Plot: What’s it about?
It’s been just over a decade since “Sex and the City” first appeared on HBO and my how time flies. I can vividly remember seeing a poster for it in a New York City subway. I was heading back home to Connecticut at the time and quickly dismissed the image of Sarah Jessica Parker arched over the then different New York skyline as a “chick show.” As time has shown, I was mostly right, but I do remember receiving the first season on DVD way back in 2000. It was one of the first TV on DVD sets and after the first episode I was rather hooked. Granted, the show wasn’t aimed at my particular demographic and as I watched with my girlfriend over the next few seasons, I came to see that it was much more about the fashion rather than the actual storyline. Nevertheless, I was saddened to see the show come to an end in 2004 and the natural progression for the show to become a movie seemed like a good move. Years passed and now four years later we finally have “Sex and the City: The Movie.” Was it worth the wait and was it fabulous?
In a few words, yes it was worth the wait but was it fabulous? No. Depressing was more the word I’d use to describe it. And without going into too much detail, I’ll attempt to summarize the extended version (all 151 minutes of it) of the much-anticipated film. The names and the faces are the same, Carrie (Sarah Jessica-Parker) has written a few books, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) still lives in Brooklyn with husband Steve (David Eigenberg), Charlotte (Kristin Davis) has adopted a child with husband Harry (Evan Handler) and Samantha (Kim Cattrall) has moved her PR firm out to Los Angeles where she focuses too much of her time and efforts on nice-guy boyfriend, Smith Jared (Jason Lewis). Now that’s pretty much how we left the stars some four years ago, but there have been a few developments since then. Carrie and Mr. Big (Chris Noth) have decided to tie the knot and she vacates her old, familiar apartment for a new one with a presumably larger closet. But after a series of events, Big leaves Carrie at the altar spiraling her into a depression which only lifts the last ten minutes of the movie. Steve admits to having cheated on Miranda, Charlotte gets unexpectedly pregnant and Samantha is tired of having to be faithful to Smith. Something’s gotta give, right?
The problem with “Sex and the City: The Movie” wasn’t that it wasn’t welcome. I knew that the characters would be more complex and the fun and excitement of the late 90’s was something that the foursome had progressed beyond, but me as well. The problem was that the movie was too long and too depressing. Bad things happen in life, I get it. These women have had ups and downs but the movie spends a bit too long lingering on the suffering and the negative impacts of what their men do to them. Remember, not all men are bad. There are some high points in the movie, but mostly we see a dejected Carrie looking and feeling bad. The challenge is usually trying to find enough material to turn a 30 minute show into a feature film and that didn’t seem to be an issue here. Maybe it’s that I haven’t really seen the show in a few years (though TBS shows it nearly every day), but I just didn’t have the same connection with the girls as I used to. Maybe I’ve grown and changed since then, but I don’t think I’ve changed so much that I didn’t recognize who these women were. I think most every die-hard fan went out and saw this movie and I’m not sure if they all feel like I do, but if there is to be a sequel they need to lighten it up and make it shorter.
Video: How does it look?
“Sex and the City: The Movie” is shown in a very nice-looking 1.85:1 VC-1 HD transfer. You might think that all the glitz and glam of the “Sex and the City” world would look positively lovely on Blu-ray. You would be right, though there were a few spots that left me scratching my head a bit. A lot of the movie is shot on location and we get a few soft spots in the transfer. At the risk of sounding a bit chauvinistic, the women have aged. There’s no denying that. We see wrinkles and spots on them that didn’t exist back when the show was still a series or maybe it’s that HD video isn’t a woman’s best friend. At any rate, we get what we’d expect out of a major Hollywood feature and viewers shouldn’t be disappointed, well, not that disappointed.
Audio: How does it sound?
I find it hard to describe a movie based around shoes and shopping in terms of a good soundtrack. Yes, we do have a Dolby TrueHD soundtrack and at times it does deliver the goods with a very robust atmosphere. By and large, the soundtrack is dialogue-driven and we get a lot of talking in the 151 minute run time. I can say that the film isn’t all about the soundtrack and the series was presented in a simple Dolby Digital mix that did the job just fine. If it were up to me, I’d rather Warner have poured their money into a TrueHD mix on “Speed Racer” and given this a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. But we can’t have it all now, can we?
Supplements: What are the extras?
There are enough extras on this Blu-ray disc to warrant a purchase and writer/director Michael Patrick King’s commentary is good, though there are some droughts in which nothing is said. King’s heart was in the right place, but I just can’t really see how this is the same person who conceptualized the original series. Still, he was the right choice to direct the film and the commentary is good to listen to. King and Sarah Jessica-Parker sit down for a twenty minute discussion as they rehash the past and discuss the feature. There’s also a featurette on the fashion of “Sex and the City” which makes sense because, well, that’s mainly what the series and the movie were all about. We also get to watch Fergie in the studio as she sings the closing credits song. There are a few additional scenes as well. Lastly, we get some Blu-ray exclusives with “The City” and “Dish It”, which incorporate the landscape of New York and some locales that you might recognize if you’re cruising through Manhattan.