Carnally cosmopolitan

The well-shod foursome go out with, what else, a bang.

Becky Lang

Carrie Bradshaw is the type of woman who wonders if the word “love” is supposed to have a period or an ellipsis after it. Should it be said softly and with a coy pause, or should it be final, with an echo of that peanut-butter-in-the-mouth word “marriage?” Carrie’s punctuation conundrum may or may not mean anything, depending on how much the average fan enjoys meditating on the abstracts of life. But as Carrie would say, there are 20,000 women in New York who can’t get it right. Now there’s a sold-out box office of fans who want to see if she can.

Long-term series watchers may be entertained by the newer characters added into the movie mix, like Charlotte’s adopted daughter whose only big line is saying “sex” into a cell phone, and the soulful, self-actualized Jennifer Hudson who trades designer purses online. The best is Miranda’s boy doppelganger, whom she watches getting knickerless nookie from one porch over.

Other than those additions, the movie is in no way different from the show. With about five right-corner plot twists, it is the equivalent of sitting down to nurse a hangover with a season DVD so that you can escape your headache by living vicariously through people better at knocking back cocktails than you are.

The leaping plot is hashed out in Carrie’s semi-dull writing style; there is no shortage of “so there I was,” “year after year,” and large made-up statistics about what women in Manhattan are longing for.

As the final kicker to the series, the film carries the task of settling the score on the typified sex equation that every character in the Manhattan foursome represents. It must finalize the question of whether girlfriends can compensate for such troublesome scenarios as having 1,000 one-night stands but no relationship happiness, a cozy home life at the cost of settling on a dumpy man, or shooting “big” to try to get a man who doesn’t respect you but has a perpetually plump wallet.

Like the bows on Carrie’s designer dresses, such problems are larger-than-life, and the film’s method of dealing with them is artful and humorous. Sensing that the characters are divorced from the average he-and-she conundrum, the film provides solutions that are as shallow as a martini, but womankind can get a few good laughs out of it.

From the teasers, it appears as if the movie is about Carrie’s wedding, but don’t think the film is going to be an easy-breezy fest of poofy bridesmaids tasting hors d’oeuvres. Savvy viewers know that SITC wouldn’t end without giving Carrie a dumptruck-load of trouble before letting her be happy, and it won’t be over by the time your bladder calls.

She is, after all, the sparkly-faced, label-clad sh-t canvas for women. Some TV-writer spirit is always working to make her life a bit more depressing than yours. That’s why the show and the movie (both are virtually the same) are good. No one wants to watch someone like Jessica Biel get her perfect man just by beating him at a game of horse.