Written by: Michael Patrick King
Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Jennifer Hudson
Often derided for many completely valid reasons, the story of these four women revolutionized the way women could be depicted in mainstream entertainment. Something that should be expected for better or for worse. Bringing something that successful to the big screen allowed for a continuation of what occurred at the end of the series but also a natural justification for what would come next. For as much as this feature brings the crew back together for another go, it still fails to reckon with the central relationship it has not been able to sell from the beginning.
Years later after their finale, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte (Kristin Davis), and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) have found themselves embracing new aspects of their lives and the challenges coming with it. Namely, Carrie enters into a new stage of relationship with Big (Chris Noth) as their drama continues to wreak havoc on each other’s mental health.
As someone whose wife made him watch most of the episodes of this series when she decided to watch the first feature, it almost came as an obligation to see exactly where the story would go in the future. With the massive ups and downs of the series, it comes as no surprise that the feature working as a continuation narratively manages to be the same. Namely, there are strong moments from characters like Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte and then having to deal with whatever nonsense Carrie deals with when trying to live a life with Big. All to be expected and it certainly leaves much to be desired.
For much of the series, it continually perplexed me why the writers continued to push Carrie and Big together as some unstoppable romance as if these two toxic individuals do not suck the air of everything around them, which leads to everyone being miserable. They once again do the same thing where we see individuals well into their 40s (?) still behaving like 20-year-olds. It got old very quickly in the series and very much does not continue to age well when trying to compress the story into a feature film. Carrie and Big’s relationship just does not work and the persistence of the narrative to continue to push the audience to care for what can obviously be predicted does not make for compelling entertainment no matter how hard it tries. This ultimately stops the film from raising the bar as a whole but other elements definitely try their best.
Much credit must be given to the overall direction of the story as it legitimately feels like an extended episode of the series. Whether that should be a good thing with this being a feature and a belief it should be more cinematic aside, there remains a natural flow through the story with its good pacing all-around. In addition, the characters that made the series compelling do their best with the substandard material they receive. Namely Samantha, the best part of this entire story once again doing what she does best. Kim Cattrall saves this story on many occasions just as she has done throughout her history bringing forward the sexually progressive Samantha. She brings the humor associated with her character once again, which makes every time the camera cuts to her the high points of this feature and nothing else really comes close.
Thus you have two inevitable forces pulling at each other throughout the feature where we experience the greatness of Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda but we cannot escape the drama of Carrie an Big. It becomes completely understandable why the film would fixate on them, but it certainly does not make for compelling entertainment, which this film should have sought to do. Instead, we have a man in his 50s or maybe 60s behaving at such an immature level that it just drags everything being done well by the other characters well below the standard of at least good.
Fans of the show undoubtedly will love the film as it doubles down on what made it successful while trying to push it forward as these women enter a different and new stage in their lives. It comes wth a juggling act the creative team just cannot hold together enough to make a successful feature film.