Stars: ** 1/2
Rating: R for graphic nudity, sexual situations and language
Run Time: 2 hours, 25 minutes
The ladies of “Sex” are back with a vengeance and their fan-base rejoices. Far be it from me to criticize the fab four fashionistas and their waxing and waning love lives.
But couldn’t writer-director Michael Patrick King have worked up a cleaner concept than re-treading final Season 6 into two and a half hours of, well, Season 6?
“SATC” the movie more or less picks up where we left off four years ago, with symbolic scribe Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) back in the arms of the elusive Mr. Big (Chris Noth) who has finally seen the error of his ways by craving Commitment.
Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) still lives in Brooklyn, struggling to balance work and family with son Brady and hubby Steve (David Eigenberg) whose frustrations with his wife’s long hours have caused him to stray. Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and Harry (Evan Handler) exist in Park Avenue bliss with adopted Chinese daughter Lily; a place for everything and everything in its place.
Last but not least Samantha, the hyper-sexed PR maven, is managing lover Smith Jerrod’s (Jason Lewis) hotter than hot career in the glittering maw of Hollywood.
And what happens to the iconic ladies who shop and lunch and wax rhapsodic on matters of the heart? Not a whole lot. Big and Carrie decide to tie the knot and all the Drama that that entails. Miranda is furious over Steve’s infidelity, Samantha is unhappy taking a backseat to Smith’s rising star and Charlotte is content playing the happy homemaker. Sigh.
“SATC” worked wonders in 30-minute HBO sound-bites based on provocative Carrie-posed questions; short and sassy and leaving you wanting more. The film is faithful to a fault and without a specific focus, prolonging its fresh “labels and love” combo well beyond its natural shelf life.
Sure it’s packaged in glorious couture and some of the best location shoots in NYC, not to mention a muy caliente Mexico resort where the girls escape on a moment’s notice to nurse a broken heart. Naturally the quirky quartet falls back into designer bags and baggage and the easy chemistry that shined on the small screen; catty chatter, explicit relations and fearless fashion forums; check, check and check.
Carrie’s stylish wedding shoot for Vogue – as the Last Single Girl – is itself worth the price of admission, a sumptuous fantasy of creamy crinoline and orgasmic organza that’s every little girl’s dream.
Bottom line the movie fails Movie Plot 101 by trying too hard. Too hard to appease its fans, too hard to color within the lines and too hard to prove that love conquers all.