Saturday, May 31, 2008

Yes, I went to see "Sex and the City" on opening night

I hadn't planned on it; if anything, I prefer to avoid the crowds. But then, after two back-to-back intense days of working at home, glued to my computer and phone without a break, I saw that there was a 4:30 Friday showing in the local theater that would be a) matinee priced and b) earlier than the later rush hour, so likely less crowded. Bingo!

I am glad I went then, too, as part of the experience of the movie was the excitement of the crowd: laughs, shout-outs, sighs, giggles, hoots and calls. About 90% were female, most in clumps of 3 or more (sitting alone during the pre-preview commercials amidst all the chatter made me feel conspicuously alone), the majority under 30, I'd say. (The latter most likely a result of the starting time; I imagine for the 7:30 show, which was already sold out when I arrived at the box office, the average age rises to one closer to the movie's heroines' ages.) They were a fun group to be with during the movie, and made me wonder if, for once, I should have invited friends and made it an "event." (I prefer to see movies alone. It's a terribly anti-social habit, but I am so set in my movie ritual patterns that I don't like when someone suggests we sit in the back, or chooses a spot blocked in the claustrophobic center of a crowded row, or god forbid, tries to talk to me during the film. I'm a freak.)

Oh, the movie? I enjoyed it, pretty much, although the plot did exactly what I dreaded by - MINOR SPOILER AHEAD - throwing Carrie a curve ball which was exactly the same curve ball she'd been thrown again and again. Yawn. Fortunately, her response, and the resulting actions of her friends, felt a bit fresher, either because of the amount of time the movie format allowed it to unfold, or because the characters have matured. The movie was long, but it didn't seem to drag for me, maybe because there was always something new to see: clothes, hair, apartment decor.

I could have lived without Charlotte's big comedic scene - which I heard Kristin Davis interviewed about on a morning news show, in which she said she worried that it might be too much - well, for this viewer (MAJOR SPOILER AHEAD), pooping in your pants is too much. It just wasn't funny, it wasn't in keeping with the tone of the rest of the movie (this isn't Harold and Kumar), and made Charlotte more of a buffoon than she deserved. I read a review that said Charlotte was dumbed down for the movie, and I agree. Maybe it's because at 40, her blatant optimism naturally comes across as idiocy.

Everyone else is more one-note, too - Miranda is the hard-working, husband-ignoring, asexual hardass she was always going to be, and Samantha, sadly, winds up watching more sex than she's allowed to have as one of a monogamous couple, but her storyline is still all about sex and how "different" she is for not wanting commitment. The only character I actually liked in the movie was Carrie, oddly enough, as she was the one I usually hated on the TV show, but here, where she should have been the most self-centered, she displayed more compassion for her friends' varied troubles. I also really like her as a brunette.

I said I liked it, right? And I did. Not loved, but liked.

Funnily enough, rather than running out to drink a cosmo (which - NON IMPORTANT SPOILER AHEAD - makes a celebrated return in the film) or buy a pair of insanely priced shoes, I had the urge to buy roses and chinese food. (Why is that if any character in any move is shown with chopsticks and a white take-out container, I start craving rice and shrimp?) I bought the roses but avoided the unhealthy food, although I did open another bottle of left-over party wine when I got home.


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