2008-06-20 / Entertainment/Lifestyles

MovieScope

'Sex And The City' - Big Screen Succsex
Review By Robert Snyder

In the TV spots for the film version of "Sex and the City," the word, "big," is endlessly emphasized.

Excerpted from the movie, the word repeated by the four urban heroines may be in reference to Mr. Big (Chris Noth), the well-endowed wealthy boyfriend of columnist/narrator Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker). What is also at play here is the film's surprisingly big success: Number One at the box office, opening weekend it grossed $55.7 million, beating Spielberg/ Lucas "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." This is almost twice the amount forecast by the Warner Brothers Distribution boss.

Why? Because another "big" is the big surprise that the film is surprisingly good. Most movie interpretations of TV shows aren't.

Written and directed by Michael Patrick King, the SATC feature picks up where the television series left us at its demise in 2004. Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) is living in Los Angeles managing the acting career of boy-toy Smith Jerrod (Jason Lewis). Manhattanite Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) and husband Harry (Evan Handler) adopt a beautiful oriental child. Lawyer Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) is juggling her practice and her baby with hubbie Steve (David Eigenberg) in Brooklyn.

But, the central story focuses on Carrie and her great love, Big. The Wall Street rich guy buys a humongous penthouse for them to share. Having failed at two prior marriages, Big reluctantly asks ever-single Carrie to wed, thinking she'll keep the celebration low-key. However, her friend, Vogue editor Enid Frick (Candice Bergen), seduces Carrie into being the magazine's "40somehthing Newlywed of the Year," which means all-expense-paid big-time bridal ceremony at the New York Public Library with her pick of a top designer gown.

All this opulence is a huge turnoff to Big, who backs out at the 11th hour. Devastated and beyond humiliation, the dis-ed bride-not-to-be whacks her anti-groom over the head with her bouquet in a classic "Sex and the City" street scene. Then, she and the three friends fly off to Mexico to cash in the reservations for the non-bride's aborted honeymoon.

The girls manage to elevate Carrie out of her depression, largely due to Charlotte's audible attack of Montezuma's revenge. The story veers back to fairly standard sitcom shenanigans, sliding between drama and comedy over fashion, infidelity and food.

Hanging above it all is the eternal SATC question: Will Carrie get back with Big?

If you can stomach 2 hours and 22 minutes of unadulterated soap opera, go and find out. Or, wait until it turns up on TV.

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