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Miracle on 73rd Street
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After a four-year hiatus, the Fab Four return for an epic encore in Sex and the City: The Movie.

BACK IN THE NEW YORK GROOVE
(Courtesy of San Francisco Examiner)

After four Sex-starved years, fans of HBO's most-watched sitcom can finally exhale. Reunited and once again strutting the streets of Manhattan sporting the latest by Louis Vuitton, Oscar de la Renta and Vera Wang, the Fab Four is now on the big screen, picking up several years after the show's open-ended finale, in which Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) finally seemed to land her man.

For Parker, who produces and stars, the resurrection of Sex and the City represents a labor of love too long in the making. Initially derailed by HBO, which feared a movie wouldn’t make money, the project was further delayed when co-star Kim Cattrall resisted the invitation to reprise her role as lusty P.R. rep Samantha Jones. Even so, the idea resurfaced when the sustained clamor of Sex-deprived fans moved New Line Cinema to take a chance.

“I've spent the last two years of my life resuscitating this movie, cobbling it back together however many dozens of times and fighting to tell the story we wanted to tell with the people we needed,” says Parker, 43. “It's hard to articulate how privileged and relieved [director] Michael Patrick King and I feel to have reached this day. It's a miracle.”

For the film, the interior of Carrie's East 73rd Street brownstone was painstakingly reproduced, right down to her original writing desk and laptop, which had been donated to the Smithsonian at the end of the show's six-year run. (“They politely declined to give them back,” she says. “I had to beg.”) While she admits that stepping back into Carrie's apartment, an overstuffed shrine to the majesty of exotic dresses and designer handbags, represented the most surreal moment of her four-month shoot, she had no trouble falling back into a comfortably familiar routine.

Kristin Davis, who plays preternaturally upbeat best friend Charlotte York, concurs.

“It was easy to slip back into character because Michael has such a gift for capturing our personalities and investing them into his work,” she says. “My life is very different from Charlotte's, of course, but the writers hear my voice in her. I don't know if it's something they do consciously or if it's because we are all so close, but the characters you see in the movie are reflections of the four strong women who play them.”

While staunchly refusing to divulge any of the secrets in store for fans when Sex hits theaters this Friday, Davis, 43, admits to being relieved by the enduring strength of her character’s marriage to Harry Goldenblatt, the strikingly bald divorce lawyer who improbably won her heart. Never married in real life, she acknowledges that finding a soulmate might be something of a miracle in its own right, but is pleased that Charlotte has, at long last, discovered her bliss.

Not that marriage (or anything like it) is right for everyone. To Cattrall, 51 and dating a Canadian chef two decades her junior, the idea that Sex and the City could end with Samantha as a reborn monogamist or, worse, a housewife in training, seemed to fly in the face of her character’s well-established passion for carnal indulgence. In that sense, the movie allowed her to revisit a story that cried out for more fitting closure.

“The way Michael finished the storyline for Samantha was interesting because I never thought she’d give monogamy such a chance,” she says. “Granted, Michael knows these characters better than anyone else, and they’re in his hands. But I think it’s important that we not suggest a woman’s happiness is inexorably linked to her relationships with the opposite sex. Maybe Samantha is better off alone.

“Either way, if Michael is still motivated to tell more stories about these women in the next couple of years, I want it to happen. Will it? I didn’t know if this was going to happen. But that’s the whole genius of Sex and the City. When we started, we thought it was going to be just another cable show. It’s grown into something far beyond any of our expectations, and the fact that we’re still here is a testament to that.”

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