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Review: 'Sex and the City'

A glorified TV episode – and a rather middling one at that.

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To put it mildly, I am not an aficionado of the HBO TV series "Sex and the City." For all I know, Manolo Blahnik could be the name of a toreador from Latvia. This qualifies me as either the best or the worst person to review the new movie.

But connoisseurship is a much overrated quality in critics, so I'll make the case here that by approaching this material fresh – i.e., as someone who has never attended a "viewing party" for the TV show – I'm giving it the fairest of shakes.

Still, you have to wonder: Do even SATC fanatics crave a glorified TV episode, and a rather middling one at that? The TV's show's creative honcho, writer-director Michael Patrick King, has called this 2-1/2-hour movie "The Lord of the Engagement Rings." I'm not sure he's being ironic. It reportedly features over 300 makeovers among the four female leads. (Does that include all those strappy sandals?) At times, the movie resembled nothing so much as Kabuki with Cosmos.

King kicks off the movie with uncharacteristically fast-paced updates. Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) is back from Paris and big with Mr. Big (Chris Noth), with whom she's scouting a Fifth Avenue penthouse (her fantasy aerie, his money). Overworked Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is ensconced in Brooklyn with her guilt-ridden (don't ask) husband Steve (Dave Eigenberg) and young son.

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