Sex and the City Movie Review (or Reflections)

(This has spoilers so don’t read if you don’t want to know what happens.)

Well, my hopes were not high. A good, smart show rarely makes a good smart movie.

My review is not super-different from the ones you have already read: if you already like the show and long for more of it, then, of course, there is some fun to the movie. I have watched about half the episodes of the show somewhat out of order while visiting my most wonderful friend (and the benefactor of this blog) in DC. The first season I thought Carrie was a spoiled brat and why would I watch such a shallow show. But, as things moved along (and I got a bit older), I thought the writing got better, the characters were richer, the friendship was wonderful, and the story lines were mostly realistic-ish, while still fun and not too realistic to be boring.

Which brings me to my huge complaint about the movie. The story lines were just not good. (This is where the spoilers come in and this mostly for people who have already seen it.) First, Miranda, my favorite, is a smart reasonable woman. What in the hell was that about Steve having sex one time with someone else, feeling TERRIBLE about it, begging for forgiveness, and Miranda is just like “nope, that’s it, I’m outta here.” I’m sorry, but that is absurd. Maybe for some traditional couple who based everything on the sanctity of marriage and monogamy, leaving so surely and quickly would make sense, but for Miranda? Clearly her friends thought it was not smart either. There was not enough explanation as to why she would be so clear-cut about the whole thing. The four friends hardly even talked about it. It was Stevehadanaffair and I’mmovingout and thatisthat. And there was maybe, two minutes of talking about it. It was not believable. It was unreasonable. It was not very Miranda like. If I would ever be so dramatic and over-reacting, I would hope my friends would be more clear about how unreasonable I was being and better encourage me to weigh all the issues at hand.

Problem two is the cancellation of the fancy Big-Carrie wedding. He barely get’s out the words, “I can’t do this,” or something like that and then rather than taking a few minutes to reassure him, she drops the phone, freaks out, and leaves. I know. This is sort of classic Carrie, but again, just too absurd to base a whole freaking movie on. It would have taken two minutes of her talking him down for him to come into the wedding – and it would have taken only a little effort on the part of her friends to remind her of this instead of running out the door immediately and then supporting her when she attacked him with the flowers. I know. It is not nice if your future husband has cold feet, especially given the long history. But to throw away a life with someone over this? No follow-up. No nothing?

Third, Miranda’s little statement to Big at the rehearsal dinner – not wise. But, for Carrie to turn this into “You ruined my marriage”? Again, this falls outside the “realistic but still fun” category into the “we had to think of a plot for the movie and this is what we could come up with” category. I know Carrie can be dramatic. Spoiled and unreasonable. Yes. She could have reasonably been upset with Miranda rather than throw a stupid fit and claim that this is what ruined her marriage. In and of itself, I guess this sliver could have been boarder-line slightly unrealistic but still believable. But mixed with all the other “doesn’t really make good sense” stuff, it was just one more thing that didn’t fit – it wasn’t the women I knew and loved. It was a goofy movie version of them.

And this last point is sort of minor, but seriously, if they were all about diversity, could they maybe have picked the only person of color in the whole move not to be Carrie’s assistant? Are there not any other roles for black people besides that of assistant? I thought Jennifer Hudson did a stellar job. But I would have liked her to be something other than a helper.

Gosh, I sound super-jaded and mean about the movie, don’t I? I don’t mean to be. Here is the thing – I didn’t expect it to be good. So it is okay. I mean, it is hard to make a good tv show into a movie. I happily hold onto those lovely tv episodes of rich, silly, funny, poignant moments of friendship and love and complexity and I am quite happy with that.

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10 Responses to Sex and the City Movie Review (or Reflections)

  1. kylydia says:

    This confirms that I really am the only woman in America who absolutely hates Sex and the City. I was holding out that you would be on my side, E! :)

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Sigh. If it makes you feel any better, I can understand why you would hate it. What can I say? I got sucked in? I feel a little bad about it since I would really like to indignantly hate it. But I can’t.

  3. Chalicechick says:

    I took the Miranda thing to be that Miranda doesn’t have a whole lot of certainty in her life. She doesn’t seem to have a family and even her pregnancy was an accident, so for Steve, who wasn’t terribly interesting but whose saving grace was that he loved Miranda, to cheat felt like a huge betrayal.

    I don’t know.

    I thought it was interesting that they felt like the big wedding wasn’t them. I thought it was very much them, more so than the simpler wedding.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I see what you are saying with Miranda. I have a strong tendency to magnify people’s good qualities, and overlook their weaknesses. Maybe I did this with Miranda thinking she was super-strong, when really she is more vulnerable than that and depended on Steve’s commitment and unconditional fidelity more than I thought she would (should).

    I agree on the wedding thing. The whole weird dress suit thing – I think it was Carrie trying to be an adult, then she got caught up in fancy dress, etc., regressed to drama and absurdity, and the simpler wedding was the return to “I am not 29 and single but 40 something and getting married and having a stable life” Carrie.

    Not that, um, I think about this that much.

  5. JustHinting says:

    Will no one address the content in this movie? I think this movie portrays women in a dirty way. What do you think about the content or premise of Sex and the City? I found this interview where an Entertainment columnist, James Hirsen, talked about (actress/model) Lauren Hutton who says it portrays “A myth of natural female promiscuity”. She also says it’s because it’s written by guys who are “sluts.” It’s a great interview you should just hear it out and maybe you’ll think a little different. It’s the second topic in the interview so give it a couple seconds.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I don’t have the time or energy to respond to people who are promoting what JustHinting is writing about above. I only leave the comment up in order to be able to point out that it so counter to what this blog is about and what I stand for. I know it is probably spam, written by someone going around posting this at every blog that writes about Sex and the City. Maybe I should have just deleted. Maybe I will. But in the meantime, ignore her link and instead read Can a feminist really love Sex and the City? http://lifeandhealth.guardian.co.uk/women/story/0,,2273785,00.html – not an answer or an endorsement, but something to read if you, you know, want to think about complexity and that sort of thing. Which is sort of the opposite of Sex and the City for me, but hey, whatever floats your boat.

  7. Chalicechick says:

    Also, Miranda had always called the shots in the relationship and in cheating, Steve took some of the power for himself.

    Not that I’m thinking about it.

    I think it’s weird that Hintin is talking about the promiscuity of four women who in the movie have been monogamous for five years.

    CC

  8. Lizard Eater says:

    Regarding Steve and Big, I think it was about having an underlying negative expectation but getting past it … so then, when it is proven “true,” it is that much more of a betrayal.

    Miranda never trusted guys. Built a life for herself where she didn’t depend on one. So, she breaks with that, does the traditional thing, and trusts Steve. Steve betrays the trust (and makes her feel bad about herself for a) trusting and b) “maybe the affair was my fault” intimated in her blowup at Samantha re: bikini waxing). He proved her first assumption — men can’t be trusted — correct.

    Big “taught” Carrie time and again that he couldn’t be trusted. He broke her heart over and over. Therefore, when they were on the phone, it only took a second for her to jump to the conclusion that he was doing it yet again, rather than hearing him out. Like Miranda, she had issues unto herself — what did she do wrong, why did she trust him again, etc.

    My complaint was that Charlotte was so *not* fleshed out in the movie. She was happy, she got pregnant, she was mad at Big. But we all know we happily married women are SOOOO boring …

    Just say it last night with my homies. Other mommies. “Momies?” Oh God, now I’m channeling Carrie.

  9. Chalicechick says:

    Yeah, Charlotte was pretty much the comic relief, but she is my favorite and it would have been nice if she had gotten more of a plot.

    CC

  10. patrick says:

    i noticed that Sex and the City has a polarizing effect on both men and women… people either love the movie or they hate it

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