Sex and the City: The Movie

 
(i)

 

Just as fun, sexy, and label heavy as the series.
  • Review Date: May 28, 2008
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 148 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Although threre's plenty of iffy behavior, the movie has a very warm heart beating at its center (in the form of the foursome's enduring friendship), and the characters' misdeeds aren't borne out of malice but are the result of human frailty. In the end, everyone is supportive of each other and, above all else, honest.

Positive role models

Men cheat and jilt, women lie to their friends (and shop, shop, shop), both sexes waffle at commitment -- but it all sounds worse than it is. Overall, the characters care about each other and their relationships very much.

Violence

A woman hits a man over the head with a bouquet. Otherwise, just lots of emotional sparring.

Sex

The title doesn't lie: There's tons of sex in the movie. Sex in the shower, sex on beds, even a threesome. Nudity includes several shots of breasts (often heaving in passion), butts, and a quick glimpse of male genitalia. There's also an attempted seduction on a dining table (with sushi used to conceal sensitive bits). Some scenes are explicit and up close, while others are quick cuts.

Language

As with the HBO series, colorful and uncensored, including everything from "bitch," "a--hole," and "dick" to "bulls--t" and "f--k." But not as frequent as in some other R-rated comedies.

Consumerism

Hello, product placement. Rather than ask what was included, better to consider what wasn't. Expect a parade of Louis Vuitton purses, Manolo Blahnik shoes, Chanel dresses, Tiffany boxes, a Vivienne Westwood wedding dress, Skyy vodka, Vitamin Water, and more -- the name-dropping and label-flashing stops for no one.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Frequent social drinking and some smoking (cigars, outside a bar after a celebration). One of the characters slides into a funk after suffering a major heartbreak and self-medicates with alcohol.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this comedy is based on HBO's hugely popular series Sex and the City TV series, which has garnered quite a following among teens thanks to DVDs and edited reruns in syndication. The movie is very similar to the unedited version of the show -- meaning that while it's warm and endearing (for the most part), it's also quite raunchy. There's plenty of frank talk about sex, sometimes in front of a child (though the characters use a euphemism to shield her from their usual saucy banter). There's also a fair amount of partial nudity (both female and male, including breasts and butts), a brief male frontal shot (or, rather, a glimpse of the front from the side), and characters shown in various sexual positions. Also expect lots of salty language, a good bit of drinking, and piles of high-end brand names and products. But, all of that said, just like the series, the sex and shopping aren't really the point here -- the women's friendships are.

What's the story?

When last we saw SEX AND THE CITY's fashionable foursome, they were off to their respective happily-ever-afters. But, as narrator Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) would likely put it, what does it all mean to live happily ever after? Four years later, Carrie and her beloved Big (Chris Noth) -- now given a proper name, John James Preston -- are still going strong. But when they decide to get married, what begins as a simple affair quickly gets complicated, threatening to overwhelm everything (much like Carrie's fantastical Vivienne Westwood wedding dress). Meanwhile, Brooklyn-based Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Steve (David Eigenberg) are stuck in a rut that gets a much-needed -- if painful -- jolt, and Samantha (Kim Cattrall), still with golden boy Smith (Jason Lewis), bristles under the constraints of an established relationship. Only Charlotte (Kristin Davis) seems perfectly happy (she's even pregnant!), but that itself gives her reason to pause, if only because she worries when the proverbial other shoe will drop.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

When the series hit the scene years ago, it was groundbreaking, not only because it served up so much sex (the word is in the title, after all) -- and from a woman's point of view, at that -- but also because it fearlessly examined women's relationships with the men in their lives and, more importantly, with each other. Although the movie doesn't blaze any new trails (the dialogue, though offering handfuls of barbs, seems to have been written with a pencil less sharp than usual), fans will still likely walk away satisfied, since it serves up plenty of what made devotees watch in the first place: Friendship, romance, and drama in the big city.

The women themselves, while older, are none the worse for wear. It's so refreshing to see them celebrate themselves as they are, not pining for a youth that was so much better, bolder, and brighter than the present. The men, too, seem to have gotten better with age, especially Big, who -- though still confused -- exudes a warmth rarely seen in the series. That said, we get far too little of Stanford (Willie Garson) and Anthony (Mario Cantone). And while it's true that SATC was built on glamour, the vast array of branded products is just too much. The movie actually gets better once it dispenses with the fabulosity and gets down to the business of drama. Of the four storylines, Carrie's and Miranda's hold the most depth, but Samantha gets all the best lines, if no longer all the great sex (surprise, surprise). Charlotte, who was most transformed in the series, deserves more complexity, as does Jennifer Hudson as Carrie's assistant. But even though the movie isn't perfect, there are stand-out moments that remind us of the show's singular ability to tap into authenticity amid all the frivolity. And that's when we want to embrace SATC like a long-lost friend.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the movie presents sex. Is it all just for fun, or are there consequences? If so, what are those consequences? 

  • What messages are teens likely to take away from the movie about relationships?

  • Does the movie deal with the same issues as the series? Is the quest for love still the central theme? If so, what kind of love? In the end, does a woman need a relationship to be whole?

  • What's the glue that binds these characters together? What role do friends have in your life? Do they sometimes take the place of family? Why? 

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 29, 2008
DVD release date:September 22, 2008
Cast:Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker
Director:Michael Patrick King
Studio:New Line
Genre:Comedy
Run time:148 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong sexual content, graphic nudity and language

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Teen, 16 years old Written byPLL_lover4eva January 16, 2014
 

Amazing! But some graphic sex scenes.

I think this movie is really great however you have to have a certain maturity level to not only watch, but enjoy this movie. And not only to know what ''sexual intercourse'' is but to understand the dangers of STI's and things. And also the idea of having sex with strangers isn't always the best! But in a way this movie is a heart-warming comedy about love, life, marriage and friendship.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008
 

love it!!!!!!!

i saw it on opening day with my mom and older sister, when i was 12! i think that as long as you know wrong from right and make the right decisions, its fine for anyone mature enough!
Teen, 13 years old Written byimjameswbu October 13, 2013
 

13 years+

I'm 13 years old and my mum has all the box sets and all the DVD's. I asked her if I could watch it and she seemed hesitant but she isn't hugely strict so she let me. Personally, by around 12-14, you pretty much know all the euphemisms, swear words and other suggestive things and it was actually really funny. I definitely would advise any parents who don't want their child to see nudity, to swerve this one. Otherwise, I think it's fine for 13yo+
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing

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