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Sex and the City


Stars: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristen Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Chris Noth, Jennifer Hudson, Candice Bergen, David Eigenberg, Evan Handler, Jason Lewis, Mario Cantone, Lynne Cohen, Joanna Gleason, Willie Garson

Director: Michael Patrick King

Compared with embarrassing television series-to-feature-film failures like The Beverly Hillbillies and Dukes of Hazzard this long-awaited small-screen-to-big-screen show can be counted as a genuine 24 carat audience winner. Followers of the TV series can’t fail to enjoy themselves. Those non-critical (in all senses of the word) members of the (carefully papered) audience who laughed and cheered throughout the press show proved that.

Surprisingly, perhaps, writer-director and series veteran King sees to it that aficionados are perfectly catered for by the polished blend of comedy, romance, drama, bitchiness on offer, while at the same time ensuring audiences meeting fortysomethings Parker, Cattrall, Davis and Nixon for the first time are also engagingly entertained by the lightweight but amusing show on offer. It's no masterpiece, of course, but to its credit it never pretends to be. It's simply Hollywood demographic-aimed movie making at its best.

King cleverly brings non-believers up to speed before putting the ladies over an enjoyable series of romantic and emotional hurdles. Davis and Dixon suffer marriage stresses and pregnancy respectively, Cattrall carries on enjoying sex (apart from a missed opportunity when she covers her naked body with sushi to no erotic effect) and Parker bears the brunt of the story with a pleasing performance as she continues traumatic love affair with Noth’s billionaire ‘Mr Big’. Noth, perhaps best known to non-believers as a regular on the superb TV crime series ‘Law and Order’, broods splendidly like a Manhattan Mr Rochester and Dreamgirls Oscar-winner Hudson looks relieved to be working at all. The tasty blend of "Labels and love" and sex and laughs is garnished with stunning views of the City (New York) - when Manhattan isn't being elegantly upstaged by the ladies, that is.

Polished acting, satisfyingly cynical dialogue (“Oh my God, I’ve died and gone to real-estate heaven” sighs Parker on meeting her new penthouse home for the first time), lively comic-dramatic situations and a tangy garnish of bad taste all add up to a movie which understands its audience(s) to a ‘T’, never patronises them and succeeds in catering for them very well indeed.

Alan Frank

USA 2008. UK Distributor: Entertainment Film Distributors. Colour.
148 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 30 May 2008