Well Carrie, it’s not easy being Queen Bradshaw. There’s the series to live up to — remember, those six seasons full of witty dialogue, beautifully centered around our beloved Manhattan and chock full of Smith Jared– yeah, those. And then there was the first movie, which, while possessing more than its share of faults, at least put the necessary Mr. Big wedding to bed for good. (Spoiler Alert)
And then there was the movie I saw this past Saturday. I’m not ready to put it under the same heading as the aforementioned Sex and the City just yet, as it resembled nothing of the sort. Carrie delivers what is possibly the most trite dialogue I’ve heard out of a fictional writer’s mouth ever (they’re supposed to be the wry saviors of the flimsy film, right?). Samantha’s sex scenes were forced at best, though she is still the hottest sixty something known to women. Charlotte’s whiny ways have lost their luster since her Wasp 180 and Miranda’s only saving grace was that adorable ginger child with the wayward front teeth.
The number of plot points I found insulting (and boy was I relieved that no man had dared to enter and watch four of our own make such a mockery of the gender) far outweighs the few outfits I found as titillating as in the past. Where to start? There’s the completely ignorant and offensive treatment of Muslim women and culture in general, the absurd socioeconomic ramifications of a sobbing Charlotte going on and on about how she can’t believe some women raise children without help and the abrupt and unexamined departure of Miranda from her top legal position due to chauvinism, to name a few. In fact, the most enjoyable portion of the movie had to have been when The New Yorker rightly trashes Carrie’s latest novel, which the intelligent viewer can almost pretend is a funny little meta moment on behalf of the director. Almost.
By the end, you’re wondering if being middle aged is really as devoid of stimulating experiences as this movie leads you to believe. And then you realize the most worthy story lines — Samantha’s looming menopause, Miranda’s struggle being a high powered woman in the workplace and Carrie and Big’s fleeting honeymoon period — are all significant and interesting material, just the kind of thing that when explored, made the television show so great, but is too complex to examine in the course of one film. Or perhaps the creators have just grown scared, thinking the glamor has overpowered what drew us to these four women in the first place: their ability to deal with human problems — our problems — while wearing the clothes we’ll never be able to afford. And when you fail to deliver the woman wearing that $30,000 Dior dress, it loses an awful lot of sparkle.