A Woman's Right to Shoes: Miseryguts and Lobotomy Woman in a Tale of Gormless Materialism

By Gilbey, Ryan | New Statesman (1996), June 2, 2008 | Go to article overview

A Woman's Right to Shoes: Miseryguts and Lobotomy Woman in a Tale of Gormless Materialism


Gilbey, Ryan, New Statesman (1996)


Sex and the City (15)

dir: Michael Patrick King

Before the HBO series Sex and the City began its six-year run in 1998, the world had suspected that women were enjoying guilt-free sex (sometimes when they had work the next morning, too). But until the show came along, this idea had never been expressed in such an unapologetic tenor on mainstream television. It made you want to travel back to 1977, to find Diane Keaton dragging her sorry self around the singles joints of that earlier, grimier New York in Looking for Mr Goodbar, and tell her: "It doesn't have to be like this"--possibly before addressing her as "girlfriend".

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The frothy newspaper columnist Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) and her friends-smmantha the hedonist (Kim Cattrall), Miranda the miseryguts (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis), who wears a gaping smile seem predominantly on lobotomy wards-raked over their chaotic love lives, treating with rebaldry those subjects usually only aired in sombre tones on This Morning. The logistics of converting to Judaism could be found in the same episode as discussions about the various flavours of semen. (I'd like to see Fern and Phillip tackle that one. Perhaps they could do a Pepsi Challenge.)

In the final season, Samantha reassured Carrie, who was fretting about uprooting to Paris: "Your fabulousness will translate." But the question facing Michael Patrick King, who has overseen the film version, is how the material will handle the shift to cinema, which demands a more extreme adjustment even than a move from New York to paris. King has come up with a novel solution: do nothing. The picture is nearly two and a half hours long, but everything about the series is intact-disatrously so. The photography is flat, the editing rudimentary and the structure bitty and episodic in a way that never mattered in bite- sized 30 miniute segmentsm, but completely wrecks this big-screen equivalent.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Carrie is now the author of three bestsellers (with raised, gold-embossed lettering on the covers, I'll wager), and is preparing to wed her on-off boyfriend Mr Big ( Chris Noth). …

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