Saturday, May 31, 2008

i'm a charriemanthda

Having swung from not interested in the movie at all, to having seen the trailer once and suddenly very interested, to having been overexposed to it and feeling on-the-fence, I ended up at the 10:10 showing of Sex and the City on opening night. My sister and I could barely find two seats together in the top row of the small, usually empty theater, because it was so congested with estrogen-rich moviegoers. (Sidenote: seeing SatC with my sister was awesome because she's a gal pal, a sister, and a gay all rolled into one!) There were about five guys in the theater, as expected, but one had the good humor to shout "Bradshaaaaw!" over the girly screams as the credits started to roll.

This movie absolutely exceeded my expectations. As much as I hate the character of Carrie, I thought that her most annoying tendencies weren't allowed to be expressed to the fullest. She was still very self-centered, but never really tried to diminish the importance of the events happening in her friends lives. The relationship between her and Big was believable as far as how their characters would be acting after all this time, and I actually felt for both of them when I've never been able to sympathize with either character before. Also, I was impressed that Sarah Jessica Parker, as depressed Carrie, had an extended scene wearing no makeup. It made the scene that much more sympathizing, since it's true that a woman would not bother putting her face on in that situation.

Samantha's life in Hollywood was a bit overdone, but the show's always portrayed L.A. that way, and it was cute. I was proud to see her stay faithful to Smith when tempted, especially in the light of how serious the film had to treat infidelity, because we'd seen her cheat on him before, and be terribly wounded by her own actions. Her treatment of their relationship, when she had to step back and evaluate her life, was mature and welcome. And I should hope so, at her age, and with her pragmatism and intelligence. Speaking of age, Kim Catrall lying naked and covered in sushi looked absolutely gorgeous. Entertainment Weekly was right: menopausal women are having the best year ever!

Miranda's storyline was very difficult for me to watch, eliciting a physical reaction from the moment that the ball dropped (Steve's one ball?). She always has gotten a bum deal, proving that powerful women will always have to make sacrifices if they want a family. I can understand some of the ways in which she may have contributed to the problems in her marriage, but that's no excuse for Steve's contribution. I think that after all she'd given up for him, the neat ending to their story was a difficult pill for me to swallow. (SPOILER!!!) And I'm sorry, but the fact that the gals are willing to donate time, money, and energy to clean up the mess of Carrie's life and hightail it to Mexico when she gets jilted by a man who's dragged her around the block enough times that she should be immune to it, but when hardworking mother Miranda gets her heart broken, they barely bat an eyelash at brunch, really pisses me off. Shades of Carrie's stupid "paper covers rock" comment when she thought her lame breakup with Berger was more interesting than Charlotte's engagement to the love of her life, whom she converted to Judaism for! Did Samantha fly out to New York to help Miranda move? Did anyone help babysit when Miranda needed to curl in bed and weep? Hmmph! (END SPOILER) In any event, Cynthia Nixon also looked wonderful with no clothes on, so good for her, too.

The real star of the movie, for me, was absolutely Kristin Davis. She has totally grown as a comedic actress, and also hasn't aged a day, ever. Her facial expressions during the Poughkeepsie-in-Mexico scene were priceless, and some of the funniest physical comedy I've seen in a while. When telling off Big the first time, her teary, outraged "NO! No!" followed by scurrying away in her tight dress, was heartbreaking, funny, and gratifying. When she confronted Big the second time around, it was painfully obvious what was about to happen, but exciting nonetheless. After all these years, Charlotte finally stole the show.

Other standouts for me were definitely Jennifer Hudson, who was a pleasant surprise as an actress. I mean, yeah, I know she's an Academy Award winner, but she was kicky and fun here, not devastated like in Dreamgirls. Overall, I was really surprised with how much I loved the fashions of the movie. All the girls looked great, each in their own way. Carrie only had a few vomit-inducing accessories (fishnet socks? the bridal hatrocity?), and I loved seeing her in the couture and daily wear she changed in and out of a few hundred times. Samantha's Mannequin-esque shoulder pads and bright colors were spectacular, and made me jealous of her ability to carry off styles previously dominated by Delta Burke. Miranda looked wonderful - stylish and sophisticated - finally having grown up stylistically. Louise was fashionable while still believable as a lower-rent version of the gals. And dear Charlotte in her '60s style maternity wear was just so adorable.

If you ever watched the show, I think you'll love the movie. I never even considered myself a SatC fan before, but I think I might be now.

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