Mission: Impossible, Serenity, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut… TV-to-film adaptations don’t have to be soul-deadening, cynical cash-ins designed to suck cents and sense out of a beloved household brand.
But the long-mooted big-screen foray of Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) and her bosom buddies was always likely to disappoint. Tellingly, delays in its gestation were openly attributed to wrangles over cash, highlighting the real reason the girls were returning to New York: the payday.
Well, good for them and good for HBO/New Line and everyone else involved with the film in making so much filthy lucre: $383m worldwide and counting. Good too for die-hard fans of the hugely successful, long-running show, who mostly seem happy with an indolent, smug and tired recycling of yuppie angst dilemmas, pseudo-feminism and high fashion.
Writer/director Michael Patrick King makes two concessions to cinema: it’s got The Movie in the title and – an old favourite of TV shows looking to ‘expand’ – they go abroad for about two minutes. It’s this girls-together holiday that really gives the lie to Sex And The City’s female empowerment credo, as SJP mopes about with the girls, their happiness defined by men, showing about as much spirit and sass as Norma Major on Mogadon.
Carrie’s other terrible traumas (an un-hip phone-code; picking which dresses to ditch – oh, Sophie’s choice!) are trivial to the point of being offensive.
This leaves the rocky marriage of Cynthia Nixon (the ginger one) as the only hint of humanity and reality in the whole sorry 148-minute episode. Extras were unavailable at the time of going to press.