Warning: Although I will try not to reveal any spoilers that are not indicated in the trailer, if you wish to see the film without knowing anything about the plot, I suggest that you stop reading now and come back once you have watched the film.
I will start this review by stating that I am a Sex and the City fan; I own all the series which I watch and re-watch, for the clothes as much as the girls. I embrace the shoe-loving cliches which emanated from SATC and my favourite comment on this blog was the lovely person who compared me to Carrie Bradshaw. That's not to say I would actually like to be her (I'm quite happy with my own life) but I wouldn't mind her job, her flat or her wardrobe. I was therefore extremely excited to see the film, which I waited many years to see after the series ended. So, with baited breath BestFriend, Faux Sister-In-Law and I dragged our respective partners to the preview screening last night.
Many professional reviewers have commented that the film, a romantic comedy, was too long at 2 and half hours. I barely noticed the time passing, such was my enjoyment in watching the film. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it, thought it was fab. A great nights entertainment. I laughed, cried, cooed over the fashion and marvelled at how good the actresses looked despite their advancing years. Thinking about it in more depth though, I realised that a great piece of entertainment and it being a successful film do not necessarily mean the same thing.
Carrie says at the beginning of the film that people come to New York for the two 'L's - labels and love. The film certainly addressed these two issues in some detail - the whole film was glorious in it's technicolour-ed fashion and I cannot have been the only girl who wished for the Yves Klein blue Manolos with diamond detailing. As far as love went, SATC seemed caught between two posts - portray love as a happy ending or love as it honestly is? Forgiveness, selfishness, idolatry, happiness; these were all ideas which worked around the central theme which ran through the series and into the film - single girls looking for love which met their all consuming expectations. The most serious problem that the film encountered was that SATC seemed to have lost it's identity somewhere - it wanted to be bigger than a TV series yet it relied completely on the TV series for the story lines. Fast paced editing at the beginning gave way to elongated episodes which could have been cut in favour of more detail - time passed alternately very quickly and slowly, without any of the soul-searching of Ms Bradshaw that was the back-bone of the TV series. Each character needed to have their stories told yet somehow it seemed that there was too much attempted but not enough realised.
The plot was fairly predictable - Carrie is still a writer, although of books not newspaper columns, Charlotte and Miranda both married with a child, Samantha still in PR, there was a wedding, some minor twists, some loss, some forgiveness, some comical moments, some sad ones - but in trying t0 pack in so much action so much essential detail was lost. There were no girly discussions and dissections only a few cocktails, there was no love for New York or of culture or of the small things in life. Small details which looked like they might lead somewhere or mean something were glossed over. There were elements of the old SATC still visible occasionally though - the irony of Carrie agreeing to be photographed for Vogue was reminiscent of the use of the question mark on the last magazine shoot she did for example (and is it co-incidence that there is an age feature in this month's British Vogue?) - but it seemed that there was something missing. It was, as Wendy Ide in the Times Review put it, "like being reunited with old friends only to realise that you’ve grown irreparably apart". Still, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and I cannot wait to see it again on DVD.