The miracle on 73rd Street 

After four "Sex"-starved years, fans of HBO’s most-watched sitcom can finally exhale.

Again strutting Manhattan streets sporting the latest by Oscar de la Renta and Vera Wang, the Fab Four come to the big screen Friday, picking up several years after the show’s 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, and a "miracle."

Initially derailed by HBO, whose officials feared a movie wouldn’t make money, the project was further delayed when Kim Cattrall resisted the invitation to reprise her role as lusty P.R. rep Samantha Jones. Yet the idea resurfaced when the 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.

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.

While stepping back into Carrie’s apartment represented the most surreal moment of her four-month shoot, Parker says had no trouble falling back into a comfortably familiar routine.

Kristin Davis, 43, concurs: "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."

Without giving plot secrets away, Davis admits to being relieved by the enduring strength of her character’s marriage to Harry Goldenblatt, the bald divorce lawyer who improbably won her heart.

Not that marriage (or anything like it) is right for everyone. To Cattrall, 51, who is 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. "I think it’s important that we not suggest a woman’s happiness is inexorably linked to her relationships with the opposite sex," she says.

'Sex and the City' stars speak out

"Women are so encouraged to put themselves last, behind their children and their husbands. And though I don’t support reckless spending on shoes or dresses, we’re making a political statement — it’s OK to value yourself, to buy yourself a present." Cynthia Nixon

"The media loves to say the girls are fighting on the set, but look at ‘The Sopranos.’ That’s a show about a group of male friends, and did anyone ever ask them if they were fighting behind the scenes? Never. It’s a sexist double standard." — Kristin Davis

"I kept all the clothing that wasn’t borrowed, just as I did throughout the series. I’d archived all the outfits and even most of the furniture, so it was great to have Carrie’s closet available to me." — Sarah Jessica Parker

"I initially turned down the role of Samantha. I was scared, and I’d just turned 41. I thought that my salad days were over." — Kim Cattrall

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Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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