Well, it’s finally time to get Carried away, as they say. The series that became the voice of smart and sophisticated single women all over the world hits the big screen in theaters all across the nation today. With the media storm surrounding Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda, I bet you’re wondering, does it live up to the hype? Is it all I ever wanted and more? Will I get to see tons of cameos from all the high-end fashion labels that I couldn’t afford if my life depended on it? The answer to all your questions is a simple yes, more or less. Because when it comes to love, sex, fashion and those iconic Cosmos, the four single women that took Manhattan by storm do not disappoint.
“Year after year,”as Carrie says in the opening of the film, 20-something women come to New York City in search of the two ‘L’s: labels and love.” Yes, they sure do, however our fashion forward heroines have graduated from searching for their two “L’s” to actually doing the third “L,”: living, in love, and with labels.
Direct Michael Patrick King reunites us with the fabulous foursome just as we left them 5 years ago, give or take some details. Carrie, who is now sometimes contributing to Vogue, is no longer writing her infamous newspaper column, and instead working on her fourth book, as we come to find out that her three previous ones were best-sellers. She’s reached a new, mature point in her life, and that philosophy extends to her relationships, including the one she has with Mr.Big (Chris Noth). Charlotte on the other hand, is enjoying life not only as a wife, but as a mother to a girl, Lily, whom they adopted from China.
Sex-crazed Samantha has relocated to our very own Los Angeles and is living with Smith Jared ( Jason Lewis), the man she helped turn into a bonafide celebrity. And as for Miranda, who is living in Brooklyn (which might as well be another state, as far as she’s concerned) with her husband Steve (David Eigenberg) and their son Brady, the pressures of being a working mother have been weighing her down.
Though friends through thick and thin, each woman is experiencing a significantly different chapter in her life. Carrie is coming to terms with being a successful woman who is also in a successful relationship, Charlotte has had all her dreams finally come true, Samantha, who has devoted the last couple years to her man’s career, feels herself getting lost in the City of Angels and Miranda finds that balancing work and family is a more daunting task than she imagined.
They all go on their merry way, until Ms.Bradshaw reveals that she is going to become Mrs.Big, and the party planning ensues. Charlotte summons sensational wedding planner Anthony Marentino (Mario Cantone) and as the movie gets longer (it’s 2 hours and 22 minutes long. Yes, it’s that long.), so does Carrie’s guest list. What follows are plot twists and turns all rooted in tried true and tested cliches; woman takes appropriate role as wedding-crazed bridezilla, man gets cold (or damp in this case) feet and trouble slowly creeps into paradise.
As Carrie soon finds out, her friends are there, yet again, offering three shoulders for her to lean on, as she slowly struggles to get her life back to order. Throw in the mix is Louise from St. Louis (Jennifer Hudson), whom Carrie hires as an assistant to micro manage and organize her life, because, well her friends are too preoccupied with their own drama to be able to help Carrie sort her mail, cancel appointments and design her website.
This is nothing we haven’t seen before. However, fans who have been waiting years to see Carrie’s quartet on the big screen, won’t notice or much less care. Through all of Carrie’s trials and tribulations that were squeezed into a neat 30-minute package of viewing perfection, her heartaches and breaks become almost unbearable and quite painful to watch when magnified on the big screen, and the same goes for Patricia Field’s styling and designing of Carrie and Co.’s fun and fabulous fashions that might make you see dollar signs if you squint hard enough. No doubt, these couture queens look amazing and for any regular fashion fiend, their wardrobes are a visual masterpiece. However at times the bold, bright colors, irregular shapes and eclectic pairings tread into overload territory, while you begin to wonder, how many third world nations could be fed with the money that is being so generously handed to the supporting actors and actresses of the film, Mr. Blahnik, Mr.Vuitton, Ms.Westwood and Von Fursternberg and countless others.
And if you thought that those familiar faces, uh, fashions weren’t product placement enough, I have news for you. Expect blatant cameos from the iPhone and Vitamin Water. Although these things are expected from such an anticipated blockbuster, seeing them in a movie you’ve consciously chosen to watch is not only irritating, but down right annoying.
The HBO series which attracted the most unexpected of fans and catapulted four women to international stardom for six seasons was more than anyone could have hoped for. It explored a segment of society that had long been ignored and overshadowed by the acceptable charades of men. Sex and the City explored the nitty gritty of relationships through Carrie and her trusty (except the one time that it crashed) Apple laptop, the way no one had done before. Women (and men) embraced the ideals of smart, sex-loving single women who made no apologies for who they were and dared to live proudly
But deep down, the four warriors waging love and sex for womankind were just as vulnerable as anyone else. And although the fashions are overwhelming, and the plot was in a sense a regurgitation of every other love story gone wrong, in the end, you feel for these women, and this is coming from someone who although, watched the show regularly, was never obsessive compulsive about it. To an average Sex and the City fan, the big screen version will not disappoint, despite the mixed reviews. Once a Sex and the City fan, always a Sex and the City Fan, is what I always say.
“Sex and the City.” Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity and language. Running time: 2 hours, 22 minutes.
Photos courtesy of New Line Cinema