Sex and the City (film)
|Sex and the City|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Patrick King|
|Written by||Michael Patrick King|
|Narrated by||Sarah Jessica Parker|
|Music by||Aaron Zigman|
|Edited by||Michael Berenbaum|
|Box office||$415.2 million|
Sex and the City (advertised as Sex and the City: The Movie) is a 2008 American romantic comedy film written and directed by Michael Patrick King in his feature film directorial debut, and a sequel to the 1998-2004 HBO comedy series of the same name (itself based on the 1997 book of the same name by Candace Bushnell) about four female friends: Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte York Goldenblatt (Kristin Davis), and Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon), dealing with their lives as single women in New York City. The series often featured frank discussions about romance and sexuality.
The world premiere took place at Leicester Square, London, on May 15, 2008, and premiered on May 28, 2008, in the United Kingdom and May 30, 2008, in the United States. Despite mixed reviews from critics, calling the film an extended episode of the series, it was a commercial success, grossing over $415 million worldwide from a $65 million budget.
A sequel to the film, entitled Sex and the City 2, was released in 2010 to similar commercial success but even larger critical failure. A third film was announced in December 2016, but in September 2017 Sarah Jessica Parker confirmed that it was not going to happen.
Carrie walks through the streets of New York City thinking about events that have happened to her and her friends during Sex and the City. Charlotte is now happily married to Harry Goldenblatt, but she had a hard time getting pregnant - so they adopted a Chinese girl named Lily; Miranda has settled down in Brooklyn with Steve (David Eigenberg) to raise their son Brady together; and Samantha has relocated her business to Los Angeles to be close to Smith (Jason Lewis), who is now a superstar, although she misses her old life and takes every opportunity to fly East to be with Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte.
Carrie herself is now in a relationship with Big (Chris Noth), and they are viewing apartments with plans to move in together. Carrie falls in love with a penthouse far from their price range. Big immediately agrees to pay for it. Carrie offers to sell her own apartment, although she also voices her fear that she would have no legal rights to their home in case they separate, as they are not married. To quell her fears, Big suggests that they marry. Carrie announces the news to her friends. Charlotte and Miranda are happy at the news, but Samantha - as Carrie points out dryly - sounds more excited at the thought of Carrie "finally getting Botox". Charlotte suggests her longtime gay friend, Anthony Marantino, as the pushy wedding planner.
Miranda confesses to her friends that she has been so busy she hasn’t had sex with Steve in six months. When Steve confesses he has cheated on her, Miranda is devastated and immediately separates from him. At Carrie and Big's rehearsal dinner, Steve tries to reconcile with Miranda, but she rebuffs him. Still upset with Steve, she tells Big bluntly that marriage ruins everything.
On the wedding day, (partially due to Miranda's words at the rehearsal dinner) Big is too fearful to go through with the ceremony. Carrie, devastated, flees the wedding. Samantha stays behind to clear the guests. Big changes his mind and catches up with Carrie in an attempt to reconcile in the middle of a one-way street. Carrie furiously attacks him with her bouquet while he earns scathing looks from Miranda and Charlotte, as well as from the crowds of New Yorkers watching the scene unfold. To console Carrie (who is depressed, and at the beginning of the holiday doesn't eat anything for two days), the four women take the honeymoon that Carrie had booked to Mexico, where they de-stress and collect themselves.
Upon returning to New York, Carrie hires an assistant, Louise (Jennifer Hudson), to help her manage her life. Miranda eventually confesses to Carrie about what happened at the rehearsal dinner, and the two briefly fall out as Carrie storms out of a restaurant on Valentine's Day. After reflecting on the argument she had with Carrie, Miranda agrees to attend couples counseling with Steve, and they are eventually able to reconcile. Samantha finds her five-year-old relationship passionless, and begins over-eating to keep from cheating on Smith with a gorgeous neighbour, Dante. She eventually decides to say farewell to Smith and moves back to New York. Around the same time, Louise quits her job as Carrie's assistant to get married and move back permanently to her hometown of St Louis.
Charlotte learns she is pregnant, and for most of her pregnancy is fearful that something might happen to her baby, so she stops her regular running around Central Park. Carrie puts her fear to rest by telling her that, since she already soiled herself in Mexico, her bad luck is finished. Later, Charlotte has a surprise encounter with Big that leaves her so outraged that her water breaks. Big takes her to the hospital and waits until baby Rose is born, hoping to see Carrie. Harry passes on the message that Big would like her to call him, and that he has written to her frequently, but never received a reply. Carrie searches her correspondence and finds in Louise's personal assistant file that he has sent her dozens of letters copied from the book she read him before their wedding, culminating with one of his own where he apologizes for screwing up and promises to love her forever.
Carrie travels to the exquisite penthouse Big had bought for them to collect a pair of brand new Manolo Blahnik shoes (that later become one of the icons of the movie) that she had left there. She finds Big in the walk-in closet he had built for her, and the moment she sees him, her anger at his betrayal dissipates. They share a passionate kiss, and Big proposes to Carrie properly, using one of her diamond-encrusted shoes in place of a ring. They later marry alone, in a simple wedding in New York City Hall, with Carrie wearing the simple suit that she had intended to wear before being enticed away by the Vivienne Westwood dress that she had modelled in the bridal issue of Vogue. Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte turn up to surprise Carrie, having been called by Big. The film ends with the four women sipping cosmopolitans, celebrating Samantha's fiftieth birthday, with Carrie making a toast to the next fifty.
- Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw
- Kim Cattrall as Samantha Jones
- Kristin Davis as Charlotte York Goldenblatt
- Cynthia Nixon as Miranda Hobbes
- Chris Noth as John James "Mr. Big" Preston
- Jennifer Hudson as Louise, Carrie's assistant
- David Eigenberg as Steve Brady
- Jason Lewis as Smith Jerrod
- Evan Handler as Harry Goldenblatt
- Willie Garson as Stanford Blatch
- Mario Cantone as Anthony Marantino
- Lynn Cohen as Magda
- Candice Bergen as Enid Frick
- Annaleigh Ashford as Spoiled Label Queen
- André Leon Talley (cameo) as Vogue magazine executive
- Joseph Pupo as Brady Hobbes, Miranda and Steve's son
- Alexandra and Parker Fong as Lily Goldenblatt, Charlotte and Harry's daughter
- Gilles Marini as Dante
- Monica Mayhem as Dante's Lover #1
- Julie Halston as Bitsy von Muffling
- Daphne Rubin-Vega as Baby-voiced girl
- Ben Rindner as Waiter
- Bridget Everett as Drunk Party Girl
At the end of Sex and the City's run in February 2004, there were indications of a movie being considered following the series. HBO announced that Michael Patrick King was working on a possible script for the movie which he would direct. Later that year, Kim Cattrall declined to work on the project citing reasons that the script and the start date were overly prolonged and she decided to take other offers at hand. As a result, the immediate follow-up ideas for the movie were dropped.
It was in mid-2007 that the plans for making the movie were announced again. This reportedly resulted after Cattrall's conditions being accepted along with a future HBO series. In May 2007 the project was halted after HBO decided it was no longer in a position to finance the movie on its own. The project was pitched within the Time Warner family (owners of HBO) and was picked by sister concern New Line Cinema.
In February 2009 it was officially announced that a sequel would be made including all four actresses and writer-director Michael Patrick King.
The film was prominently shot in New York between September–December 2007. The locations included a number of places around Manhattan and a certain portion was shot in Steiner Studios and Silvercup Studios. The shooting was continually interrupted by paparazzi and onlookers with the security and police authorities employed in order to control the crowd. Efforts were taken to keep the film's plot secret, including the shooting of multiple endings. As a defense strategy, scenes shot in public or in presence of number of extras were termed by Ryan Jonathan Healy and the main cast as "dream sequences."
As in the TV series, fashion played a significant role in plot and production of the movie. Over 300 ensembles were used over the course of entire film. Patricia Field, who created costume designs for the series, also undertook the job in the film. Field has stated that she initially was ambivalent to do the film, for monetary and creative reasons. Field rose to fame particularly after designing for the series from 1998 to 2004, wherein she popularized the concept of using designer clothes with day-to-day fashion.
While dressing the characters for the film, Field decided to stay clear from the latest fashion trends defining the characters and instead focused on the evolution of individual character and the actor portraying it, over the last four years. While Samantha's dressing was influenced by American TV soap opera Dynasty (see Nolan Miller), Jackie Kennedy was the inspiration for Charlotte's clothes. Miranda, according to Field, has evolved the most from the series in terms of fashion. This was influenced significantly by development in actress Cynthia Nixon in past years.
- The iconic and glamorous wedding dress was made by Vivienne Westwood.
- The tutu outfit that Carrie models for the other girls is the same outfit she wears on the show's credits.
- Carrie's assistant, Louise, rents her designer handbags from Bag Borrow or Steal.
- Hats for Vivienne Westwood in the film are made by Prudence Millinery.
- H. Stern lent more than 300 pieces of jewelry to the film.
- Costumes were also selected from collections by haute couture designer Gilles Montezin.
The film's soundtrack debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, the highest debut for a multi-artist theatrical film soundtrack since 2005's Get Rich or Die Tryin', and debuting at #6 on the UK Albums Chart, selling to date more than 55,000 copies.
A second soundtrack, Sex and the City: Volume 2, was released on September 23, 2008, coinciding with the film's DVD release, featuring the British singers Estelle, Craig David, Mutya Buena and Amy Winehouse. It also featured Janet Jackson, Ciara, and Elijah Kelley.
In December 2008, the orchestral score for the film was released, Sex And The City - The Score, containing 18 tracks of original score composed, co-orchestrated, and conducted by Aaron Zigman. Whilst the order of the tracks does not correspond directly to the order that the score is heard in the film, the score soundtrack contains almost every single piece of score that is present in the film.
The film's international premiere took place on Monday, May 12, 2008, at Odeon West End in London's Leicester Square to the audience of 1700. It was next premiered at Sony Center at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin on May 15. The film had its New York City premiere at Radio City Music Hall on Tuesday, May 27, 2008.
The film was a commercial success. Opening in 3,285 theaters, the film made $26.93 million in the US and Canada on its first day. The three-day opening weekend total was $57,038,404, aggregating $17,363 per theater. The film recorded the biggest opening ever for an R-rated comedy and for a romantic comedy, and also for a film starring all women. As of March 2010, the film had grossed $152,647,258 at the US and Canadian box office, and $262,605,528 in other markets, bringing the worldwide total gross revenue to $415,252,786, making it the highest-grossing romantic comedy of 2008.
Sex and the City received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 49%, based on 176 reviews, with the site's critical consensus reading, "Sex and the City loses steam in the transition to the big screen, but will still thrill fans of the show." Metacritic gave the film a normalized average score of 53 out of 100, based on 38 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Brian Lowry of Variety said the film "...feels a trifle half-hearted", while Carina Chocano of the Los Angeles Times stated "the film tackles weighty issues with grace but is still very funny". She praised Michael Patrick King's work saying very few movies "are willing to go to such dark places while remaining a comedy in the Shakespearean sense". Colin Bertram of the New York Daily News dubbed the film a "great reunion", and was happy with the return of "The 'Oh, my God, they did not just do that!' moments, the nudity, the swearing, the unabashed love of human frailty and downright wackiness". The Chicago Tribune's Jessica Reeves described it as "Witty, effervescent and unexpectedly thoughtful." Michael Rechtshaffen at The Hollywood Reporter praised the performances of the four leading ladies and said the film kept the essence of the series, but resembled a super-sized episode.
Manohla Dargis of The New York Times found the film "a vulgar, shrill, deeply shallow — and, at 2 hours and 22 turgid minutes, overlong — addendum to a show", while The Daily Telegraph's Sukhdev Sandhu panned the film saying "the ladies have become frozen, Spice Girls-style types - angsty, neurotic, predatory, princess - rather than individuals who might evolve or surprise us". Rick Groen of The Globe and Mail slammed the film commenting on lack of script and adding that the characters "don't perform so much as parade, fixed in their roles as semi-animated clothes hangers on a cinematic runway". He gave the film zero stars out of four. Anthony Lane, a film critic for The New Yorker, called the film a "superannuated fantasy posing as a slice of modern life"; he noted that "almost sixty years after All About Eve, which also featured four major female roles, there is a deep sadness in the sight of Carrie and friends defining themselves not as Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, Celeste Holm, and Thelma Ritter did—by their talents, their hats, and the swordplay of their wits—but purely by their ability to snare and keep a man....All the film lacks is a subtitle: "The Lying, the Bitch, and the Wardrobe."
Ramin Setoodeh of Newsweek speculated that some of the criticism for the film is derived possibly from sexism: "when you listen to men talk about it (and this is coming from the perspective of a male writer), a strange thing happens. The talk turns hateful. Angry. Vengeful. Annoyed...Is this just poor sportsmanship? I can't help but wonder—cue the Carrie Bradshaw voiceover here—if it's not a case of 'Sexism in the City.' Men hated the movie before it even opened...Movie critics, an overwhelmingly male demographic, gave it such a nasty tongue lashing you would have thought they were talking about an ex-girlfriend...The movie might not be Citizen Kane—which, for the record, is a dude flick—but it's incredibly sweet and touching."
New Line Home Entertainment released a DVD and Blu-ray release of Sex and the City: The Movie on September 23, 2008. There are two versions of the film released in the US on home video. There is a standard, single disc theatrical cut (the version seen in theaters) which comes in fullscreen or widescreen (in separate editions). Both discs are the same, except for the movie presentation. The only features are an audio commentary, deleted scenes, and a digital copy of the film. Also released on the same day as the standard edition is the two-disc special edition, which adds six minutes of footage to the film, along with the commentary from the standard edition DVD and a second disc that contains bonus features, as well as a digital copy of the widescreen theatrical version of the film. The only version of the film released on Blu-Ray is the two-disc extended cut, which is identical to the DVD version of the extended cut.
On December 9, 2008, New Line Home Entertainment released a third edition of Sex and the City: The Movie. This edition is a 4-disc set entitled Sex and the City: The Movie (The Wedding Collection). The 4-disc set features the previously released extended cut of the film on the first disc, the second disc has the bonus features from the extended cut and three additional featurettes, the third disc holds even more special features, and the fourth is a music CD with songs inspired by the movie, including the alternative mix of Fergie's "Labels or Love" from the beginning of the film. The set also comes with an exclusive hardcover book, featuring photos and quotes from the movie, and a numbered certificate of authenticity in a pink padded box.
A fourth edition was also released in Australia. This set contained the two discs from the Sex and the City: The Movie Special Edition and a bonus 'Sex and the City Inspired' Clutch Bag. This clutch being black in color in a tile or snake skin material.
The DVD has reached the #1 on the UK DVD Top Chart and is the fastest selling DVD release of 2008 in the UK, selling over 920,000 copies in one week. It is way ahead of the 700,000 copies sold for Ratatouille which was, prior to Sex and the City's release, the best selling DVD of 2008 in the UK. Although the record has since been beaten by Mamma Mia!
Sex and the City 2 was released in cinemas on May 27, 2010, in the United States and May 28, 2010, in the United Kingdom. It was co-written, produced and directed by Michael Patrick King. The DVD was available for purchase in the United Kingdom on November 29, 2010. The film stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, and Chris Noth, who reprised their roles from the previous film and television series. It also features cameos from Liza Minnelli, Miley Cyrus, Tim Gunn, Ron White, Omid Djalili, and Penélope Cruz, as well as Broadway actors Norm Lewis, Kelli O'Hara, and Ryan Silverman. A third film was announced in December 2016, but in September 2017 Sarah Jessica Parker confirmed that it was not going to happen.
Awards and nominations
- 2008: Best Summer Movie So Far (Nominated)
- 2008: Choice Movie Actress: Comedy (Sarah Jessica Parker, Nominated)
- 2008: Choice Movie: Chick Flick (Nominated)
- 2008: Best Costume Design (Patricia Field, Nominated)
- 2008: Favorite Cast (Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Chris Noth, Nominated)
- 2008: Favorite Song from a Soundtrack (Fergie for "Labels or Love", Nominated)
- 2008: Best Comedy (Nominated)
- 2008: Best Female Performance (Sarah Jessica Parker, Nominated)
- 2008: Best Summer 2008 Blockbuster Poster (Nominated)
- 2009: Excellence in Costume Design for Film - Contemporary (Patricia Field, Nominated)
- 2009: Best Actress (Jennifer Hudson, Nominated)
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