This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 5, 2008 - It's time for me to come out of the closet: I'm a guy who just saw the new "Sex and the City" film. And I liked it. Not just a little bit, either. A lot. I laughed a lot and actually cried a bit, too, but let's not dwell on that, because dudes don't do that.
I wasn't a diehard fan of the show but always enjoyed it whenever I would watch it with my female friends. The women of the HBO series (and now the New Line film) - Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte - are universally considered to be unofficial close gal pals to their legions of fans. Their dating foibles, sexual appetites and sometimes bizarre fashion sense endeared them to us all. It was their sincere dedication to each other and their friendship that made them human.
The central character of Carrie, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, wore some of the wackiest things I have ever seen but always made them look good. I think I would laugh my ass off if I ever saw anyone other than a drag queen wearing some of her getups, but, hey, couture ain't my thing. I once took a "Sex and the City" personality test that told me that I most resemble Carrie. That seemed pretty cool to me, but $525 shoes? I think not.
Through the years, I never wavered in my admiration for any of the series' quartet, and they eventually came to represent the modern woman standing on her own in the big bad city. Their wild and breezy adventures were occasionally punctuated by heartbreak and loss, making them all the more human.
I watched and enjoyed the big two-part series finale a few years ago, but something seemed incomplete even then. It was a natural place to end the show, yet there just had to be more, and the movie finally delivers it. Rumors had swirled for years that the film had been held up by Kim Cattrall, who plays the vivacious cougar Samantha Jones. Whatever the reason, the anticipation has been building, fueled in part by the chopped-up reruns that are broadcast almost daily on TBS and now the WB.
The lobby of Ronnie's, where the film's sneak preview was held, was swarming with women more than an hour before the show was supposed to start. Many disappointed fans were turned away, as all of the available tickets had long since been snapped up. I claimed some vague official status to the overwhelmed ticket-taker and snuck my own gal pal in well before the masses were allowed access. Even though we wound up in the third row in front, we were just happy to be there.
No worries, though, as the film was simply marvelous. The story starts a few years after the series concluded, and the women have settled into their relationships and, in the cases of Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), mommyhood. All of the familiar characters are back, but the central focus is on the women for much of the story. (Jennifer Hudson has a smallish but important role as Carrie's personal assistant, Louise, and the audience cheered when it was revealed that she was from St. Louis.) Viewers were invited right back into the women's lives, comfortable as an old shoe - as opposed to those candy-colored yet treacherous-looking Manolo Blahniks.
Oh, the shoes, and the clothes, the designer sheets, the plentiful cocktails and the snappy one-liners. At 2 hours and 20 minutes, there was certainly a danger of overdosing, but the film was never dull and surprisingly poignant at times.
Is it a chick flick? Well, of course it is, but the characters embody bits of all of us. Will men like it? Unless they are cavemen, by all means they should have a pretty good time with it. (Although the poor guy sitting in front of me was clearly in hell for most of the time he was there and checked his watch often.)
I don't want to offer too many spoilers, but I doubt there is anyone in the free female world that doesn't realize that a big part of the story involves the long-awaited wedding of Carrie and her longtime on-again-off-again-on-again beloved, Mr. Big (Chris Noth), now revealed to the world as John James Preston. Will they make it all the way to the altar this time? Yes, no and maybe.
I suggest that you figure out a way to take your own best girlfriend (or two or 20) to see this delicious summer film treat as soon as you are able to secure a ticket. (Apparently, many shows sold out on the opening weekend.) It is the perfect ending to a perfect series, and I honestly can't wait to see it again.
It will be interesting to see whether girl power will translate into box-office gold for director Michael Patrick King, who was the executive producer, writer and director for most of the show's life on HBO. I hoist my Cosmopolitan to you, Mr. King. Thank you for making us love these flawed but beautiful souls.