Strong Sexual Content? A "Big" Arrival?
Commitment Lusting? Must Be Those City Girls In Gotham, and Celluloid Can
Only Hope To Contain Them
Kristin Davis, Kim Cattrall and Cynthia Nixon
as Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda respectively, in Michael Patrick King's "Sex
And The City: The Movie", which stars Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie. The
film is based on the seven-season series on HBO cable television in the late-1990's
to the early-2000's, opens across the U.S. and Canada on May 30. (Photo:
Craig Blankenhorn/New Line Cinema)
Omar P.L. Moore/The
May 12, 2008
The bigger, the better. The Big Apple. The Big Show. Mr. Big.
And Those Four Women -- back in the saddle, with Charlotte, looking for a child.
Samantha, looking for love in all the spontaneous places. Miranda, looking
to keep the relationship she has intact.
And then there's Carrie. Looking to reel in The Big Catch, once and for
It's been several years since the end of the seventh and final season of "Sex
And The City", the highly-popular HBO cable television series cooked up thanks
to the book written by Candace Bushnell, an autobiographical expose of her own
tales of single womanhood. The television series was produced and created
by Darren Star and some of the episodes were written and directed by Michael
Patrick King, who writes and directs the big screen arrival, "Sex And The City:
The Movie", which opens in the U.S. and Canada on May 30. The film will be
released with an R-rating in the U.S. After all, what else could a film
with the word "sex" in its title be rated? (The R-rating by the Motion
Picture Association of America is for "strong sexual content, graphic nudity and
language.") Audiences are expected to flock to the multiplex this summer
to see the fashions, the handbags, the shoes -- those Manolo Blahniks! -- the
splendor that is New York City nightlife, and of course, the ladies themselves
and their trials and tribulations.
Sarah Jessica Parker is Carrie -- not the most attractive character of the four
but arguably the most alluring and intriguing -- and possibly the most complete
and real character of the four Ladies of Gotham. The other three, played
so ably by Kim Cattrall (Samantha), who was born and raised in Liverpool,
England, Kristin Davis (as Charlotte), seen by many as the most likable of the
four, and Cynthia Nixon, the stage actress (as Miranda), viewed as the smartest.
The big screen "Sex" will feature new characters such as Carrie's assistant,
played by Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, a character looking to find love and
contentment in New York City.
Four years have passed since the end of the television series, which has tackled
everything from black-white sex relations to same-sex relationships to
role-playing to . . . well, you name it. Over the past couple of years a
bastardized version of the unexpurgated HBO series ran on the American cable
television station TBS, which dubbed out any foul language and trimmed heated
sex scenes and nudity. Most, if not all of the television mainstays are
back. Willie Garson returns as Stansfield, Carrie's gay friend and
confidante, as are numerous other players such as Chris Noth as Mr. Big, the
businessman who had played with Carrie's heart more than a number of times on
the small screen, David Eigenberg as Steve, the husband of Miranda, Evan Handler
as Charlotte's husband Harry, and Candice Bergen as Vogue Magazine editor Enid
Frick, among others.
Over the last few weeks there have been rumors searing the Internet about a
supposed demise of Mr. Big in the film. Of this rumor -- as Dusty
Springfield once sang -- it may be false, it may be true. But nothing has
Proven time and time again however, is the immense popularity and appeal of "Sex
And The City", not just among women but also among a fair number of men.
And the trailer for the new film shows four women older, more vulnerable and
happier than before, although there is a melancholy feel in the two-minute
preview that hovers just beneath the surface. Once again the Big Apple
itself is a monumental character, with its sweeping skyline at night and its
sunshine visions during the day. The film is shot in numerous New York
City locations, including (surprise, surprise) Fifth Avenue, the home of
Ferragamo and Faccionable.
The threads that became Candace Bushnell's series of columns in The New York
Observer back in the late 1980's and early 1990's caught the eye of one Darren
Star, who in the film's production notes knew he had a great opportunity to take
hold of in Miss Bushnell's writings. "I just loved the character of a
single woman who is writing about herself and exploring the city and the nature
of relationships at the same time," said Mr. Star, who along with Sarah Jessica
Parker is one of the film's producers. Mr. King, who was captivated by the
quartet of ladies he fell in love with over the years of the show on cable
television, said that the show's success was due to a vacancy that needed to be
filled. "Someone had to speak out for single women, someone going through
life alone in a society that says everybody should be together . . . [I]n the
show, subliminally and sometimes not so subliminally, is the other voice that is
saying, 'Be smart, strong! Follow your own road!'" Mr. King, who has
followed his own road after some financial struggles and now lives in Hollywood
Hills, California, made a distinction between the hit television series and the
new film: "The series was really about the search for love. And I think
the movie's about what happens when you find it."
Carrie Bradshaw has had experiences in a life as a woman that every woman can
relate to, especially in the roller-coaster road to love. In a big city
where one has so much company but can feel so lonely, Carrie's diaries offer an
intimate glimpse into love, longing, commitment and the politics of sex.
In the film, Carrie has come of age in a different sense, as everything comes
together. Older, wiser and more secure, thanks in part to a stable
relationship with handsome hot shot Mr. Big, Carrie has a glow, brightness and
optimism and is ready for new challenges. "She's experiencing New York
City in a different way. It's the first time she's been wise and smart
enough and prudent enough to save money. She's much more of an adult,"
said Ms. Parker.
While Carrie is looking to make a big move with Mr. Big, Charlotte, the Park
Avenue Princess, is sitting pretty with her husband Evan, and with an adopted
child to call her own she is turning to toward impacting other people's lives.
Says Ms. Davis of her character: "Because she has so much of what she wants,
she's kind of focused on other people." The sexual livewire of this
ladies' gang is Samantha and four years of time have changed her. She,
believe it or not, is committed to her boyfriend Smith, an actor (Jason Lewis),
and is living in Los Angeles, 3500 miles away from her beloved girl pals.
Ms. Cattrall, who along with Ms. Parker and Ms. Nixon have won awards for their
work on "Sex", alludes to the reality that her girlfriends have grown up in the
ways that most women who move up the ladder of life grow up. "Her
girlfriends are getting married and having babies . . . there is that feeling of
being left behind, not just distance-wise." Miranda is in Brooklyn, but
with Steve and son Brady she feels isolated and claustrophobic at the same time.
"She's just exhausted. Just like a working mother, she's extended in five
different directions," said Ms. Cattrall.
While the four ladies of love are going through new adventures, there's a fifth
lovely leading lady in town, a new character addition to the Big Apple and to
Mr. King's film. Louise, as played by Jennifer Hudson, is hired by Carrie
to be her assistant. Ms. Hudson, fresh off her Academy Award-winning role
in "Dreamgirls", has a supporting but significant role as a protege-of-sorts to
Carrie, a kind of heir apparent to Carrie's glamour throne perhaps.
"Louise is a twenty-five year-old girl from St. Louis who moves to New York to
find love. She believes in love. And what greater message is there
than to spread love?" Ms. Hudson, who is a singer and songwriter, also
supplied a song ("Dressed In Love") for the film's soundtrack, which will be
available in stores on May 27 in the U.S. and Canada. The role of Louise
was up for grabs, and Ms. Hudson admitted that she hadn't been an avid viewer of
the television series and used the six and a half seasons of the HBO series,
which are forever memorialized on DVD, for insight and research for her
character. In the film's production notes she has clearly caught the fever
for "Sex". "I have not stopped watching it since. I'm addicted --
I'm in love with it."
There's actually a sixth leading lovely lady -- of song -- who like Ms. Hudson
is involved musically in "Sex And The City: The Movie". India.Arie, the
supremely talented Grammy award-winning artist, provides the song "The Heart of
The Matter" to the film's soundtrack. The song can be heard during the
trailer of the film.
A major player in the proceedings for the film as well as the television series
is its costumer/designer fashion icon Patricia Field, who has a style and
uniqueness that is obviously all her own. With long, bright red scarlet
hair, Ms. Field made a few and selected the many different wardrobes for the
ladies and the rest of the cast. Ms. Field had done the same for the
entire duration of the television series. "When you work with a crew for
so many years, it's family, so it was great getting back together again," Ms.
Field said. She brought co-designer Molly Rogers on board for the film,
among others. The challenge for Ms. Field was to design a wardrobe for the
four ladies after a gap of four years. What was the clothing going to look
like and evoke, four years later in their lives? "I think Michael Patrick
trusted me to do what was right. And for me, it just had to be
intelligent, it had to have a reason. There had to be a logic behind the
way they looked, because those girls are a part of everyone's living room, and
they will check it out, detail for detail. So there has to be a real truth
there." Director Michael Patrick King sung Ms. Field's praises.
"People have been waiting a while to see these ladies. And when they see
these ladies. they're going to see some color and they're gong to see some new
ideas. Pat is at the top of her game."
All involved with "Sex And The City: The Movie" are hoping that the film will be
on top of the box office tree when it opens on May 30, and that it can be every
bit the $100 million-plus hit that similar fashion-themed film "The Devil Wears
Prada" was two summers ago. All indications are that "Sex" will sizzle on
screen and off.
After all, sex sells.
Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw in a
wallpaper image for the new film "Sex And The City: The Movie", which opens in
the U.S. and Canada on May 30. Jennifer Hudson stars as Louise, Carrie's
assistant. (Courtesy: New Line Cinema; Photo of Jennifer Hudson by Craig
Blankenhorn/New Line Cinema)
"Sex And The City: The Movie" also stars Candice Bergen and Mario Cantone.
The film opens on May 30 and is written and directed by Michael Patrick King.
Copyright The Popcorn Reel. PopcornReel.com. 2008. All Rights