Hollywood hues

Serial killer

Unlike its TV version, Michael Patrick Kingís Sex and the City is unimaginative and predictable, writes Ervell E. Menezes

Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the City
Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the City

Why do successful TV serials not become equally successful movies? Because they are two totally different formats. The TV serial is episodic and brief with continuity as its prime consideration. With commercials in between it isnít hard to catch the attention span. Not so the movie whether itís "chick flick" or not and hence Sex and the City suffers the same fate as many of its predecessors like Charlieís Angels, The Simpsons and others but this one more so as it is needlessly padded out to cover all of 135 minutes.

Take four women, friends for years, all come to New York, or the Big Bad Apple, to make it, whatever that means, though one is given the impression that labels and love are on their mind.

Thereís queen bee and novelist Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) and her coterie or henís party comprising the sexy Samantha (Kim Cattrall), currently in a liaison with a younger man, Charlottte (Kristin Davis), happily married but not yet pregnant and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) who just canít forgive her husband for cheating on her. So, it is quite an assorted box of cookies with much to chatter about at their meetings.

Their immediate concern is that Carrie, after 10 years of going steady with John James Preston aka Big (Chris Noth), is finally tying the knot and they have found a lovely apartment in Manhattan to live in. Of course, thereís the expected glorifying of New York and its high life and lines like "gorgeous, fantastic Manhattan." A wedding planner is busy and so are the Big Four for D-Day.

Yes, youíve guessed it. It doesnít come off. If it did, the film would have ended in 40 minutes, quite a relief actually. Instead, for whatever reasons and after any number of detours, our story chugs along tirelessly. Director-scriptwriter Michael Patrick King, who breezed through the serial like a comet on a starry night, labours through an unimaginative and predictable story. Dealing with the problems of these women is time-consuming and apart from a few stray flashes of humour, nothing much happens. The reference and clip from that old Vincent Minnelli musical Meet Me in St Louis is sure to warm the cockles of a few old hearts, especially the trolly song.

Incidentally, it takes Louise (Jennifer Hudson of Dreamgirls Oscar fame) from St Louis to give the story a real human touch, reversing the usual pattern and showing how the whites can learn a thing or two from the blacks. A middle-aged spread happy Candice Bergen as a Vogue editor is academic and avoidable.

Sarah Jessica Parker does her best to sustain this verbose entertainer, collie-like is scarcely off-screen and this works against her and of the foursome Kim Cattrall who made her debut in Police Academy catches the eye. Her real life, she says, follows the pattern of her screen character. Kristin Davis and Cynthia provide adequate support and Chris Noth has little to do apart from looking lovey-dovey and kind of resembling that Hollywood immortal Cary Grant. So, Sex and the City is much ado about precious little. Unimaginative and avoidable.