Well-heeled women 

“Sex” is shallow, but spectacular

click to enlarge STILL SEXY: The cast of 'Sex And The City.'
  • STILL SEXY: The cast of 'Sex And The City.'

Having jumped on the “Sex and the City” bandwagon (or in the yellow cab) late in the game, during intermittent periods of free HBO and the occasional DVD rental, I find myself more on the periphery than in the clique. I was never part of the Sunday night cosmo-drinking, girl-bonding gatherings that took place from season to season. But though I may lack the devotion of the die-hard fan, I'm the first to admit that there's nothing better than putting on some ugly sweatpants, snuggling up with a gorgeous hunk (of chocolate) and forgetting the worries of the world for 30-minute increments of “SATC” reruns. 

The big-screen version of this series about four well-heeled Manhattanites finds the girls well established in both careers and relationships. They've arrived at a different place in life — Charlotte and Miranda are mothers, Samantha lives in L.A. with her longtime boyfriend, and Carrie is not only a writer, but a best-selling one, blissfully living with Mr. Big in his tony urban pad. They may be older, but are they wiser?

The 60-plus crowd is not the target demographic for “SATC,” but I had to agree with an older friend of mine who, when asked her impression of the movie, responded, “This must have been what it was like before Rome fell.” Surely, there's a correlation between the rise of fundamentalism worldwide and the demise of Western civilization, the misplaced values of our status-obsessed culture and the troubles consumerism has wrought.

I left the theater pondering questions, too, but mine were of a different sort, like: Am I too old to wear knee-highs? And, how am I going to fit into my swimsuit having just eaten an entire medium popcorn and jumbo bag of M&Ms?

It is true that on the big screen, everything seemed, well, bigger. Not just Carrie's signature mole, but the characters' shallowness and self-absorption. Those things seemed incidental on a smaller scale, as did the cliches and bad puns that Carrie is prone to in her narratives. At some point during the film, I started to think, “I don't really like these people.” Miraculously, that didn't make me enjoy the spectacle before me any less.

A couple of things that did make me enjoy it just a little bit less: The most banal moments, including an over-sexed, pillow-humping Yorkie and an oops-I-crapped-my pants gag (which occurs when the girls take a trip to Mexico). Isn't the audience too sophisticated for that very tired Montezuma's revenge joke? Apparently not. And Kirstin Davis' overacting as the preppy Charlotte grated as never before. Also, at first Jennifer Hudson seemed like a promising new addition to the cast, but her scenes were forced and unnatural. 

I feel like I'm channeling Andy Rooney here, but I also have one last gripe. Last and least — Miranda (Cynthia Nixon).  I wish someone had read Miranda her rights a long time ago, and she'd chosen to remain silent. Unfortunately, we see a lot of her, and by a lot I mean a totally gratuitous full frontal Miranda while in the throes of ecstasy — something I never need to see again.

But weren't her shoes fabulous?



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