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SEX AND THE CITY, 2008
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SEX AND THE CITY
Movie Review
Directed by Michael Patrick King
Starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall
Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon
Review by Eli Manning



SYNOPSIS:

It's 3 year later since Carrie and Big (John) joined in Paris to reunite again and conceive their love for each other. Everything has remained the same, as everything has changed.

REVIEW:

The trick to make a movie that is basically the sequel to a long running (and very successful) television series is to make sure that the person watching it can still be involved into the story and the characters without ever having watched the actual show.

Of course 99% of the people going to see this movie will have seen the show, but you can never assume that if you're a screenwriter and director (and in this movie it happens to be the same person).

I was a viewer of the show and enjoyed it until it became more of a commercial for new fashion than an actual show about friendship and family. That happened in season 4 for me but I still watched the occasional episode.

Then I think it was season 5 or 6 when this show really Jumped the Shark for me. I turned on the tube and witnessed my type-A hero Big turn into a whiny baby as he followed Carrie and her new love Aidan on their country trip. This is something that business tycoons just don't do and I felt betrayed that this became a wish fulfillment show for the female race. But of course there is a lot of irony in that statement because 100's (if not 1000's) of movies and TV shows have female characters that just aren't that realistic.

So I admit, I wasn't expecting much when I entered the pack filled pre-screening of Sex and the City. I was already feeling uncomfortable being about one of ten men in a theater of over 700 woman! But I sat back and the most amazing thing happened to me: I actually really like the movie.

There's a scene right before the 3rd act begins that defines what this movie is about without giving away any of the plot. Carrie and Charlotte are shopping for a desk for Carrie. Charlotte has decided to stop jogging because of a worry about something. Carrie explains to Charlotte, "That you can't stop being who you are because you're worried that something might go wrong."

That line is the movie and what it's underlying thematic is. The four girls have become something they are not and it's their job to get their own selves back on track.

So I was taken into this storyline. And in a lot of ways this is the anti-Sex and the City movie. The shoes and the fashion that really defined the television show are really the antagonists of the film. We live in a superficial, capitalistic possession obsessed world and those things tend to take us away from who we really are at times.

So Carrie Bradshaw and her gang took me into their lives for a couple of hours and I was into it all the way. And I am the most shocked out of anyone.

Yes, there are some flaws in this film but writer/director Michael Patrick King really drives this film home to a successful result. He nails the smell and aura of New York City and makes a smooth transition for the main characters from small screen to big screen. And Sarah Jessica Parker, playing the role that will define her career, really does a stand up job as a leading lady in a major motion Hollywood film. I didn't think she has it in her, but she does.

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I do wish that this film was a tad shorter. With a running time of almost 150 minutes, that is a tad long for the romantic/comedy genre. There is easily 30 minutes of this film that can be cut out and make it an easier watch for all. Samantha surprises the girls from LA about two dozen times and after the 3rd surprise, I sort of got it and it really didn't need to be done anyone. That and the personal assistant storyline really didn't have anything to do with the film's main theme. Cut those sub-plots and you got yourself almost a perfect movie.

And yes for all you guys reading this, the male characters in the film really don't have much going on. But I sort of like this because it's a film about Carrie and her friends. And how many times have woman sat through a movie and seen the females characters basically play background performers in the mostly male dominated films that come out in Hollywood today and yesterday.

So thumbs up to Sex and the City for being the biggest surprise of my year so far.

3 stars out of 4 stars

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