Where would we be without Carrie, and her three friends from Sex and the City? Has the show changed how women see themselves, and approach men? Many people say absolutely, but even as pure entertainment there is no doubt the show marked the best years of network television. In the girl’s first forray on the big screen, will they be able to keep their fans interested for a full-length movie though?
For anyone who doesn’t care about the girls and their adventures, other new releases this week include horror in the countryside for a couple in The Strangers, and a trippy dramatic comedy about celebrity impersonators in Mister Lonely.
Sex and the City: The Movie
The girls are back in town for another chapter in their lives, and of course, more sexcapades.
Launching out of the hugely popular HBO television series, the Sex and the City movie is guaranteed to draw long-time fans to theatres this weekend as Carrie and her best friends deal with all kinds of new and old issues, like infidelity, pregnancy, and let’s not forget, marriage.
The original cast returns for this feature-length movie, which clocks in at 2 hours and 15 minutes. Sarah Jessica Parker is of course our narrator and leading lady, Carrie, Kim Cattrall is the wild Samantha, Kristin Davis is Charlotte, and Cynthia Nixon is Miranda. Not to mention Chris Noth as John, Carrie’s lover, who you might know as the one and only Mr. Big.
Carrie and Big are in the midst of planning their wedding, but the question is whether she will actually end up tying the knot? At the same time Miranda is having issues with her man, Charlotte may finally have a bundle on the way, and Samantha is trying to deal with her new life in LA, not to mention the whole concept of her ongoing monogamous relationship.
Even as a guy who only saw a few episodes, I have to admit I can see why people, and especially women, love Sex and the City. The series was charming, the characters were larger than life, and among women the question was always, which character are you? Making a transition to the big screen is a tough challenge for any series though, but Sex and the City has a following that is likely to forgive almost any minor flaw if the film can at least deliver a good story.
Critics are giving good reviews to the film, but a few publications, including the Hollywood Reporter and New York Observer, are saying it lacks the punch of the TV show. Brian Lowry of Variety said, “For a series so steeped in romance, the eagerly awaited Sex and the City movie feels a trifle half-hearted.”
Ed Gonzalez of the Village Voice describes The Strangers as “an old-school spooker spun from the blood splatter on a wall, a nearby record player scratching an oldie, a CB radio in the garage, a creaky swing set in the backyard.”
Starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman as a young couple on vacation in a remote area, the film is a cat and mouse story that kicks off with a knock at the door in the middle of the night. Masked strangers invade the home of our troubled couple, putting the two through a horrific night when the two are already trying to fix problems in their relationship.
First-time writer and director Bryan Bertino has gotten the usual horror-movie flack for the film’s lack of moral bearing, and Tyler’s unending shrieking, but that can be expected. If all you’re looking for this weekend is a decent scare, The Strangers should keep you more than amused.
Indie writer and director Harmony Korine delivers a strange, but endearing comedy about a young man trying to survive in Paris by working as a Michael Jackson impersonator. Drifting through the city, he meets a Marilyn Monroe look-alike, and joins her family at a commune… populated by impersonators. The strange story takes a twist when the world abruptly changes and reality bursts into this otherwise shifting dreamscape.
Described as a typical Korine filmmaking exercise in satire, with his flare for dramedy, Mister Lonely is a tough sell for the average viewer. A number of critics are split over whether to recommend the movie, but for anyone who likes challenging, and off-kilter films, Mister Lonely is right up your alley. Andrew O’Hehir of Salon.com calls it “richer and sweeter than anything [Korine’s] ever made.”
Opening next week:
Adam Sandler stars in the farcical, racial comedy You Don’t Mess With The Zohan, Jack Black gets animated in Dreamworks’ Kung Fu Panda (which also opens in select IMAX), and the Oscar-nominated foreign film Mongol examines the life of Ghengis Khan.
Film Friday is a weekly syndicated column produced by The GATE for print and online and examining the latest new arrivals coming to cinemas, with reviews, or a look at the critical consensus on each movie.