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'Sex and the City': What early reviews say

Early reviews for the long-awaited return of Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, and Co. hint that writer-director Michael Patrick King may have a big hit on his hands, even if the film doesn’t appeal to a single person outside the show’s fan base

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Chris Noth, Sarah Jessica Parker, ...
Craig Blankenhorn

Sex and the City: The Movie has fared pretty well in the early reviews published ahead of its May 30 release (including Owen Gleiberman’s — SPOILER ALERT: Don’t read it yet if you want to steer clear of any details until you see the movie! — EW review). Most critics so far seem to agree that writer-director Michael Patrick King has captured the essence of Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte’s wit and charm. The one recurring gripe: The two-and-a-half hour feature fails to add much to the franchise and sometimes feels too much like a bloated episode of the HBO series. Of course, given fans’ willingness to shell out cash for SATC DVDs, self-help books, fragrances, and clothes since the show went off the air in 2004, a super-long episode should be all it takes to pack theaters this weekend.

A quick summary of some of the early reviews:

MSNBC
VERDICT: Positive
”So basically, if you’d been looking forward to a Sex and the City movie but were carrying the slightest doubt that the feature film would deviate from the show’s formula even a little, have no fear. And have another cosmo.” —Alonso Duralde

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
VERDICT: Negative
”In need of some serious tightening up, the flabby picture does what the old Samantha would have never done: It keeps hanging around, pushing for a long-term relationship.” —Michael Rechtshaffen

VARIETY
VERDICT: Neutral
”Best in its small moments, the movie should find receptive gal pals congregating for the mother of all viewing parties, but appeal beyond that core should present New Line with less of a storybook finish than it doubtless would like.” —Brian Lowry

FOX NEWS
VERDICT: Positive
”In the end, the movie’s success rests on Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie. She’s the team captain, which means that she’s not only narrating but guiding the plot. Looking radiant and charming as ever, Parker couldn’t be better. She’s pithy and sexy. That’s some package.” —Roger Friedman

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
VERDICT: Positive
”The real joy of SATC as a movie lies in the return of all those things that mass television syndication has stripped from the series in the intervening years. The ”Oh, my God, they did not just do that!” moments, the nudity, the swearing, the unabashed love of human frailty and downright wackiness. Snappy, verbal sparring punctuates the laughs and more than a few shed-a-tear moments.” —Colin Bertram

CBS NEWS
VERDICT: Positive
”It’s funny, it’s campy, it’s heartbreaking; it’s a 2 1/2-hour emotional epic. ” —David Edelstein

EMPIRE
VERDICT: Neutral
”Ultimately for the fan base, this delivers a superior episode of the show. And surely it’s unrealistic to expect any more?” —William Thomas