DVD Release Date:  September 23, 2008
Theatrical Release Date:  May 30, 2008
Rating:  R (for strong sexual content, graphic nudity and language)
Genre:  Comedy, Romance
Run Time:  148 min.
Director:  Michael Patrick King
Actors:  Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Chris Noth, Candice Bergen, Jennifer Hudson, Jason Lewis, Evan Handler, David Eigenberg

Those signature cosmos? Check.

An endless supply of Manolos and to-die-for couture fashion? Check.

Plenty of late New York nights full of introspection and relationship obsession? Check.

Constant sex chatter that seriously falls into the “over-share” category? Check.

Any substantive signs of growth for these ladies in “the city?” Well, that’s debatable.

Unless you’ve missed the pop culture headlines these past few weeks, you’ve probably heard that Sex and the City is arriving at a multiplex near you. And while the popular HBO series may seem a little passé (it’s been four years, after all) to those who weren’t fans in the first place, it’s worth noting that the show and the collective appeal of its heroines—Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Charlotte York (Kristin Davis), Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) and Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) seems as strong as ever. In fact, during my particular screening in downtown Minneapolis, a standing-room-only crowd of women (and several gay men) were dressed to the nines in anticipation of the next adventure in these fictional ladies’ lives and immediately started clapping as soon as the trademark S.A.T.C. music kicked in.

Now as someone who’s seen a few episodes of the show over the years, its widespread appeal isn’t all that difficult to figure out—especially if your morals are flexible. Not only is the show’s writing generally clever, but you’ve got four attractive, successful women with seemingly endless disposable income, fabulous Manhattan apartments and no-strings-attached relationships. Of course, a couple of them wish true love was in the mix, too, but that’s nothing a few fancy cocktails and more shopping can’t fix, right?

Now four years later, a few circumstances have changed in the lives of Carrie and her friends. After a looooong wait, she and Mr. Big (Chris Noth) have finally decided to take the plunge and get married (although for the record, she seems way more enthralled with the shoe closet he built her than the prospect of actually spending their lives together). Meanwhile, Charlotte is happily married to Harry (Evan Handler), and they’ve adopted an adorable daughter from China. Then on the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s Miranda who’s unhappily married to Steve and living in Brooklyn (quelle horror!), and Samantha who is (gasp!) taking her first stab at monogamy with the hunky Smith (Jason Lewis).

While a few things may be different, however, many have stayed exactly the same. They are all well into their 40s now, but aging has done little for them in the way of maturity. Sure, they aren’t sleeping around the way they used to with random guys, but aside from Charlotte’s recent motherhood and Carrie’s embracing of greeting card platitudes like “love is all you need,” their priorities and constant pursuit of the meaningless hasn’t. When it comes right down to it, it’s still all about me-me-me, a revelation that Samantha is actually content with when she decides to dump Smith by film’s end. After concluding she’s more in love with herself than anyone else, she eschews men and monogamy in a way that would do staunch feminists proud.