‘Sex’ talk: Opposing critics battle over ‘Sex and the City’
By Stephanie Lysaght, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
PRO: Great clothes. Duh.
Designer Patricia Field supplies upwards of 300 outfits, each more outrageous than the last, with stiletto shoes that are probably registered as dangerous weapons in some countries. (Peter Howell, TheStar.com) (Craig Blankenhorn / Associated Press)
CON: Its shallow.
There are fashion shows, photo shoots and a garish parade of shopping bags but nothing is remotely real or of any depth. Carrie remains a depressingly shallow emotional masochist who believes women come to a city like New York in search of two things only: designer labels and love. (Ken Fox, TV Guide) (Craig Blankenhorn / New Line Cinema)
PRO: The depth of the characters is unmatched by most comedies today.
It’s hard, in fact, to think of any other recent examples of movies that explore the complicated emotional lives of characters comically without stooping to adolescent silliness or that are willing to go to such dark places while remaining a comedy in the Shakespearean sense -- all’s well that ends well. (Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times) (Associated Press)
CON: Its predictable.
I won’t say who ends up where (or how long the story stalls on the Mexican Riviera), but I will say that three of the four outcomes would not have been shockers in Eisenhower-era sitcoms. (Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal) (Craig Blankenhorn / New Line Cinema)
PRO: The acting is remarkable.
Sarah Jessica Parker is spectacularly good. She’s so fragile beneath her sultry poses -- she’s like a little girl dressing up, wriggling from one fabulous outfit to the next, enchanted, but apt to whither in the face of rejection and self-doubt. (David Edelstein, CBS News) (Rick Maiman / Associated Press)
CON: The acting is terrible.
Perpetually bitter Miranda feels disappointingly one-dimensional, in both the way she’s written and played. (Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News) (Rick Maiman / Associated Press)
PRO: Jennifer Hudsons performance enlivens the film.
The script does allow one pleasant surprise: the advent of a personal assistant to Carrie, a smart and starry-eyed young émigré to Manhattan played with vim and realism by Jennifer Hudson, virtually the only non-Caucasian in a Manhattan as white as Woody Allen’s. (Shawn Levy, OregonLive.com) (Peter Foley / EPA)
CON: The male characters are marginalized.
Unlike the show, which allowed the men to emerge occasionally from the sidelines with lines of actual dialogue, the male characters in the movie stand idly by, either smiling or stripping, reduced to playing sock puppets in a Punch-free Judy and Judy (times two) show. Im all for the female gaze, but, gee, its also nice to talk and listen to men, too. (Manohla Dargis, New York Times) (Jason DeCrow / Associated Press)
PRO: The film stays true to the series.
The 2½-hour film doesn’t try to cram in unnecessary plot twists or illogical developments to set it apart from the series. Charlotte doesn’t suddenly become a paralegal in Miranda’s firm (with hilarious results!), and Carrie doesn’t up and decide to run for Congress. (Bobby Hankinson, Houston Chronicle) (Richard Drew / Associated Press)
CON: The friendships among the women are lacking.
The show was at its best when it offered, without a great deal of extraneous examination, these glimpses into the nature of friendships between women. The movie needs more of that. (Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com) (Craig Blankenhorn / Associated Press)