Four years after it came to an end, Sex and the City is back, and the clothes and New York are as big a part of it as they've ever been, while the women the world grew to know so well over the course of six seasons seem to be exactly where we left them.
This is, of course, the story of Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), her slutty friend Samantha (Kim Cattrall), her conservative friend Charlotte (Kristin Davis), and her… um… other friend, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon). If you're already close with these women, you might be surprised by how easy it is to get reacquainted.
Charlotte is happy with her family, Miranda lives in Brooklyn with her man, Steve, although that relationship has certainly had its ups and downs, Samantha has moved to the West Coast to help the career of her actor boyfriend, Smith, and Carrie and Mr. Big (Chris Noth) are still doing that thing that Carrie and Big do.
And while Sex and the City easily and gracefully glides back into the lives of its characters, it does so at the expense of advancing them. We don't know a whole lot more at the end of the movie than we knew at the end of the series. Yes, "events" happen and things change a bit, but really, this is all kind of pointless.
But pointless doesn't have to be bad, and in fact, writer-director Michael Patrick King presents some of the funnier scenarios for the girls since the middle of the series, when it was clearly at its artistic peak. There's a cozy 15-minute chunk of the film that takes place in Mexico, and it's all pretty funny and has the rapier wit the show was known for. There are intimate conversations that these characters share that are nearly as good as some of the best ones from the series, if less fresh, less rapid fire, and more weighty.
There's a certain comfort for fans of the show, those who have been crying out for more since the day Sex and the City left HBO, that can't be underestimated. For those fans, particularly ones who remained doggedly loyal in the final, rather anemic season, this is going to hit all the right buttons. But if you wondered why such an original and entertaining series slipped so badly at the end and were disappointed by its outcome, this is hardly the remedy.
Sex and the City is as raunchy as ever, throws designer clothes around like religious pamphlets on a college campus, and has a measure of self-importance that's a bit more pronounced than its own self-confidence.
But it definitely knows its audience and its characters extremely well, maybe better than any film this summer. And it doesn't really betray either group, so there's something to be said for that.
Sex and the City
Starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Nixon
Directed by Michael Patrick King