From Sunset Boulevard:
Joe Gillis: “You used to be big.”
Norma Desmond: “I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.”
Chris Noth is Big and he used to be big, back when Sex and the City was a mega hit on the small screen.
The small screen worked for the actresses, too, none of whom, with the exception of Cynthia Nixon, truly possessed acting chops; it worked for the clothes, which ran the gamut from boring business (Miranda) to expensive skank (Samantha), from uptight prep (Charlotte) to urban boho (Carrie); it worked for the locations—the restaurants, the bars, the shops, which filled the screen with energy.
To riff on Norma Desmond, this is a picture that should have stayed small.
On the small screen, the clothes wouldn’t have to feel like props—the gigantic scrunchie Carrie wears across her body, for instance, or the gigantic flower she pins to her dress.
Indeed, even the length of this film is extreme (2 hours 22 minutes), desperately calling attention to its “big” ness.
But like that maddening oversized scrunchie (remember when regular scrunchies were once a delicious plot point on SATC?), this film smacks of a pretty fabric exterior with an elastic center, one that’s been stretched too far to make it fit the big screen.
When Big was small, he was big. When this picture was small, it was big. Now that it’s big, I suspect it will be, well, empty.
**Smart and gentle readers: please feel free to disagree; Miss Cavendish may still be feeling punchy, but she is open to dialogue!