If it strikes you as churlish or belated to complain about Sex and the City: The Movie, now out on DVD, consider that the much-needed backlash for another odious summer hit, The Dark Knight, has only recently begun. Sex and the City: The Movie is episodic television brought wholesale to the big screen, as its unimaginative title implies (compare it to David Lynch’s more inspired Fire Walk with Me). Because director Michael Patrick King makes no adjustments for the differences in scale, The Movie comes off as a cruel exaggeration of its source. Everything plastic and laughable about the series—the costumes, the chintzy sets, Chris Noth’s acting—is amplified here way past the point of self-parody.
Kim Cattrall and Sarah Jessica Parker have made plenty of films between them, so there’s no excuse for Cynthia Nixon—whose character is supposed to be the shrew of the bunch—outshining her colleagues in terms of appearing to be an actual human being. (The less said about the squeaky Kristin Davis the better). That’s why I felt embarrassed for Nixon, the only member of the quartet subjected to a full-frontal scene. Sure, Nixon is a redhead fox, but she’s also a better comedic actress than the entire lot (she kills it, for example, as the candidate’s daughter in Robert Altman’s Tanner ’88). The squandering of her talents is among the least of this film’s many crimes, but it’s certainly the most conspicuous.—Benjamin Strong