Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sex in the City Movie Disappoints

I loved the TV show Sex in the City. Even when the story started to drag a bit, the clothes, locations, and subplots made up for the very few episodes that were not as stellar as most of those in the series. With that in mind, I waited with baited breath for the Sex in the City Movie to be released and I was ecstatic when I got the chance to go to a premier screening of the Sex in the City Movie on May 27th. Unfortunately, I was rather disappointed with the movie and the shoddy camera work sent me over the edge
I suppose that I was disappointed because I expected a little more of the movie. The TV show wrapped up all of the relationships into a nice package at the end of the series. The movie takes place 5 years into the characters futures. The women and their respective relationships have evolved (mostly for the better.) Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Big (Chris Noth) are still dating, happily married Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and Harry (Even Handler) adopted a little Chinese girl named Lily, Samantha (Kim Cattrall) is still with Smith Jerrod (Jason Lewis) and managing his career in LA, and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) still complains about moving from Manhattan to Brooklyn for her husband Steve (David Eigenberg) and their son Brady.

I expected that movie script would be as cleverly written as the TV show. However the movie left me wanting. I think the story was a cop out because they decided that the only way to come up with a movie plot was to envoke the cliché of breaking up some of the happy couples and reusing tired old plot devices that they’ve used in past seasons of the TV show, for example:
  • There’s a partner who’s caught cheating (Been there done that with just about every SITC character: Carrie/ Aiden/Big, Samantha/Richard/Other Women, Miranda/ Robert /Steve, Charlotte/Trey/the Gardener)
  • Someone gets committed relationship freak out (Been there done that with Big/Carrie, Carrie/Aiden, Steve/Miranda, Samantha/Everyone’s she’s slept with more than once)
  • Samatha freaks out because she’s in a long term relationship (Been there done that with Samantha/Richard, Samantha/Maria)
  • The girls have a fight and don’t speak for several days (Been there done that with Charlotte/Miranda, Carrie/Samantha)
The movie didn’t have the same level of humor that made me laugh like the TV show made me laugh either. Where were the kooky little subplots that don’t involve love such as Carrie’s stolen Manolos, or Charlotte’s showing Elizabeth Taylor? And sadly, there wasn’t nearly enough screen time for two of my favorite characters, Anthony Marentino (Mario Cantone) and Stanford Blatch (Willie Garson.)
I was ready to give the movie a grade of B until I saw several scenes of horrifically and amateurish camera work by John Thomas. Throughout a pivotal scene between Carrie and Big, the camera framing was completely off and the overhead boom microphone kept popping in and out of the frame. At first, I thought it was intentional; maybe it was part of a subplot of Carrie and Big being on some reality show within the movie. But no, it was just plain shoddy camera work. At one point in the sequence, it looked like someone tried to “fix” The Case of Reappearing Overhead Micropohne by adding a black band to the top of the camera frame. It clearly didn’t work because you could still see some of the mike and close up shots of Chris Noth’s face were cut off that the chin. It was very distracting to the audience and really ticked me off because anyone else would be fired for such bad work. I can’t believe that no one in the production noticed this in the dailies and didn’t reshoot these scenes. Apparently, all of the money went into clothing the actors (because the clothes are fab and amazing) than into production, such as reshooting botched scenes or hiring a camera operator who knows how to correctly frame a shot. Certainly, this major gaffe will put the Sex in the City Movie up for a Razzie this year. So that being the case, I sadly lowered my grade of the movie from a B to a C. The Sex In the City Movie opens in theaters May 30, 2008.

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