This is me: not a trendsetter. Out of the loop. I am totally uncool. I never follow the crowd. In fact, way back in the day, I was what some might consider borderline counter-culture. Is anti-establishmentarian a word? If it is, I was that long-haired, tree-hugging, Earth Shoe-wearing, Grateful Dead-listening, hippie chick.
Of course, people change. They evolve. Sometime during the fall of disco, I started to gain an appreciation for really cute high heels and silk dresses. But no matter how hard I tried to bring myself to the next level, I was faced with the fact of who I am: a regular woman with an alternative lifestyle background now living a regular life.
That’s why Sex and the City the novel was such a deliciously tantalizing read. Candace Bushnell’s peek at the escapades of four working women looking for love/lust in New York City was so far removed from my actual life of husband and babies and so brilliantly told that I was instantly swept up into the story.
When Sex and the City the TV show aired, it was a stunning visual candy store mixing the allure of high fashion with a backdrop of one of the most interesting cities on the planet. As we all know by now, the actresses portraying the four “girls” (Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie; Kim Cattrall as Samantha; Cynthia Nixon as Miranda; Kristin Davis as Charlotte) were successful in combining personal chemistries with sharp conversation that was smart, funny, and endearing all rolled into one.
Now Sex and the City: The Movie has been released. I prefer my movies to arrive with the convenience of a weekly Netflix envelope, and would have gladly waited for the DVD release. It’s been a long time since I’ve entered the darkened confines of a theater, but I was coerced by my 17-year-old daughter who claimed an urgent (yet highly unusual) need for mother-daughter bonding. With that in mind, we ventured out last night into the chaos that is now the Sex and the City franchise.
With my daughter’s girlfriend in tow, we settled into the plush seats at the Birmingham Paladium, just us and three hundred other giggly girls. Add to the mix two balding middle-aged men, who arrived unattached (to other women and each other) and were definitely out of place in a room screaming with estrogen.
As we all know by now (thanks to the plethora of reviews, I won’t go there), it is four years later and the “girls” have matured into their 40s. The problems are new, but the relationships, despite some bumps in the road, have survived. The movie received good crowd reaction, and I suddenly realized why I no longer appreciate the in-the-theater experience. There were certain parts of the movie I totally missed because of the outbursts of nearby movie-goers.
I wish I could say I loved the movie, but I can’t. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good movie, but not a great one. The plot was believable and the acting was good. Sex and the City: The Movie was plenty serious enough. It was also shallow enough, chock full of beautiful couture, fabulous locations, and Manolo Blahniks, but something was missing. On the way home, I was trying to put my finger on why it didn’t strike a chord with me.
Perhaps it was too serious. The original series moved at a lively and playful pace, and the writing was smart and witty. Because it was episodic TV, there was always a story promised just around the bend. Not so with the movie, where only a couple of themes can be explored in the time constraints of two hours of film.
Perhaps my unease was the result of the current physical condition of the Fabulous Four. True, they are all gorgeous women, but they are now aging, concerned about the intricacies of long-term relationships and (for some of them) children, and more closely resemble ME than the infamous Fab Four. I suppose I would be just as uncomfortable if Friends decided to make a movie debut. That prospect is so scary, I can't even imagine it.
For now, the SATC conundrum that is left is eclipsed by the fact that I experienced the movie with my daughter. That part of my night alone was worth the price of admission.
I might have to Netflix this one later to see if I feel the same way six months from now.