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HE SAID: B+

'Sex and the City' not just for women only

Chris Noth as Mr. Big and Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw.

New Line Cinema

Chris Noth as Mr. Big and Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw.

I have only one major problem with Sex and the City.

It's called a Y chromosome.

The four dishes — excuse me, fashion plates — in Sex and the City might consider that a defect. They bend men into XX mutants of feminine fantasy, the kind of unnatural selection some guys might feel they're making if they see this movie.

Get over it, dudes. Sex and the City is your friend. We can't live without women, so learning how to live with them is a good idea. Keep your friends close and their fantasies closer.

Having never watched the TV show, the movie version was as low on my to-do list as buying new shoes. But after seeing this sprightly, spiteful piece of sophisticated fluff, at least polishing the old ones feels like the thing to do.

Writer-director Michael Patrick King offers an opening-credits primer for newcomers that sets up the scenario four years after the TV series ended. Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) is moving into a fab penthouse with Mr. Big (Chris Noth) and contemplating marriage. Samantha (Kim Cattrall) is living in Malibu with her hunk, Charlotte (Kristin Davis) in the suburbs with her doting chunk, and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is in a domestic funk.

The women will face crises of commitment, aging, infidelity and trying to make sense of their friends' problems. King's witty screenplay doesn't overplay or underestimate these issues. The worst he does is allow them to simmer too long. Sex and the City is at least 20 minutes longer than it needs to be, and Carrie's inner voice needs an editor in the last reel.

Men can take heart in the fact that whenever the pity parties drag or fabulous fashions are all that's on screen, there's a hot sex scene or a Knocked Up-level gag just around the corner. Sometimes these women are just men at heart (or someplace lower).

The performances are solid throughout, no surprise since the actors spent the past decade either playing their roles or living up to them in public. The surprise is that I found myself rooting for the ladies. Samantha should be able to be herself. Charlotte makes a fine mother. Miranda should loosen up for her own sake. I can't believe Big could do that to Carrie, but I don't want to talk about it.

The bottom line is that enjoying Sex and the City doesn't make anyone a lesser man. It could make some into better men — if they could afford the boutique and bar tabs.

Steve Persall can be reached at
persall@sptimes.com or (727)
893-8365. Read his blog at blogs.
tampabay.com/movies.

Reviews | Sex and the City

'Sex and the City' not just for women only 05/29/08 [Last modified: Monday, June 2, 2008 3:02pm]

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