Admittedly, the film doesn’t engender critical success. It lacks plot, the screenplay is unimaginative and the acting isn’t exactly flawless. But is that really what those hundreds of stiletto-clad women had come for? Of course not. Everything women love about Sex and the City – the outfits, the affairs, the trauma – was lathered on as liberally as Samantha applied her yams. We lusted after Samantha’s Birkin, fell in love with Mr. Big all over again, and longed for an beach holiday in Abu Dhabi (even if it was filmed in Morocco…). We took Samantha’s enduring promiscuity and Stanford’s eternal effeminacy with a pinch of salt. Everyone knows that Sex and the City doesn’t represent reality – not all women can afford the quartet’s clothes and sleep with every other guy they come across – but films are about escapism, and we get a kick out of watching other people living out our hidden fantasies or embarrassing themselves in situations inaccessible to us in everyday life.
Nevertheless, the film does tackle some of the issues that face women as they look for their own Mr. Big or approach the dreaded menopause in their own lives. Carrie’s marriage is at times far from idyllic. Miranda struggles to juggle work with domestic life. Charlotte is exasperated by her children. Even if these issues are given a Sex and the City spin (Charlotte’s crisis is abated by the arrival of a braless, busty nanny; Big puts the ‘sparkle’ back into the relationship through a black diamond ring), it is comforting to know that these concerns are shared by hundreds of other women. As we laughed and cried together in the cinema – women of all ages, races and backgrounds – we were united by our love for those Sex and the City girls. And regardless of critical acclaim, we had fun – so in our eyes at least, the film was most definitely a resounding success.
I don't care if it was a gay wedding. There were SWANS.
EDIT: Since writing this post, I have come across Jackie Ashley's excellent response to the criticisms of the film. Atta girl. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/may/31/sex-city-male-female-fantasy