'Sex and the City' sits pretty

Posted: Thursday, June 05, 2008

In the interest of full disclosure, there are a few things I need to admit before I talk about either sex or the city. First, I was not a dedicated viewer of "Sex and the City" when it was on HBO - although I've been roped in to a rerun or two during its syndication. Second, I was openly dreading the 148-minute running time. Third... I'm about to be honest with you to the point of risking my hetero-reputation.

Courtesy Of Hbo Films
Courtesy Of Hbo Films

Ladies and gay gentlemen, "Sex and the City" might be aimed squarely at your demographic but I'm here to tell you that any honest straight man that goes for whatever reason will... gulp... enjoy the film!

The four stylish cougars are back, in their 40s, and still eating out seemingly every day while never working. Carrie (Parker), Samantha (Cattrall), Charlotte (Davis), and Miranda (Nixon) pick up right where I'm assuming the show left them. Michael Patrick King's screenplay makes it easy to follow even if you're a novice like me. Carrie narrates the opening, as I'm told she did the television show, and before you know it you're all caught up on what's going on with the four women.

Carrie's getting married to Big (Noth); Samantha's living in L.A. with her movie star boyfriend; Charlotte is giddily raising her adopted daughter; and Miranda's busy not having sex with her husband. All four story lines get their share of the spotlight and that is the main reason the movie runs 2+ hours. It's a big task, after all, to satisfy an audience that has been starving for new "Sex and the City" episodes since the show's series finale four years ago.

King's script actually does a solid job of weaving several stories together coherently. It's clear he has had practice as one of the show's original writers. In many ways the movie feels as if you're simply watching several episodes back to back on DVD, which is actually the way I prefer to watch television series anyway. And true to the show's form there is both drama and laughs aplenty.

And sex. Lots of it.

In case you've been tricked by the tamed-down syndicated version of "Sex and the City," let me remind you that the movie is R-rated. And it earns that rating quite aggressively. As someone who sees a lot of movies and is rarely shocked, there were several scenes that made my jaw drop.

In fact, I feel obligated to warn you - especially my fellow straight men - there is full frontal nudity.

Of a guy.

And while that particular shot is brief, the shots of the same actor's buttocks are... gratuitous. I started to squirm a little, much to my girlfriend's amusement, who asked, "What did you expect?" Fair enough.

Other than that, however, "Sex and the City" is a movie I'm glad I saw. Seriously. As comedies go, it is one of the better ones I've seen recently. I laughed out loud several times, along with the rest of the crowd. As dramas go, the film is about relationships between men and women. What better source of drama is there? More importantly, King's script never takes itself too seriously, so the melodrama is tolerable. I even cried once, maybe twice.

"Sex and the City" provides laughs, tears, sex, fashion, makes 148 minutes disappear quickly and leaves you smiling. There is literally something for everyone. What more could anyone possibly ask for?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go lift weights and then watch "Live Free or Die Hard."

• Read Carson's movie blog at www.juneaublogger.com/movies.

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