Tuned In

SATC Spoils Itself

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So yesterday I saw the new Sex and the City movie. I was hesitant to blog much about it, partly because I didn’t want to pre-empt my review in the print Time, partly because I was still figuring out how much information I could blab without spoiling the movie. New Line has been particularly sensitive about press spoilers, perhaps because there was so much pack coverage of the filming, and before the screening a publicist gave us a standard plea not to divulge major plot points. Fine, I can understand that, and so apparently could most of the early critics, since the reviews so far have been very tentative about spoilerizing.

But then I saw the official trailer, in which New Line gives away, well, pretty much every plot point I would have kept secret:

Warning: if you don’t want any SATC spoilers, don’t click on the link, don’t watch the video, and don’t read the rest of the post after the jump:

Seriously, people, what the hell? Carrie and Big’s wedding and the problem therewith, Steve’s “just one time” indiscretion, Charlotte’s pregnancy—all of them are things I would have left out of a review, or at least surrounded them with a battery of spoiler warnings. But what, am I supposed to be more discreet than New Line itself is? Does the studio get to set stricter rules for critics than it does for its publicity department? Or does it want me to hold back other, more sensitive information, like what kind of cocktails the women drink in 2008? (All right, seriously, there are a few plot developments the trailer doesn’t spill, but good Lord.)

I know this is a regular problem for full-time movie critics in the age of the giveaway trailer. (It’s usually different for TV critics, since we’re reviewing ongoing series, not complete works.) But I’m curious what you all think of it. I’m still inclined to play it more coy in my Time review, because there aren’t jump pages in a print magazine, but I certainly feel less obligated to. On the other hand, holding back such major plot points makes it harder to discuss the movie’s strengths and weaknesses with examples. Am I just being quaintly, outdatedly scrupulous?

And all right, since you read this far, I owe you a little taste of what I thought of the movie. It wasn’t great, it wasn’t a disaster. It was true enough to the spirit and feel of the series, but it wasn’t as satisfying as a strong few episodes of the HBO series. It felt simultaneously too long (at two and a half hours for a romantic comedy) and too short (because it seemed to be essentially telling a season-long story arc in the form of a movie). The central storyline, about Carrie and Big, relied way too much on misunderstandings and contrivances (I could give details, but again, I really don’t want to spill too much). But the scenes with the four women together are as cracklingly witty as they were on HBO, it balances nostalgia for the fans with forward movement for the characters, and if the movie doesn’t match the series at its best, well, they’re not making the series anymore, so whaddyagonnado?

Oh, and there’s a scene in which the four drink Cosmopolitans. There, I said it! Come after me if you want, New Line.