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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Review: “”Sex and the City”””

    As a stand-alone film, “”Sex and the City: The Movie”” would be on the good end of mediocre: The plot is diverting enough, the soundtrack is full of sparkly grooves and the film’s four 40-something main characters are anything but ashamed of their age – an important message to send to women viewers young and old.

    As the culmination of a wildly popular television series, however, “”Sex and the City”” leaves much to be desired. No new themes are explored here – at least one line from the series is even repeated verbatim in the movie – and Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), Samantha (Kim Cattrall) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) all manage to escape unscathed by any sort of significant personal growth. As the bloated film lumbers into its final stretch, one realizes that, much like the lackluster “”Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason,”” “”Sex and the City”” is a redundant romp, made only to give fans a couple more hours of what they’ve already decided they like.

    Like the television show, then, “”Sex and the City”” is an orgy of blithe materialism, childish narcissism and ineffective communication. From its very first moments, wherein Carrie, like a giggly schoolgirl begging Daddy for a pony, cajoles her “”manfriend”” Mr. Big (Chris Noth) into buying a lavish penthouse out of their price range, the four women have little on their minds other than themselves. When serious relationship problems arise, Carrie and Miranda are given every opportunity to engage their men in meaningful discussion and perhaps even come to an immediate resolution, and each time they squander the opportunity. Carrie brushes off Big’s anxieties about their upcoming marriage, making it clear that, as she later realizes, their wedding is “”bigger than Big””; while Miranda kicks her husband to the curb for his flaws and mistakes, stubbornly refusing to entertain the possibility that she has any of her own.

    A disturbing racist undercurrent also rears its head throughout “”Sex and the City.”” In Mexico, Charlotte refuses to eat anything but the pudding cups she brought along (“”It’s Mexico,”” she whispers, wide-eyed). Carrie hires a stereotypical “”magic negro”” – the film’s only black character – as her assistant, who conveniently vanishes back to her hometown after serving her purpose. And when searching for a new apartment in an “”ethnic”” part of town, Miranda exclaims, “”White guy with a baby! Let’s follow him.”” We’re supposed to want to be these women?

    While the film itself is no deeper than the martini glasses from which the fab four swill their cosmos, it nevertheless can serve as a catalyst for the contemplation its protagonists so daintily sidestep. How will a fantastical world of endless leisure and nonstop consumerism resonate among audiences suffering the effects of an economy in recession? Why does a looming wedding provoke “”Bridezilla”” behavior like Carrie’s, and how can it be avoided?

    After two-and-a-half hours, Carrie arrives at the groundbreaking conclusion that love is “”the only label that doesn’t go out of style.”” Yet her epiphany falls quite far from what seem to be the film’s true themes: forgiveness, self-sacrifice and the realization that we sometimes value ourselves too little or too much. Could it be the filmmakers deliberately made these characters bumbling, immature caricatures of womanhood in order to provoke deeper thought? My bet, unfortunately, is that it’s just a poorly executed flick.

    – Alyson Hill

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