Author Candace Bushnell, the force behind the Sex and the City franchise, has just produced a new book, Is There Still Sex In the City? In it, she contemplates the subject of aging as it relates to sexuality and relationships. And that’s revived talk about a third installment of the movie — although currently, that project looks to be on indefinite hold.
Sad indeed, especially since the original show had such an impact not only at the time it was aired, but ever since. Even 21 years after its original debut, references to Sex and the City still make sense to a certain audience. One can debate what’s worse: being broken up via Post-It note, or the modern equivalent of “ghosting.” And many women have wondered at one point or another whether they’re more a “Carrie” or a “Samantha.”
Since the show’s heyday, society has shifted. Yet while a lot has changed, so much stays the same. Friends dish about their dates. Sex talk is not taboo. Relationships are far from easy. And we can thank Sarah Jessica Parker for making shoe designers household names.
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Fans of the franchise were universally dissatisfied with Sex and the City 2, partly because a good portion of the film didn’t even take place in the Big Apple. The plotlines were far from perfect and the chemistry just didn’t click. After the wild success of the first film, number two was a letdown.
When there was talk that a third film was in the works, it was a big chance for a comeback, at least redemption. With the right team of writers, a willingness to take what was “wrong” with SATC 2 and fix it, and a welcome invitation for the four friends and their relationship ups and downs to return to the big screen, it seemed like a storybook ending. Alas, it doesn’t look like it’s to be.
We’d want to see the women as they’d be now, at this stage in their lives. Married, single, divorced, whatever. We wouldn’t expect them to meet men in dive bars or even at elegant cocktail parties for that matter. Unless, of course, that happened. (And PS: in real life, it does.)
As Bushnell mulls in her new book, women in their 50s — and beyond — have (and lose) relationships. They experience long term romance and one night stands. They still get butterflies around that “certain someone” and want to be lusted after. It would be interesting to see those truths from the angle of SATC.
Imagine Carrie writing a pilot for a hit TV show based on her columns, or Charlotte getting back into the art world and coincidentally collaborating with Carrie’s ex, “The Russian,” Aleksandr Petrovsky. Perhaps Miranda would get into politics – an art-imitates-life scenario. Samantha could sell her company and retire, leaving more time for her saucy social life. The franchise just feels unfinished, unclear. Where are they now and what’s next? Will “Big” still be by Carrie’s side? Did Charlotte have another baby? Is Miranda still so high-strung? We imagine Samantha would be as on-the-prowl as ever. Some things just don’t change.
For now, we can watch past seasons of the show as well as the two films (well, maybe just the first), and look back on the ladies’ spectacular stories of sex, love, and friendship. Those memories hold a special place in fans’ hearts. And maybe Sex and the City 3 will indeed be made and bring a fresh take on topics of how a current generation of women are tackling the aging process — with plenty of style.
Screenshot from Sex and the City (HBO)