self, living in LA as manager to TV star boyfriend Smith Jerrod (Jason Lewis); Charlotte (Davis) still enjoys her husband Harry (Evan Handler) and adopted Asian baby Lily (shared by ADORABLE twins Alexandra & Parker Fong); Miranda (Nixon) still type A’s her way through lawyer life with her son Brady (Joseph Pupo) and bartender husband Steve (David Eigenberg); and then there’s Carrie (Parker) and Mr. Big (Noth), a.k.a. John James Preston. At a crux in their own relationship, it’s no secret from the commercials that they plan for the wedding event of the season, giving the “SATC” girls an excuse to get together continuously and drink cosmos.

Yet, unexpected turns in each of the women’s stories pitch “Sex” into surprisingly serious and dramatic territory, each with the potential to affect their relationships with the men in their lives - and each other.

“Sex and the City” has never been much about the plot, but more about the characters, the clothes, and the, well, you know. Here, “SATC” has the advantage of all four, most notably the plot. True, this movie is LONG, clocking in at some two and a half hours.

Somehow, Michael Patrick King keeps it all moving, weaving three very compelling storylines with a less satisfying fourth (felt like there wasn’t much for Charlotte to do but bug her eyes out and be supportive).

The setup of examining everyone’s happily ever after starts off with fizzy frivolity before giving way to decent drama (and acting) for the cosmo queens. Plus, they do it with style - all the name brands are here and then some, whizzing over my head like batting statistics to many of the fairer sex. How glam is the wardrobe? Shoot, I found myself saying “Wow, those are nice shoes” and “That’s a nice top.” Good lord - does this make me gay?!?!

Fear not for your masculinity, brothas, there’s stuff for you here, too. How about copious female nudity, courtesy of Samantha’s oversexed LA neighbor? Try a plus sized Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) as Carrie’s bright-eyed, purse-renting young assistant Louise from St. Louis, busting out of just about every fab outfit. She’s moved to New York “to fall in love” (awwww). Thanks to some very solid writing, a universally emotional King script will truly have your girl on the edge of her seat, if not into yours. Fellas, if you can’t get some after this movie, there is simply none to be had.

Fashion Week, lunches, a Mexican getaway - all of this is nice but mere background for the seamless performances of the cast. Kim Cattrall is cougar perfection as fifty-year-old reformed playa Samantha Jones, whose struggles with monogamy and her waistline are extremely relatable. No one can simultaneously rock outrageous dresses with a patronizingly sexy, dopey-girl smile the way Cattrall’s sex bomb Samantha does.

Adding another layer to her redheaded ice queen, Nixon’s Miranda is so jaded by the reality of her sexless union that she doesn’t have time to wax and can be found muttering “Marriage ruins everything” (thanks for the head’s up, Miranda - I’m scared straight). Maybe it’s because I haven’t watched much “SATC” since it ended its HBO run years ago, but Kristin Davis’ big-eyed, bouncy optimist Charlotte seems almost three-dimensional now. Her screams of delight are as shocking as a bit of newly-formed pessimism late in the movie: “Nobody gets everything they want.” Carrie’s response? “You can’t stop being who you are because you’re afraid.” Bravo.

And what of Carrie and Big? There would be no movie if Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie had it all together. Older and a bit bonier, Parker as Carrie still expresses herself through astute voiceover and fashion forward/faux pas clothes, turning in a nicely done emotional performance as “Sex’s” Beyonce. Noth is all Cheshire cat grin and fine suits as Mr. Big, Carrie’s perennial “will he or won’t he” boyfriend with the, um, biggest potential. Their love is full grown, adult, sophisticated yet passionate - the chemistry is palpable.

Once again, I state that as a heterosexual black male, I haven’t been missing the ladies of “Sex and the City.” I was, however, curious to see if they could pull it all off, that whole tricky TV-to-movie transition, shoes and purses be damned (heresy, I know, ladies).

With only the clearly calculated but ultimately endearing move of casting a sistagurl as Carrie’s junior BFF (I know it’s all a white girl fantasy, but the New York City of HBO’s “SATC” hasn’t been that white in reality since it was called New Amsterdam), and the “Titanic”-esque run time of 148 minutes detracting, “Sex” gives it to you in startlingly touching fashion.

Fellas, you are safe to bring a date. Ladies, you are safe to rev up those “Sex and the City” movie parties. It’s cheaper than a pair of Manolos - and in your size, too.

@@@ REELS
(THREE REELS)

It’s pretty hot – go give it a shot.

Edwardo Jackson is the author of the novels EVER AFTER and NEVA HAFTA, (Villard/Random House), a writer for The 213 Magazine, and an LA-based screenwriter. Visit his website at www.edwardojackson.com where his new novel I DO? is available NOW.


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