Sex and the City (2008)

Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Catrall, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis, Chris Noth, Jennifer Hudson, David Eigenberg

Directed by: Michael Patrick King

Rating: 1 2 3

The Sex and the City girls get carried away (groan)

If you're the sort of person who can sit through an entire box set of Sex and the City in an evening and still cry 'More!' you will love this movie. If, on the other hand, you think half an hour with an advert break is just about enough, you could be toiling.

I hold my hands up and admit it: I loved the final episode of the classic New York gal pal series, and cried my eyes out as the four women whose random fornications I'd followed for so long grew up to assume new lives, new loves and new responsibilities. So why, I wondered, when it all ended so perfectly, bring it back? There's a reason why they never made Pride and Prejudice 2

So now Sex and the City the movie has the tricky task of reuniting our four friends four years down the line and answering that awkward question: what happens after you live happily ever after? What happens when, like kooky columnist Carrie, the love of your life loves you, but doesn't want to marry you? Or, like working mum Miranda, you're too tired to have sex, or love yourself more than you love your partner, like sex-crazed Samantha? Or even when your life becomes so boringly perfect, you get written out of the script, like NY princess Charlotte.

The first half hour or so of the film are really quite good – funny, charming, sweet and moving – as our heroines grapple with growing up, facing tears and joys and abject humiliation with strength and humour and cocktails. But very soon it all descends into a bit of a silly, frothy mess, tottering merrily towards a trite ending on increasingly spindly heels.

Yes, the fashions are fabulous and there are girly laughs galore, and Dreamgirls' Jennifer Hudson is a great addition as Carrie's down to earth personal assistant, but no matter how beautifully dressed up and accessorised this movie is, it can't disguise the fact that it's a TV series on the big screen.

But anyone who criticised the series for being unrealistic and falsely aspirational in its portrayal of strong, independent women pursuing glamorous careers wearing wonderful couture creations, enjoying the kind of fabulous, cocktail sipping, party going, jet setting lifestyle more of us can only dream of, well, they have the last laugh now. Because in the end, the moral that our older, wiser girls must face is that if you really want to live happily ever after, you have to learn to be forgiving of all manner of male foibles – and always let your man get his own way.

Yes, the women may wear the killer heels, but in SATC the movie, it's the colourless men who surround our vibrant heroines who wear the trousers, and unless, like Samantha, you can stand the coldness of single life, you'd better get into the kitchen. Wearing fabulous shoes, of course – a girl's gotta have standards.

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