“And there, in the same city where they met as girls, four New York women entered the next phase of their lives dressed head to toe in love.”
-Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City (I)
Well, the girls have grown up, and you can’t say you weren’t warned.
They’re still in the city and they still have sex (Hello, Samantha!), but there’s something different this time around. For years, we have been hypnotized by their adventures in finding love, coupled with sexcapades and relationship drama, but this movie answers the question: What happens after you find the love you were always searching for? How does life work then? Is youth and the chase more alluring than age and comfort?
I purposely did not read any reviews of the movie until I saw it, though you should check out Sex and the City Psychology and Belle for two different perspectives. I’d heard that a few industry reviews were less than stellar, and I was a little worried. I couldn’t believe that the girls wouldn’t be able to pull it off like they always do. (I had this overwhelming fuzzy feeling after I watched the first one. I wanted to hug my mama and call all of my besties near and far to tell them I loved them. I watch it every time it comes on and cry over the JOP wedding scene. See 4:18)
To those who never watched the Sex and the City series (I didn’t know they existed.), on the outside it seemed to be a fairytale about women who have lives that most will never attain. (The average woman doesn’t snag Manolo Blaniks and Prada bags on a whim, nor rock them to the corner market just for kicks.) To put it bluntly, a follower on Twitter said, “Why is everybody going to watch four rich white girls talk about sex and money? Why? I think they just four old sluts looking for love.”
I pointed out that for most women, sex, money and beautiful clothes are universal themes that, though we may not have them all at the same time, in a perfect world, we would. Life would be so boring without fantasy, and that’s why Sex and the City is a hit. Beyond that, SATC 2 shows the evolution of the four women who have come full circle since their early 30s, some trading in their sky-high libidos for hot flashes, others finally finding the balance between work and family.
There were several themes in the movie that stood out: (1) Compromise: Even after two years of marriage to Big, Carrie seemed to be stuck between her old life of VIP nights and excitement and her new life as a married woman destined to eat takeout forever. Big was caught up, too. Is it possible to take the spark of our old lives with us to our new lives? (2) Perfection: No person or their life is perfect. Period. It’s okay to be less than a Stepford Wife (3) Life Cycles: When Jay said he wanted to be “Forever Young,” he was referring to a state of mind, not the state of the body. (Again, hello, Samantha!) (4) Womanhood: The need to be heard and feel beautiful is innate in all women, even those who aren’t as “free” as us American women. (5) Friendship: This is what had women making plans and getting glam for movie premieres. Through hectic schedules and ex-boyfriend pop-ups, friendship never goes out of style.
Aside from the consistent themes, The girls changed, but they’d stayed the same, too. Samantha was always on point to provide the crass comic relief, while Miranda was her usual type-A self and Charlotte was the voice of reason (annoying at times to me). Carrie, the Golden Girl, purposely, was the one with internal conflict–trying so hard to find peace in herself and the relationship she waited so long to get.
Did it measure up to the usual standards? Yes, but in different terms. Movie-goers who expected to see the ladies clad in Gucci, partying it up in the clubs with one-night stands to follow only might have been let down. Sex and the City is a theme, not a permanent way of life, and this installment showed that. They’re in their 40s with the exception of Samantha, who’s “fifty-fucking-two years old.” Does life outside of your 20s and 30s stop? Of course not, but it does take a different turn.
The beauty of it, though, is the girls continue to find their way through life’s inevitable changes with style, and as they always have–dressed in love.