Last night I saw Sex and the City. I ended up going to a different cinemaplex than we’d originally planned because all three early evening showings at the first theatre were sold out, and we were stuck in the very front row at our second choice. My appreciation for the series is limited; years ago I started watching the show with some friends I’d just met, and as time passed, I grew more and more fond of the friends, and less and less fond of the show. So I’m not sure if I would have bothered to see the movie, had these friends not really wanted us all to watch it together for old times’ sake.
The trademark quirks of the show – the literal glint in each character’s eye, Carrie’s overly enunciated narration, the not-even-groanworthy puns – are all intact, and if they aren’t exaggerated in Sex and the City’s movie incarnation, they certainly seem that way. The characters are all sketched out in the opening credits, with flashbacks to the series, and it’s remarkable how about 40 seconds of montage each tells you all you need to know, if you had never seen the series. Complexity has never been the point of SATC.
Unlike the fans and critics who saw the series as striking a blow for women everywhere by portraying them as liberated, independent, and answering to no man, I always thought the show was in many ways regressive (and I only partially mean that in a bad way.) Certainly the “girls” were sleeping with whomever they choose, dealing with the consequences (STDs, abortions, unwed motherhood) in a cavalier way, and putting themselves before any other relationship in their lives – not only with men, but also with family. The only relatives I remember from the show are Miranda’s mother-in-law, and Charlotte’s first mother-in-law. But then part of the conceit of the show was that friends are the new family.