Cinemas across the city started screening the movie from midnight on Wednesday and every half an hour thereafter. Absolutely every girls and gay guys I know had plans to see the movie, usually with a group of friends as part of a night out, and it has been a major topic of conversation and source of excitement.
On Saturday night, Larry, Marie, Samantha, Jules and I met outside the Loews Theatre on 3rd Avenue and 11th Street, on the edge of the East Village. Queues outside were a colourful display of party dresses and glittering high heels. As we had a quick drink at the bar opposite the cinema before the screening, we noticed another large queue forming outside Webster Hall, down the street. They were hosting an Eighties Prom night and I have never seen so many tiaras and puffy metallic dresses in my life. The mix of the two crowds made the atmosphere that little bit more surreal.
The movie itself was both satisfying and disappointing. It was great seeing the characters five years after the end of the series, but it didn't work very well as a film. While that annoyed me at first, I was able to enjoy it a lot more once I saw it as just an extra-long episode. But what I loved the most was the ambiance inside the screening room - people were cheering, clapping, laughing and crying throughout the movie. I don't remember the last time I witnessed so many diverse feelings openly expressed.
I think it is a testament to how important SATC is as the first TV series addressing some of the concerns of my generation of women - we have romantic visions of love but know that it's not easy even after you find it, we see our close friends as our chosen family, we care about our careers yet we want to have fun too, we want to see the world, we want to improve ourselves (physically, intellectually, emotionally), we want to give back to the community, we want to make our parents proud ... and yes, we love fashion and especially shoes!
While I often think that the characters are overly one-dimensional (the romantic one/the career-driven one/the traditional one/the sexually liberated one) and lack depth, it is when you take the four of them as a whole that you get a better understanding of the multi-faceted personalities of women today, often balancing conflicting desires and priorities.
The night wouldn't have been complete had we not ended it in typical Sex & The City style ... sipping Cosmopolitans and talking about men. It's good to be one-dimensional for a few hours sometimes!