Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Best of Black Sheep: SEX AND THE CITY

Written and Directed by Michael Patrick King
Starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristen Davis, Cynthia Nixon and Chris Noth

Carrie Bradshaw: You know that this is a fairy tale, right sweetheart? Things don’t always work out like this in real life.

It’s important to state right away that I am a devout fan of the “Sex and the City” television series. I have seen the episodes countless times and they still tickle me almost as often as they touch me. Clearly, what you’re going to get out of the SEX AND THE CITY movie depends on what you’re going in with. For anyone who cares as much as I did, and there are more than enough in my boat to sink it, these girls have been sorely missed. It has been four years since the boy who called love, Mr. Big (Chris Noth) found a crumbling Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) in Paris and told her finally that she was the one. Subsequently, it has been just as much time since Carrie foolishly believed him capable of feeling such things and forewent all her single sensibility for a crapshoot she called love. (It figures the one part of the series I would not like would be its conclusion). Who cares though? I still want more. When the lights went down and the sounds of that familiar theme began to rise (albeit just as a sample in some overwrought Fergie song), my romantic heart sped up just a little and an inevitable smile took over my face. But as the credits gave way to a recap of the characters’ arcs whittled down to their barest bones, I couldn’t help but wonder, who does director, Michael Patrick King think is seeing this movie that doesn’t already know all of this as well as the fit of their favorite shoes?

If you were not a fan of the series, this film will do nothing for you but remind you why. If you were a fan, you may feel some varying degree of disappointment but you’ll still likely see it and love it more than once. How could you not? I was mildly disappointed and I still cried at least three times. I missed these girls. They kept me company on so many restless nights. Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) taught me how to let go of life long enough to let love in. Charlotte (Kristen Davis) taught me that you might not recognize love when it finally comes to you. Samantha (Kim Cattrall) taught me that old habits eventually need to be left behind if your life is ever to become what it could. And Carrie … oh, Carrie. Carrie taught me about the constant struggle to find happiness in yourself and your own life regardless of whether you’re fortunate enough to be sharing that with another person. So often did her poetic musings give me calm and resolve that the show became a necessary fix whenever I lost hope that love still knew where to find me.

Though the ladies may mean different things to different people, the need for the SEX AND THE CITY movie is palpable within its devoted fan base. The movie itself however creates none of its own urgency and does little to justify its own existence. Yes, I wanted the girls back but it would have been nice if they came back for a reason. Without divulging too much (as I believe the fate for spoiling this film is castration), the good times pick up again four years after we last left the streets of New York City. Miranda’s busy married life with Steve (David Eigenberg) has gotten stagnant; Charlotte lives in bliss with her husband Harry (Evan Handler) and their adopted girl, Lily; Samantha has made a life of monogamy and management with her young stud, Smith (Jason Lewis)in Los Angeles; and Carrie has somehow managed to domesticate Mr. Big, now known as John James Preston. It would even seem that they are headed toward wedded bliss. The big day comes though with expected big disasters and Carrie gets exactly what she should have seen coming all along.

As I was never happy that the quintessential single girl settled for a man who hurt her repeatedly and consistently, it was hard to feel satisfied watching her make the same mistakes on the big screen. On such a grand stage, I wanted to see Carrie blossom into the true state of confidence and individuality that her character was destined to, if only just to remind myself that I have that same capacity. Instead, her small screen magnificence only half fills the new digs and left me feeling rushed and unfinished instead of post-orgasm elation. And with the last round of cosmos now behind us, I got my much needed fix but I can’t tell whether SEX AND THE CITY (the movie) will keep the love flowing far into the future or finally put "Sex and the City" (the phenomenon) to rest.

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