September 9, 2008 -- I'm really not the right target audience for “Sex in the City: The Movie,” so I went in with low expectations, but was surprised that I liked it so much. I don't think Sarah Jessica Parker is attractive, I never watched the TV series on which this movie is based and I think high fashion is a joke. What got to me was not the incredibly superficial lives of some of these characters, but the multiple romances in this overloaded story. Some of these romances were really quite moving, despite the fact these romantic story lines are very predictable.
Sarah Jessica Parker, who plays main character Carrie Bradshaw in the film, exercises some strong dramatic muscles in one scene, where she savagely attacks another character, expressing both anguish and rage. It is a surprising scene in an otherwise lightweight romantic comedy. A similar scene, with less intensity, occurs when Miranda Hobbes (played by Cynthia Nixon) becomes enraged with her husband Steve (David Eigenberg) but her anger quickly turns cold, rather than hot. Both scenes play as overreactions to the stimulus at hand, but are within the range of believability. The third of four longtime friends, Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) plays an aging career woman who is managing the career of her younger lover (Smith Jerrod, played by Jason Lewis) in California. She misses New York and she feels she is losing herself. Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) seems to be the most well adjusted of four friends, having a fairly normal life, but we learn she has her own fears and insecurities.
Samantha seems the most purely comic character of the lot. Her only real crisis seems to be that she's worried she is not self-centered enough. She needn't worry on that count. She also overeats when tempted by another man. She seems to think she's the only person in the world to ever have to deal with temptation. Pretty funny. Such a drama queen. Carrie is the only one of the four women we see doing much actual work for a living, though all have extravagant lifestyles, annually spending enough money on trifles to feed a thousand villages in Africa. Miranda is stressed out by motherhood. Charlotte is stressed out from impending motherhood. Carrie is stressed out over planning her wedding. In the overall scheme of things, these are small problems, but the four lead actresses really breathe life into these characters and make their problems seem a lot more substantial than they really are. Even though I could see the conclusions of some of these storylines coming long in advance of the payoffs, the payoffs were sweet and touching just the same. Romantic comedy is not revelatory, it is a feel good formula, and it works here. This film rates a B.
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