Opening Night Sex and the City
Tragic love stories on the streets of Manhattan.


Kathryn Jean Lopez

Note: If you are a fan of Sex and the City, if you intend on seeing the movie and don’t want the ending or plot points spoiled, do not read any more of this piece. If you are merely curious about this cultural phenomenon, or are looking to kill a few minutes reading but don’t know Carrie and Samantha and Miranda and Charlotte from Adam, feel free to read on. Again, be warned there are indiscriminate series and movie spoilers.

Kips Bay, N.Y.C. — There is love in the City. But only after great and unnecessary pain.

Going into a 12:15 A.M. show of the long-awaited Sex and the City movie early Friday morning I thought: Why, besides pure capitalism, did there need to be a Sex and the City movie? After all, isn’t more than half the joy of a great movie “The End”? “Tomorrow is another day,” and you can have hope for tomorrow, but “frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” what another writer wants as the sequel. I can handle hope myself.

In the last episode of Sex and the City — the HBO series with a lot of flaws but also a lot of honesty about American culture — “Mr. Big” (Chris Noth), the love of Carrie Bradshaw’s (Sarah Jessica Parker) life, said, “You’re the one,” and that was “The End.” We assumed love and marriage.

Or so, at least, I hoped we did.

But I realized coming out of that 12:15 movie Friday morning that the hope isn’t a given. Not on the big screen and not in the audience.

Walking out of the theater, filled with very many twenty-somethings (as you might expect), some dressed in their best couture and/or knock-offs, girl-with-her-cooperative-boyfriend couples, more groups of girls, some girls with a well-dressed man with an obvious affinity for the movie — I took note of the first two things I heard.

The first was: “Oh my God, but he’s soooo cute.” That gal was referring to the decision of Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) to leave the (soooo cute) guy who loves her because she loves herself more.

The next thing I heard was, “F*** you, b**ch” as a group of girls were annoyed someone else got the first cab. It was the first cab they saw.

Maybe it’s because it was 3 in the morning, but I found the two comments striking and sad. Here’s a movie that in many ways was a beautiful — albeit crass and p.c. and graphic (like the late television show) — love story. Here’s a movie with suffering and joy and life and cultural lessons, but some of the people I heard leaving the theater didn’t seem to have been affected. I’ll grant you that maybe, just maybe, New Yorkers have too many layers of emotional protection — especially the ones out after midnight on a school night — to let their more tender feelings show at an AMC, but if you had also heard where they laughed and applauded during the movie, you, too, would probably be concerned.