In a city like New York, where moving on is a fact of life, is it really possible to revisit the past? And if we do, will old friends and situations still be as dear to our hearts?
Thankfully, the answer to that Carrie-esque musing when applied to the big-screen version of "Sex and the City" is a resounding yes.
Meeting absent old friends can often be initially awkward. Familiar sure, but fitting back into the groove takes a little time. The same is true of "SATC: The Movie." Faces are the same, but things have naturally progressed since we last caught up with the fabulous foursome.
It's three years and three books later for quintessential New York writer Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), the central figure around whom friends Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and Samantha (Kim Cattrall) revolve. Carrie still loves Big (Chris Noth) and they happily split time between his and her apartments while searching for Manhattan's Holy Grail - the perfect abode for two. Marriage, it appears, has never entered the equation.
Miranda is settled in Brooklyn with husband, Steve (David Eigenberg), and son, Brady. Upper East Side fixture Charlotte is mom to adopted daughter Lily, and Samantha has relocated to Los Angeles, where she spends her time managing the publicity for boyfriend Smith (Jason Lewis), a hot commodity in Hollywood.
With characters now 40 and older, story lines no longer hinge on getting into the latest bar or obtaining the "it" bag of the moment. Michael Patrick King (who shoulders directing and writing duties) wisely centers the story about matters of the heart. After finding true love - as all four women had in the finale of the hit HBO series that ran from 1998 through 2004 - what comes next?
Anyone who has watched the film's trailer knows that Carrie and Big find their dream apartment, and all of a sudden, a wedding seems the right thing to do. Disaster, of course, looms just over the horizon. Not only for Carrie, but everyone in the group.
Miranda and Steve reach an impasse in their marriage as Charlotte worries over her miracle pregnancy. Over on the West Coast, Samantha can't seem to reconcile her love for Smith with her unease at being absent from the city she loves most. There's also the sexy neighbor ready to test Samantha's monogamous state.
The film's initial awkwardness quickly disappears as King and his leading ladies quickly hit their stiletto-shod strides. Throughout, the four women turn in sensitive, solid performances - what you would expect from a cast totally familiar with the territory. Parker and Nixon shine particularly bright.
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.
There's still sex, except now it's not "how big?" or "where?" but the age-old marriage conundrum of "how often?" And the city? Sure, it has changed since 1998, but who can argue when Samantha shouts down a Gotham naysayer with, "Old New York, new New York, it's still f-----g New York!"
Costume designer/stylist Patricia Field fills every scene with enough labels to keep any fashionista salivating. Rightly, though, the majority of label lust is left to Carrie's twentysomething, fresh-to-the-city assistant Louise (Jennifer Hudson in a pivotal plot role).
Will love conquer all? Is age only a number? Does Samantha sleep with her hot neighbor? I'm not telling.
But just like any great night out with best friends, "Sex and the City: The Movie" is awash with so much love that it lingers long after the last cocktail runs dry.
From Left To Right: Charlotte, Carrie, Miranda and Samantha