“Sex and the City” – Susan Granger reviews

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As fashionista Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) says: “It’s all about labels and love.”

Writer/director Michael Patrick King has adapted his hit HBO show, set in Manhattan three years later. After an angst-ridden 10-year courtship, 40 year-old Carrie is engaged to Mr. Big (Chris Noth). She’s working on her fourth book, searching for “real estate heaven” (i.e.: the perfect closet for Manolo Blahniks, et al) and planning her media-event wedding. Stressed-out Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is discovering how infidelity can cripple her marriage to Steve (David Eigenberg). Charlotte’s (Kristin Davis) cup runneth over with her adoring husband (Evan Handler) and adopted Chinese daughter when, miraculously, she becomes pregnant. And 50 year-old Samantha (Kim Cattrall), who has relocated to “Lost” Angeles with her actor boy-toy (Jason Lewis), realizes that enduring love simply cannot replace the promiscuous sex she continually craves.

Lacking the savvy wit and snappy pacing of “The Devil Wears Prada,” it’s like several supersized TV episodes strung together – with the women suffering predictable crises that involve heartbreak and forgiveness, sentimentally washed down with Cosmopolitans. To spice up the melancholy, monochromatic mix, Jennifer Hudson (“Dreamgirls”) appears as Carrie’s personal assistant and, not surprisingly, she belts out one of the background songs.

Curiously, what was slyly titillating in half-hour segments becomes silly, superficial and overwhelmingly materialistic when stretched to nearly 2 ½ hours, filled with costumer Patricia Fields’ choice of glossy designer labels, including an opulent Vivienne Westwood wedding gown, topped with a bizarre bird chapeau. Plus blatant branding: Skyy, Glaceau Vitaminwater, Apple, Louis Vuitton, Mercedes-Benz, Coty fragrances, and the Internet’s Bag Borrow or Steal site.

On the Granger Movie Gauge, “Sex and the City: the Movie” is an indulgent, estrogen-propelled 6. Even with R-rated nudity, bigger doesn’t always mean better.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.