So, Friday saw the realisation of my second most anticipated movie event of the year (Eclipse being number 1, naturally).
Every time my girl friends and I had seen the SATC 2 trailer, we had squeaked with excitement and got shivers at the sight of Carrie's INCREDIBLE shoe collection gracing cinema screens once more. The trailer promised adventure, excitement and a lot of seriously fabulous fashion. Our expectations from the film were added to by the veritable storm cloud of rumours that swirled over the past few weeks, concerning marriages, pregnancy, and maybe even a death? Stylist magazine dedicated an entire issue to the SATC phenomenon.
Having come in fairly late in the game (being 23, my friend's and I were only 12 when the series started, too young to be exposed to Samantha's rudeness) the majority of our SATC experience was based on the first film. I adored that movie, for the drama, the friendship and of course, the fashion. At the time, I was making some decisions about where to focus my career ambitions and was leaning towards the music journalism side of the industry. I walked out at the end of the movie, having cried my eyes out and eaten most of a big bag of Minstrels - didn't realise how long it was - went home, stuck my ticket in my diary and wrote 'the day I decided fashion was for me'. Cheesy I know, but the film reminded me about everything I loved about the business. Seeing Carrie's magical life (and wardrobe) up on screen incentivize me to aim for the career I had always dreamed of.
Therefore I was bursting with excitement for this cinematic experience. Unfortunately, everything you have heard about the movie is true. Nothing happens! Whereas the first movie was full of ups and downs, this film has just one significant dramatic event, which isn't even that dramatic. The narrative moves on a centimetre further than where the first movie left off. Maybe they are setting it up for a sequel, but the complacency and laziness of the scriptwriters was shocking. Samatha, usually dazzling with her sharp wit and clever innuendos, was crude and vulgar in the most blatant, obvious way (at one point she screams 'I have sex! I have sex!' which made me cringe into my seat) and Charlotte was there were slow motion shots of Charlotte's bosomy, bra-less nanny. Surely SATC is bigger and better than that level of humour?
Also, the movie is not set in New York. This may seem like a trivial insignificance, but in fact it made me realise how integral the Big Apple is to my enjoyment of the show. The smoky, bustling, glamourous city is basically the fifth 'girl' and is essential for the dramatic elements - how many scenes have involved iconic yellow cabs, elevators, views across the city, sidewalks and of course, steps. Transplanting the girls to Abu Dhabi did provide an exotic element to the movie, but just like when Eastenders or Coronation Street go abroad, it just isn't the same. It made it feel like just another movie set in a fabulous location. The fabulous-ness got a bit much at times, too - there is something attainable about Carrie's NY apartment, but I doubt the average movie goer will ever be able to afford a trip to the 7-star resort they visit in the film. Basically SATC just isn't the same without a Big Apple backdrop.
I'll go and see SATC 3, which seems inevitable given the massive box office pull this franchise commands, but it will be on a fashion only basis. I drooled over Carrie's Swarovski Louboutins and heavenly Halston gowns, but they were the only things that kept me going through the two hours. The closing scenes were a nail in the coffin for the SATC magic too (STOP READING IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT).
I know Carrie and Big are special, but what man buys a massive black diamond ring for a wife who has just had an extra-marital misdemeanour? There is always a place for cinematic escapism, but this is borderline delusional fantasy.