A popular and award-winning television series about four New York women, their lives and loves is finally a feature film. Alan Silverman has this look at the big screen version of Sex and the City.
For six years this sprightly theme meant it was time for another half hour with Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha searching for love in New York. But that was so '90's.
Now four years after the series finale, their stories continue. Based on a popular novel by Candace Bushnell, Sex and the City swirls around committed single Carrie Bradshaw, whose newspaper columns and humorous books chronicle her romantic experiences along with those of her best friends: busy attorney Miranda, upper crust socialite Charlotte and free-spirited Samantha. Carrie has been in an on-again, off-again relationship with a wealthy executive they nickname "Mr. Big;" but none of the friends expects the announcement she makes at one of their regular dinners.
Michael Patrick King wrote and directed the TV series and does the same for the feature film.
"Of course, I always knew that the one story left untold was the 'Big' story," says King. "That's all anybody ever asked me: would Carrie and 'Big' get married? How would it work? Would they be happy? So from a technical point of view I knew that the scaffold for the entire building was going to be the Carrie and 'Big' wedding ... if it happened or if it did not happen. So I thought, okay, Carrie Bradshaw is a really complicated, untraditional character. Whatever this story of a possible wedding for her is, it has to be really complicated. Then I just started thinking where would these women be now."
Miranda is still working long hours at her law practice, juggling motherhood and marriage. She's played by Cynthia Nixon.
"She might have less of a glamour quotient than the rest of the girls, but she is very based in reality and has a story line in the movie that, I think, so many people can relate to," Nixon says.
As does Charlotte, who, though still happily married, longs to have a baby. Kristen Davis wants fans to be surprised.
"I can't give that part away because there are so few secrets," Davis notes. "Let's just say that some unexpected things happen to Charlotte, good and bad."
Samantha, for whom New York never seemed to have enough romantic partners, has moved to Los Angeles to be with her much younger TV star boyfriend. Kim Cattrall, who is 51, thinks women will appreciate the choice to have the character deal with 'acting her age.'
"I think that shows like Sex and the City and characters like Samantha change your idea of what 40 is or even 50 is," Cattrall says. "So I thought if we can do it with 40 (on the TV show), let's go for this."
In the center of this circle of female friends is Carrie, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, who says it may appear to be telling women's stories, but she knows "Sex and The City" also has male fans.
"From what I have gleaned, it is something they can do with a girlfriend or a wife," Parker explains. "It's something that they feigned they did not like at first ...they were pulled kicking and screaming to the television on Sunday nights; but I kind of get the impression from those that are willing to talk about it that it's something they do with a woman in their life."
Chris Noth - "Mr. Big" - says, sure, there's a lot of emphasis on New York fashion and women's experiences; but he thinks men recognize there's more to it.
"Sex and the City does two things at once, I believe," Noth says. "It satisfies the 'sweet tooth' lust for glitz and glamour and fashion; but underneath all of it is a real depth and a real substance that is a human, universal need for love, forgiveness, redemption and coming together and friendship."
In addition to the familiar group from the TV series, the movie Sex and The City introduces a newcomer to the New York mix: Jennifer Hudson as Carrie's new assistant. The Oscar-winner for her performance in Dreamgirls also contributes a song to the very up-to-date soundtrack.