Review – Sex and the City (2008)

sex-and-the-city-the-movie-5526bac7cea0d

sex-and-the-city-the-movie-5382e46c8ed8dI have spent the last few weeks watching the entirety of one of HBO’s most memorable series to date, Sex and the City. The series has spawned not one, not even two, but as news sources confirmed as of late, a third Sex and the City film is in the works, as well, with the scandalous girls now in their 50s and 60s. How would this will work is still a valid question, but today, we focus on the first film – which was released only four years after the final episode of the series, but a decade after it originally began. I had a few questions concerning the film, which included some worries, to be sure. So let’s get into the first film.

Sex and the City finds our four friends together once more. Now finished writing about finding love, Carrie has moved on to write about what happens after finding it. What does it really mean, as the phrase is often put, to live ‘happily ever after’? She will soon find out as her long-time on again/off again relationship is put to the ultimate test – a marriage engagement. Her best friends go through similar changes in their relationships, both good and bad, which ultimately helps her write her next big thing…but at what cost? – Dave

PEOPLE
★★★★★★★★★★

 

This category is all about the people in the film. This covers their acting ability, if the characters themselves are any good, if they work well together as a team, if they are deeper or flatter as characters, and if the casting director even did their job right. These are all very important issues to consider while reviewing film.
  1.  Acting: ★★
    • It’s always a little unfair when you talk about a TV show made into a movie, because this isn’t just a movie. Sex and the City is the result of the culmination of something that ran for years because of its popularity. TV shows really need the people category to thrive, which is why the category works as well as it does for this film. The acting is great, it’s everything I wanted to see, and a little more. Because of the fact that it’s a movie, they had a little bit of a higher bar to match.
  2. Characters: ★★
    • TV shows are nothing if they don’t have characters that you can fall in love with, and that’s what these characters are. The best I could compare them to is maybe the gang in How I Met Your Mother. These specific characters combined probably creates the “perfect woman”, if you can call them that. Every single one of them has something that you like, as well as something that annoys you greatly – creating something synonymous, unique, and harmonious.
  3. Good Casting: ★★
    • The next question I had to ask myself is if anyone else could have played these characters better. It’s a good question, but I’m not sure I have an answer. The problem with having a tv series begin in 1998 and gain such momentum and popularity, it’s hard for even people who aren’t fans say if they could have cast better. These actresses ARE these characters. Even though Sarah Jessica Parker is in a ton of movies, I prefer to see it as Carrie playing in those roles.
  4.  Good Importance: ★★
    • That’s one of the greatest things about the show, and I’ll add to this in a little bit, but every character has their own story – which adds to the central theme. The same goes for the movie as it does the series. We’ll talk about that theme in the specialty category, later.
  5.  Good chemistry: ★★
    • The acting, characters, and chemistry create something of a perfect trio when it comes to Sex and the City. No one is going to say these girls don’t appear to actually be best friends in real life, and no one is going to argue that they don’t have chemistry. They are currently working on a third movie. I mean…come on.

WRITING
★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆

 

This category obviously covers the writing aspect of the critique. First, you want to know a little bit about the script. Specifically, how is the dialogue? Are they saying anything memorable or inspirational…or was it just bland conversation to keep the story going? How was the story itself? Was it well-balanced or over-convoluted? Was it original? Was it even interesting? Once again, all very important questions
  1.  Dialogue: ★☆
    • So, here’s an interesting subcategory. These girls often have a quick wit and can say some interesting and funny things in the show, but I didn’t sense the same for the movie in particular. The dialogue seemed basic, not special in any way. So for this, I only gave one star.
  2.  Good Balance: ★☆
    • This one I was sort of waiting for…not really sure how they’d pull off focusing on four characters in a movie format. While it mostly focused on Carrie’s life, they did cut through and show different character’s lives, which I completely figured they would. Now, that being said, multiple focused on storylines can be a little confusing. I think, for the most part, the stories were okay, but there were a lot of locations that seemed random. I mean, a lot of locations…which is one red flag referring to over convolution. It’s not terrible, so it still gets one star.
  3.  Good Story: ★☆
    • The story was really basic. It was mostly just a typical chick flick with four main characters you’re already accustomed to, so that sort of makes it more special than it would be without them, but after four years of being off the air, you’d think they would do a little…more? I’m not sure. One star.
  4.  Original: ☆☆
    • Well, yeah, it’s not original. It’s just Sex and the City…that’s really all it is. It’s more of a movie than it is a reunion, but there’s nothing new that they added. In fact, they tried to reinvent things that have already happened, which didn’t work out well for me…at all. They even subtracted from one person’s storyline, which angered me greatly.
  5.  Interesting: ★☆
    • Interesting? Yes and no. Yes, it was interesting enough to want to watch, because I had just finished the show, and because these characters together really are fun to watch. Only one star.

BEHIND-THE-SCENES
★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

 

Never forget that there are hard-working individuals working on this film day in and day out. It’s a great story, yes, but people helped make that possible. People like the directors, who have to take written word on a script, and somehow translate that for the big screen in a way an audience would understand. Editors, who are given a ton of material and expected to further make that idea and image the director has already – into a reality, like the director of photography, whose job is to make this movie look amazing…whether that means natural settings and landscapes, CGI, 3D, technical effects, or otherwise. The production crew, who are in charge of making advertisements that aren’t false, and don’t give too much away. Finally, the sound crew, who are in charge of everything the audio has – sound effects, sound editing, music, you name it. These are all puzzle pieces.
  1. Visuals: ★☆
    • Strictly speaking, the visuals were most certainly better than the TV show. It was widescreen, it had a real director of photography behind the helm, which made things look really nice…but I wouldn’t say it was the best it could have been either. I kept waiting for that one moment that changed everything, appearance wise. It didn’t really happen, so one star.
  2.  Directing: ★☆
    • As I said earlier, the script can’t be that complex if it’s really just a chick flick in disguise. Does it really take a director with real talent to make this? No, probably not. The Director simply did what he had to do to make sure the story was told.
  3.  Editing: ★☆
    • Same basic idea as the director, nothing here seemed complex or challenging for anyone with basically the most basic understanding of video editing programs. Same old, same old.
  4.  Advertisement: ★★
    • Now, here’s a two-star option for you. The movie was as-advertised, since we’re talking about a materialistic movie, with materialistic characters, it’s hard to imagine a trailer that wasn’t true to what the movie is about. No false advertisements here, or disappointments. Two stars.
  5.  Music: ★☆
    • The score is typical. The music is typical. The only really great bit here was when they briefly introduced the movie with the TV show’s theme song. So, as far as the sound/music subcategory goes, one star.

NARRATIVE ARC
★★★★★★★★☆☆

 

Have you ever been left wondering what it was about a film that felt…off, but you couldn’t place what it was? Well, a lot of people actually aren’t educated on the traditional narrative arc structure – which is seen in almost every movie or book story. With a missing piece, you might not understand what feels missing.
  1.  Introduction: ★★
    • The introduction introduced us to every main character and most secondary characters, their importance, and what’s about to happen.
  2.  Inciting Incident/Crossing the Threshold: ★★
    • The inciting incident is when Carrie is “proposed to”, and the crossing the threshold is obviously when she says yes, throwing everything into motion.
  3.  Obstacles: ★★
    • There are actually some very decent obstacles in this film, to fit in with the theme of the film – what happens after you find love? Well, there’s a lot of ups and downs…they’re here as well, just in obstacle form.
  4.  Epiphany/Climax: ★★
    • The epiphany and climax is there as well, though I won’t spoil you on what they are. That being said, it’s a chick flick…you can probably make an educated guess if you really wanted to.
  5.  Falling Action: ☆☆
    • Even the climax was short, but the falling action itself was practically nonexistent. There is something there, but it is so quick and so subtle, you’ll probably have a hard time distinguishing what’s going on.

OVERALL ENTERTAINMENT
★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆

 

Here’s something most critics overlook, because they’re always so keyed in on critiquing the technical elements of a film. Well, that may be statistically accurate, but the numbers that are released aren’t always reflective of what we enjoyed about it…which is when we say the movie was under-appreciated or whatever. This category focuses on pure entertainment.
  1.  Rewatchability: ★☆
    • Yes, I would watch this movie again, and here’s why: Sex and the City – the movie is a sort of closure that gives the girls one last time to shine…even if they do muck it up a little bit here and there. There’s nothing in the movie that angers me enough to say I wouldn’t watch it again…but I can’t say I’ll try to see it again any time soon, though. One star.
  2.  Fun: ★☆
    • I’ll say it’s somewhat fun. It’s always somewhat fun to see some great characters again, but it is what it is, and it could have been better, it could have been more fun, and for that reason, I give this one star.
  3.  Impulse to buy it: ★☆
    • Well, I bought the movie before I saw it, so I’d say the show itself gave me an impulse to buy it. After seeing it, I didn’t really have an impulse to buy it, so that tells me this is allowed at least one star.
  4.  Impulse to talk to someone about it: ★☆
    • Sort of, to tell the fans of the show how it did and what I thought about it, but the “impulse” isn’t driving me mad, either.
  5.  Sucks the audience in: ☆☆
    • No. It may have been a little fun, but I could have easily went to the bathroom without pausing it, too. No stars for this subcategory.

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SPECIALTY QUESTIONS

 

These are special questions written by you before seeing the movie, based on expectations, questions, stereotypes, you name it. If it’s a Tom Cruise movie, have Cruise-isms, if it’s a horror film, ask how scary it is, if it’s a sequel, ask if it fits in with the universe or if it was even needed to begin with, you catch the drift.

FITS IN THE UNIVERSE?
★★★★★★★★★★

SPECIALTY QUESTION #1

 

In short, yes it does. These characters bounced right back into character as if they’d never left. To their advantage, it really was only four years since they last left off, but after a decade of playing these characters, it’s hard not to believe they’ll always be able to play the characters. That doesn’t mean it fits in the universe, though, does it? Exactly, they needed a theme, they needed the right interactions, and plenty focus on current trends in the materialistic side of things, not to mention New York,…and this movie had it all, which I’ll have to give it the full 10 stars for.

FOLLOWS EPISODIC STRUCTURE
★★★★★★★★★★

SPECIALTY QUESTION #2

 

The TV show followed a very specific structure which I loved. While Carrie wrote an article for the paper, the TV show had that as its theme, and every character would have a different and independent experience with what that theme means for them as a character – and this movie does the same way…in a way that makes sense for a movie. For that, I have to give it the full 10 stars.

MOVIE OR REUNION?
★★★★★★★★★★

SPECIALTY QUESTION #3

 

To be more specific, a movie is a good thing, a reunion is not. Plenty of movies based off of TV shows are just managed as a reunion of sorts, and just don’t feel like a serious attempt at a movie. Just because you have great characters doesn’t mean you can make something good to watch. Thankfully, this time, this movie felt like a movie. It felt like they were indeed making a serious attempt at a film, and for that reason, I’ll give this 10 stars as well.

SENSE OF CLOSURE?
★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

SPECIALTY QUESTION #4

 

I touched base on this in a previous question, but what this movie did was create a fantastic sense of closure for one of the characters, but three of them went backward from where they left at the end of the series, and only two of them went back to where they were before. Meaning one advanced to a closure state, one reverted back to crap, and two stayed exactly the same…for me, that’s a little bit of a mess.

HALFWAY DECENT?
★★★★★★★★★★

SPECIALTY QUESTION #5

 

So, was this movie halfway decent? Oh yeah, absolutely. You have no qualms about that with me, today.

RATING: 77/100

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