Did you like the HBO series "Sex and the City"? I bet half of you said, "Yechhhhhh," and the other half said, "I love it, I love it, I love it!"
I understand both sides. Those self-indulgent, materialistic white girls who depend too much on men and objectify men - they can get very irritating. But what a hoot to see babes, for once, doing the objectifying, talking dirty and sleeping around, and measuring their fantasies against the sobering truth of male emotional insufficiency.
Now there's a movie and what a joyful wallow! It's funny, it's campy, it's heartbreaking; it's a 2½-hour emotional epic.
For one last time, relationship columnist/anthropologist Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, tests the fairy-tale trappings of modern romance. But now that these women are in their forties, there's even more at stake.
The movie is set three-plus years after the series. Morose Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) lives in Brooklyn with her mousy husband.
Chipper Charlotte (Kristen Davis) and her hubby have adopted a Chinese toddler, whose presence makes it more difficult to babble about sex.
Samantha (Kim Cattrall) is wilting from monogamy with her hunka-burnin'-Hollywood love.
Carrie, of course, finally settled into the arms of rich and powerful Mr. Big and can afford even more designer clothes and shoes. But closet space?
They're not formally hitched, however, which might create housing problems (with him owning their home).
I won't spoil what follows, but the day of the wedding is a heart-stopper - a farce without mirth, and a chance to watch Parker pull out the acting stops. She is spectacularly good. She's so fragile beneath her sultry poses - she's like a little girl dressing up, wriggling from one fabulous outfit to the next, enchanted, but apt to whither in the face of rejection and self-doubt.
Those outfits, by the way, are lulus - designers must have fallen all over themselves to get stuff into this movie. Behind me at the screening came whoops of glee, and sometimes horror.
Can I say enough about the women? Cattrall is all high-style vulgarity, Nixon brittle yet with soul. Davis's adorable ditzy double-takes leaven the mood.
If the friendship of Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte is the biggest romantic fantasy of all - they complement one another perfectly, they're never too competitive - it's beautiful and moving, a design for living. "Sex and the City" is existential haute couture.