— Warning: Spoilers, to the extent a movie of this nature can be spoiled, follow —

Opening voice-over: “Year after year 20-something women come to New York City in search of the two Ls: Labels and love.” If this is true, it’s a horrible indictment of a generation. “Twenty years ago, I was one of them.” Oh. I’m wrong then. It’s a horrible indictment of American culture.

Nice opening montage, but that is not a “hot dress.” You look like a fool. Seriously? I would say that you don’t have a whit of fashion sense. On the other hand, as we see in the next scene, you look hot in lingerie.

Wow. Not two minutes in and we’ve achieved Rated-R status through gratuitous vulgar language.

Almost 4 minutes of exposition to start this thing. Presumably that’s the most effective use of time since fans would already know this stuff cold, and newcomers need to be brought up to speed quickly. I am a newcomer. Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, Charlotte, Big. OK, got it.

Time for some apartment hunting. Mr. Big calls Carrie “kid”? I’m afraid that may be appropriate. I can’t believe the real estate agent didn’t ask her to take off the high heels. Those stilettos are gonna leave marks all over that hardwood floor. Their buyer’s agent tells the realtor that they’re not married? Really? It’s your place to say that (and with something of a judgmental tone)?

OMG, Mr. Big is buying the penthouse for her! “Welcome home, baby.” Unbelievable. It’s like she’s a little princess. “Can we afford this?” Hahaha. Like the patriarchal man cares what you think. “I got this,” he says. He’s got money you don’t even know about. Clearly, it’s a relationship based on trust, you little plaything.

Discussion with Charlotte, who smiles and fake laughs at everything, and with Miranda, who wants to make sure that Carrie is “being smart here.” Yeah, Big is buying “real estate heaven” for his girlfriend, spending untold amounts of money, and you want to make sure Carrie is the one “being smart here”? Carrie responds appropriately, telling them to please not feel concern but jealousy, because that’s what good friends should feel about each other’s success.

Samantha appears magically on the street and they have a forced and fake reunion. To this point, mostly wooden acting. But let’s not forget that the script has been bad, too, and even the best actor can only work with what he’s given.

Samantha lusts pathetically over a piece of flower ring jewelry at auction. “I work hard. I deserve this,” says Samantha, bidding more for the ring than some people make in a year. In the director’s commentary, the director says he hears this phrase more than any other from women. Wow, that’s pitiful. What’s worse: He thinks it’s true. They do work hard, they do deserve this. The sense of entitlement here is appalling.

After more gratuitous swearing—the movie has an unexpected penchant for it—Samantha is, happily, outbid. Charlotte finds the auction sad, not because Samantha lost, but because it’s the auction of a woman’s jewelry, all of which was given to her by her now ex-boyfriend. Yes, Charlotte, it must be so hard to part with things you didn’t earn. Also, this auction is supposed to be somehow embarrassing for the boyfriend, according to Carrie’s voiceover. Don’t ask me how.

Carrie talks with Big about her newly found insecurity of not being married. She’ll sell her old apartment, move into the new place, and make it “ours.” Loved Big’s response: “It is ours. I bought it for us.” Should have added: “Just like I bought you.” Carrie expresses her concern that she would have no legal rights to “this home that I built.” By “built” of course she means “redecorated.”

What follows is the least romantic marriage proposal ever. I’m surprised Big didn’t pull out a prenuptial agreement at the end of it. (He should have.)

Over lunch, Carrie explains her engagement to Miranda and Charlotte, the latter of whom flips out and disrupts the entire restaurant, but this is the movies so they all applaud her. She is unjustifiably proud of herself. Samantha, back in LA where she lives with her boyfriend/movie star, has the sanest response of the group, which is to say she’s not really thrilled with the idea.

Rats. Samantha calls back to semi-apologize for her lack of enthusiasm. Love that Carrie says this is “just two grown-ups choosing to spend their lives together.” I’m not familiar enough with Big yet to know whether I should quibble over the “two” or the “grown-ups” part of that sentence.

Now we get a gay wedding consultant—that’s not cliché—with bad teeth. Strange addition to the movie, but I’m not hip to gay culture. Carrie’s choice of wedding dress is indicative of her fashion sense, which is to say, it’s not nearly so good as she thinks it is. Gay guy is appalled that it’s a no-label dress, as if lack of a “name” designer is the problem.

Charlotte sees Carrie’s engagement announcement in the paper and shrieks in hysterical fashion again as she did in the restaurant. Is that a thing with her? Was she known for that in the TV series? I’ve got to assume that the answer is “yes.” She does provide us with the insight that Big is a New York financier—one of those Wall Street SOBs who tanked the economy, so that’s nice.

Carrie’s done some writing for Vogue, and now that word is on the street that Carrie is getting married, the magazine wants to feature her in a bridal layout. Because photo spreads of staff (or is it freelance?) writers are just what you do. Carrie gets through the “oh I couldn’t possibly” to “I’d be happy to” in under a New York minute, proving yet again, it’s not skill or talent, it’s who you know. What a wonderful lesson for us all. As a final note, I can’t believe Vogue actually allowed their name to a sullied by having an editor say, “You can’t be photographed as a bride once you’re over 40.” That’s really a hideous view on women and fashion, even in a movie this shallow.

Carrie gives us a parade of designer wedding dresses, some good, some less so, but all touted as perfectly spectacular. When she’s finally the finished, she’s in a horrible tie-dyed bag garment that’s so unflattering as to make the wedding dresses seem that much better. And one of the designers simply must gift Carrie with the wedding dress of her dreams. How difficult it must have been to stand there having your picture taken! How deserving you are for having labored so long and so hard!

Later, Big refuses to write Carrie a love letter since it’s not his “style.” If you have to do any writing, I’m still advising you to do a pre-nup there, Big.

Miranda, the workaholic, seems to treat everyone and everything as a means to an end. “Let’s just get it over with” has to be the worst sexy-talk ever. Husband is rightly upset with this view of his lovemaking. Miranda, sticking to her guns and unwilling to admit any mistake, launches a new crusade to prove that she and Steve are having enough sex, even though it’s been six months since the last time.

Miranda takes her “problem” to the “girls” who are more than happy to engage in a spirited sex talk. Miranda is left uncomforted by Samantha’s constant sex, Charlotte’s 2-3 times a week, and Carrie’s surprising unwillingness to share. Carrie won’t talk frequency, but insists on boasting about Big’s sexual prowess nonetheless. The specter of erectile dysfunction raises its head. (Ha! See what I did there?)

Oh good! Samantha gets the flower ring anyway. Turns out she was outbid by her west coast boyfriend, who called in over the phone and spent an extra $40,000 or so as he and Samantha bid against one another. Well, you know Samantha deserves that ring. She’s worked so hard and all.

Boyfriend refuses the thank you sex from Samantha, which is frankly the most unrealistic part yet in a wholly unrealistic film. Samantha consoles herself by watching live action porn from the new condo neighbors next door.

Big remodels Carrie’s closet in the new place. She must be amazing in bed. You’ll never convince me he’s motivated by love of her personality.

As Carrie moves out of her old place, packing up everything with the help of her friends, Samantha appears at the door, prompting another shriek from Charlotte. I don’t care if this is her “thing” or not. It’s annoying now, and we’re only about 30 minutes in.

Samantha brings the booze to help with the move. Carrie parades a series of old dresses on which the friends helpfully vote “take” or “toss.” Like Carrie needs to downsize her wardrobe to move into Big’s new 5th Avenue penthouse. The closet in there is the size of a small aircraft carrier. In the end, says Carrie, “It took four friends three days to put 20 years into 38 boxes.” No mention of how much champaign, but Miranda, so stressed and overworked that she doesn’t have time for a sex life with her husband, somehow made it through. Also, movers could have had the whole thing done in less than four hours. Carrie vacates the apartment carrying an Apple PowerBook G4 15″ with power adapter. At least she has good taste in computers.

Back at Miranda’s, Steve compounds an error in judgment and confesses to having an affair—always a mistake but at least somewhat understandable given Miranda’s behavior. Steve is contrite and weepy at his failure, lavishing all kinds of undeserved praise on Miranda who, so far as we’ve seen, has been a workaholic, sex-withholding, absentee wife and mother. “It only happened once and it didn’t mean anything,” says Steve. I’m gonna differ with you on that latter point, buddy. It definitely means something.

Miranda is understandably pissy about this revelation—more pissy than normal, I mean. Steve is surprised that his confession hasn’t led to instant forgiveness sex. Oh, Steve. If you don’t know by now that Miranda’s a ball-busting lesbian, you never will. (I kid. Maybe. I think? Who knows?) Anyway, Miranda’s moving out.

Carrie tells Big that the wedding guest list is now up from 75 to 200—she’s got all the self-control of a cat chasing a laser pointer—and she immediately blames the dress. The dress? Big complains that it’s turning into a circus, and confesses (to the audience if not Carrie) that this is his third marriage. Big is concerned that a big wedding makes him look bad. No, no Big! You’re a scum-sucking Wall Streeter out to bankrupt America. That’s what makes you look bad! Your need to control those around you by purchasing them impossibly expensive goods as a substitute for real love and your inability to form lasting romantic relationships? Both fine with us!

Says Carrie, “I didn’t know that was even an issue.” T-shirt material right there.

On to the rehearsal dinner, where Big is insulted repeatedly and publicly by a partner at the firm. Suck it up and smile, Big. No wonder those guys crashed the economy. They had to work with each other. But leave it to Samantha—coarse, vain, and unbelievably rude Samantha—to rein in the malcontent. She loudly calls the partner a “dickwad” and chastises him for interrupting and, far from being mortified, everyone applauds! Honestly, in what world do people act this way? Even the partner applauds! The lack of shame here is stunning, or would be an a civilized crowd. (And what is the partner actually thinking as he applauds, “Hehe, she really got me there. I sure am a dickwad.”)

Samantha is out smoking cigars with the boys when Steve shows up looking like a wreck. Yes, Steve, crash the party! Do it! It’s a completely inappropriate time to try to settle your marital difficulties with your wife Miranda, but there’s no time like the present to ruin a bachelor/bachelorette party. “I don’t want to bother you all,” begins Steve, who will clearly, obviously, inevitably go on to bother everyone. Samantha goes in to fetch that harpy Miranda who instantly turns cold(er) at the news of his appearance. This has battle royal written all over it. Pass the popcorn.

Yep. Awesome. Shouting on the sidewalk! “You broke us!” yells Miranda, seemingly incapable of comprehending her own culpability in the whole affair. “I changed who I was for you,” she says before stomping off. Oh my. Was she bitchier before she met Steve? Are we only now getting the toned down version of Miranda? I may never know, because there is no chance I’m going to put on boots and wade into the TV series.

Miranda sees Big on her way in. “Are you all right?” he inquires. Miranda gives us more t-shirt material: “No, I’m not all right. You two are crazy to get married. Marriage ruins everything.” Now that is the toast that Samantha should have given. Poor Big! Even Wall Street types must have feelings somewhere under that ruthless exterior. Next scene immediately finds Big at the bar attempting to blot out the horror he’s just experienced, and, come tomorrow, will experience.

The girls retreat to somebody’s bedroom where Charlotte tries to claim she knew Big and Carrie were always going to get together. Apparently, the two have been hot and cold for years—something I’m sure fans knew but that was news to me. Big interrupts the gaiety with a phone call to ask Carrie if she’s sure she wants to get married. Guess he’s gone cold again. He’s says he’s having trouble writing the wedding vows. (“I promise to love you until my dying day or my money runs out, whichever comes first.”) He’s still drinking, a solution that I’m sure has worked well for him in the past.

Wedding jitters from Big force Carrie’s first grown-up act of the movie as she talks Big down from the ledge of single life happiness and back into the morass of marriage he’s wallowed in twice before. Third time’s a charm, Big! When it comes to self-preservation and self-interest you’ve got to give Carrie credit: She’s got game.

Wedding Day, and our opening shot is truly amazing. Carrie has stuffed something resembling a cockatoo in her hair, completely ruining the effect of the beautiful designer wedding gown. No sense of style whatsoever.

Big tries desperately to phone Carrie, presumably to call the whole thing off, but Charlotte’s little girl has swiped Carrie’s cell. What a cute little pixie, carrying off that important plot point like such a grown-up. For some reason, Big doesn’t think to call any of Carrie’s friends and ask to speak with her. Clearly, Big is having a major bout of second thoughts and/or is hungover from the night before. Seeing as how he appears to have not a single guy friend or best man to turn to, I wonder about his mental health. Is he that unlikable? You’d think with all that money he’d at least have a shrink he could talk to. Maybe he just couldn’t get the pre-nup drawn up in time.

Carrie and party arrive 25 minutes late to her own wedding, think nothing of this, but are stunned when Big isn’t there. Only then do they suppose to call him, because as we all know, the world revolves around the bride. Carrie borrows an iPhone, looks at it, and is flummoxed, negating any positive regard she acquired from hauling around that PowerBook.

“I’ve been calling you for an hour. I was out front. I just left. I can’t do this.” Good for you, Big. If she won’t return your calls and can’t be on time to her own wedding or have the courtesy to give you a heads-up that she’s stuck in traffic, cut her loose! Bros before hos! Except, of course, that you have no bros….

Big suddenly realizes this and immediately orders his limo driver to make an illegal U-turn and head the wrong way on a one-way street. Carrie, having been spirited by Charlotte and Miranda out of the NY Public Library wedding site—no church would want to be defiled by this union, apparently—is desperate to avoid public shame and races to her limousine.

Now there is no way Big could know that Carrie is fleeing the scene as he’s talked with neither her nor any of her friends. But he intuits her vanity correctly and intercepts her about a block from the library. She then proceeds to beat his brains out with the bridal bouquet, proving that not all of the $65 million film budget was wasted. Carrie claims that she was humiliated, which seems like a pretty low bar. Big is sorry, or at least says he is. Charlotte tells off Big, denying his apologies, and inserting herself pretty deeply into their relationship, frankly. In the end, everyone drives off in different directions, so I’m thinking win-win.

Carrie ends up at Charlotte’s where she drinks like a fish. Miranda confesses to Charlotte that she may have said something vaguely negative about marriage to Big. Charlotte, having no knowledge of, well, anything, absolves her of any significant blame and tells Miranda to keep it on the down low. Samantha books the four of them on a trip to a Mexican resort for what should have been Carrie’s honeymoon. Classy.

Carrie appears without makeup, emphasizing just how emotionally scarred she is. Finally, Carrie comes out into the sunlight, makeup back on. Samantha and Miranda have a spirited argument over Miranda’s failure to wax her pubic hair. Fireworks to follow? Oh, yes! Miranda: “So I let the sex go out of my marriage? I deserved what I got?” That’s right, honey. Failure to wax down there has all kinds of brutal consequences.

Pity party tonight at the hotel restaurant, says Carrie. The girls, excepting Charlotte who seems more prudish or something, commence getting sloshed. Big couldn’t get out of the car, complains Carrie. Ten years together and he couldn’t get out of the car. Yeah, well, when he did get out of the car, you beat him about the head with a floral arrangement. Plus, 10 years together and you still couldn’t be on time to your own wedding.

Samantha starts complaining about her boyfriend the movie star. She regrets having to put his needs first, though he is, after all, the meal ticket. Samantha is incredulous that her world doesn’t entirely revolve around her. It’s just so unfair. Miranda interrupts to heckle young lovers at another table.

Charlotte drinks the Mexican water and gets the runs. Friends are too busy drinking to assist in any way, except to laugh at her distress and humiliation as she soils herself. Honestly, they’re like a pack of girls from middle school but with credit cards.

Upon returning to her old apartment, Carrie decides to hire an assistant. Her applicants are apparently straight off of Craig’s List, since they seem unqualified in varied ways. Carries hires Louise, a black woman from St. Louis, who is slightly less unqualified than the other three. I’m sure the minority angle with be played with much sensitivity and tact. Yup, black man leering at her breasts only 45 seconds later. Awesome.

Miranda heads out to find an apartment of her own, since reconciling with Steve is obviously beyond her ability or interest. I wonder what Steve sees in her. Miranda walks through an Asian neighborhood, is clearly uncomfortable until she sees a “white guy with a baby” and insists on following him to safety. Wonderful cultural commentary continues.

Carrie babysits Charlotte’s kid and reads Cinderella to her, intent on disabusing her of the notion that happy endings are in any way possible outside of a massage parlor. Charlotte returns to announce that she is pregnant, serving to highlight Carrie’s point.

Back in Hollywood, Samantha complains again that the world is not revolving around her.

Carrie receives an email from Big and instructs Louise to set up a spam filter so that she never gets another communiqué from him. Cutting off all communication from the man who loves you seems like such a good way to resolve your problems. Perhaps you can get pointers from your good friend Miranda who is also following this time-tested strategy with Steve.

Miranda and Carrie go shopping for Halloween costumes. Miranda can only find two costumes: Witch or Sexy Kitten. Yours would be Witch, Miranda, or something that sounds-like. Miranda is on the verge of confessing her horrible “I made Big not love you” secret when Carrie sees her issue of Vogue. It carries the Editor’s note that Carrie’s wedding was called off and she’s still single in New York. Her humiliation is complete: Now everyone knows she’ll die an old maid.

Carrie dyes her hair! Yes, a disguise! Hiding in the City. Excellent thinking, Carrie. Changing your external appearance is absolutely more important than dealing with whatever inner turmoil you feel and resolving it successfully.

Carrie calls Samantha with a new phone number and to engage in some long distance coast-to-coast complaining. Carrie’s new phone has a different area code than her old one. There’s a First World Whine for you. Samantha grumbles about her hot hunky neighbor with whom she’s not having sex. Post-phone call Samantha consoles herself with the purchase of a horny little dog and a shopping spree on Rodeo Drive, because nothing fills that hole in your soul like consumerism run amok.

Carrie talks with Louise about her feelings, realizes Louise has feelings, too, and decides that they should go get drunk together. Louise gets a text from a guy, and Carrie starts talking about the sub-text of the text. If only as much attention were paid to the sub-text of this movie. Anyway, Louise goes off to get laid, and Carrie wishes her well.

Carrie and Charlotte go shopping for a desk for Carrie’s apartment. Apparently, Carrie is using her book advance to pay for interior decorating, displaying the financial management skill we would have expected. Charlotte confesses her feelings about her pregnancy: “I’m so happy I’m terrified.” That’s t-shirt material, too. That Charlotte’s general argument, that bad things happen to good people, is basically unassailable does not stop Carrie from convincing Charlotte otherwise, presumably because Charlotte has the intellectual fortitude of flowers in the wind.

Louise gets Carrie a Christmas gift. Will Carrie prove so self-centered as to not have thought of Louise this holiday season? You bet! And now she feels bad. She didn’t know they were exchanging gifts. God, Louise, how could you have been so self-centered as to get Carrie a gift for a widely celebrated holiday without first thinking that she would feel badly because she’s so self-absorbed that she wouldn’t think of a peon like you until you so blatantly brought it to her attention? Come on, woman, show some class.

But surprise! It’s a head-fake. Gifting involves shopping, and what does Carrie love most in the world? No, besides herself. That’s right: Shopping. Although we’ll also accept “shoes” as an answer. And if you said “shoe shopping” then give yourself bonus points. But, no, it’s a hideous Louis Vitton designer handbag, the kind no sensible person would ever be seen in public with. Louise is wholly thrilled that her gift of a crappy $10 DVD has resulted in an accessory she can pawn for at least 20x as much.

New Year’s Eve: Carrie decides to watch the DVD while slurping Ramen noodles. Steve picks up their kid from Miranda and tries again to reconcile, which Miranda brushes off. Cold as ice, that one. Finally, Carries turns to her Apple PowerBook for consolation, but draws a blank whilst staring at the screen. (Never happens to me.) Miranda’s cool exterior crumbling from her earlier meeting with Steve, she calls and wakes Carrie a little after 11 PM. Carrie dutifully gets up and heads out to see her friend, because what makes more sense: staying warm and cozy in bed on a snowy winter night, or walking the streets of New York alone after dark on a night when there are no taxicabs available? I hope Carrie’s got mace in her purse. Excuse me, in her designer handbag.

In the montage of New Year’s we get: friendless Big dining alone in a crowd, Charlotte and family having a great time, Samantha and boyfriend preparing to have sex, the two gay designer guys talking, and Carrie wandering the streets. Miranda opens a fortune cookie, reads it, then throws it down in disgust. What must it have said? “Your capacity for love would fill a dozen thimbles”? The designer gays gulp down some champaign then make out, implying that they have to be bombed before they’d even consider being attracted to each other. I can see that. I wouldn’t describe either as “hunky.”

Fast forward a few weeks and it’s time for Fashion Week, when “the women of New York leave the foolish choices of the past behind and look to the future.” Miranda begins talking about the greatness of Steve, which means she’s either high as a kite or lonely as hell. A couple of months ago he was such a loser she wouldn’t give him the time of day. Charlotte begs Miranda to forgive Steve, but one begins to wonder how emotionally crippled Steve must be to still consider coming back. Charlotte feels the opposite about Big but proves inadequate to the task of expressing it.

Enter a parade on the fashion catwalk: Horrible, nonsensical dresses that no self-respecting woman in her right mind would wear. I know, I know. “Self-respecting” and “right mind” are both disqualifiers for the girls. On the way out, Samantha is attacked by a crazed PETA supporter who splashes ketchup/blood on her white coat and shouts, “Fur is murder!” Ah, the contrarian view so sanely presented. Still, is this really the movie for a political debate? It’s such an odd interruption in the flow of whining and self-pity. Samantha is wholly unfazed, embracing the crazies with “God, I miss New York!”

A few weeks later Carrie meets Louise’s boyfriend Will, and just in time for Valentine’s Day too. On the day itself, Carrie reads through her Vogue issue and meets Miranda for an overpriced special menu dinner. The waitress assumes that the two are lesbians, which is correct to the extent they both prefer women more than men and themselves to all other people. Carries tells Miranda about her discovery that in the Vogue article she did not say “we” once. In a moment of drunken clarity she says, “I am the reason he did not get out that car.” Don’t worry, Carrie, the feeling will pass and you’ll be sober in the morning.

But this prompts the Big Reveal from Miranda. How will Carrie handle this so-called betrayal? Will she discuss it calmly with feelings of empathy toward her friend who’s been tormented for months by carrying this (relatively minor) secret? Since that’s what adults would do, I’m predicting she’ll do the opposite and this scene will devolve into hysterics. Yep. Awesome. Will this end with Carrie fleeing the restaurant? Oh yes, it has to. Problems are meant to fled. There she goes, not only running away from any opportunity to fix her fragile emotional state, but also sticking Miranda with the overly large Valentine’s Day bill. Well played, well played.

Cut to Samantha lying on a dining room table naked except for strategically placed bits of sushi, all an elaborate Valentine’s Day surprise for her boyfriend. She looks yummy, as does the ménage à trois going on in the condo next door. Boyfriend returns three hours late. Samantha is irate, though it’s not like he didn’t call and say he’d be late. He totally did. Samantha, still unable to accept that the world isn’t her personal oyster, throws food at him and storms off. Would advise her to simply go to the neighboring apartment, where I’m sure she’d be both happier and welcome.

Miranda is really sorry, and having taken a page out of Steve’s notebook, has bombarded Carrie with phone calls, cards, and flowers. She finally shows up outside Carrie’s apartment in a taxi, and the two talk it out while the meter runs. It’s almost like they try to invent bizarre new ways to waste money. Miranda, unable to use her keen legal mind to formulate any ideas of her own, pitches the same arguments at Carrie that Steve’s tried on her for months without success. Guilty, your honor. Carrie points this out, and wins immediate concurrence from the cabbie, who sagely nods his turban.

Miranda takes this to heart and agrees to couples counseling with Steve. You should see the body language in counseling. Miranda couldn’t look more defensive if she tried. Her eyes are the only thing left to cross. Steve gives a little bit of push back in counseling—”I know I made it hard for you to trust me, but you made it hard for me to trust you.” Miranda is incredulous. Steve, gathering steam if not courage, pushes onward. “You cut me out of your life.” No kidding, buddy. She always has time for the girls, and no time for you. Your mistake, other than confessing your indiscretion, was expecting different.

The counselor tries to qualify this with one of the the most confusing statements ever: “All you can know is that you want to move forward and risk that the love that you have for each other won’t allow that to happen.” I literally replayed this three times. I still don’t know what she’s talking about. As this statement represents the supposed turning point in their relationship—because if they’re not getting back together I’ll be stunned—it’s a pretty important plot point, and it requires clarity. This is literally meant to be the wisdom that changes their minds about each other, their relationship, and what they will do going forward. And, having heard it repeatedly, it doesn’t make a lick of sense.

Steve and Miranda finish counseling and aren’t allowed to talk with each other for two weeks. What kind of budget marriage counselor are they seeing? I thought the point was to get them talking and interacting again. Anyway, Miranda chats with Carrie who apparently has forgiven her for trying to act in Carrie’s best interests. The counselor, undoubtedly a Ph.D. from some unaccredited correspondence course, has decided that Steve and Miranda will meet in two weeks at some predetermined spot, and if they both show up then the past is all forgot. This seems like a strategy that would only work in movies, making it pretty darn convenient.

Carrie tells Miranda that she will have to decide about Steve based not on some cool level-headed thinking (of which Miranda appears incapable anyway), but instead she will need to rely on her emotions. Given that she has the emotional maturity of a prepubescent teen, this may not be the soundest of advice. But I’m not picking on Miranda. It’d be bad advice for any of them.

Carrie returns home to find out that Louise is engaged and moving back to St. Louis. I’m sure she’s just fleeing the dysfunction of Carrie’s world. Let that be a lesson about Craig’s List, Louise.

Speaking of lists, Miranda makes one of Steve’s Pros and Cons then decides to find Steve at their Brooklyn Bridge meeting spot. There’s never really any doubt that Steve, that emasculated pushover of man, will be waiting for her. If he had any self-respect, he would have left Miranda a long time ago, but love is blind, among other things. What does he see in her? Income? An attorney in New York must make bank. This vignette closes with a nice view of Miranda’s breasts as she and Steve finally have sex.

Samantha, Carrie’s voice over informs us, has it all, but lusts after her sex fiend neighbor, and so lives in hell.

Carrie throws a housewarming/babyshower party. Samantha shows up slightly heavier than usual and is promptly criticized by one of the gay designer guys for having a gut. Samantha is eating to avoid cheating on her boyfriend, she says. Her friends promptly set her straight: The boyfriend may have stayed with you through chemo, but if he’s not as sexy as your next door neighbor, he’s got to go.

Samantha flies back to have a breakup talk with her boyfriend: “I love you, but I love me more.” Honestly, she’s the most self-aware of the bunch, I think, but that’s damning with faint praise. We find out Samantha is 49. Holy cow, she’s hot for 49. Samantha pretends to give back the flower ring, but rather too readily agrees to keep it when the boyfriend tell her to.

Samantha returns to New York as our token minority, Louise, leaves for St. Louis. Louise implores Carrie not to mess up the web site she’s worked so hard on. Hope you did it in WordPress or something that doesn’t let Carrie fiddle with the code too much.

A very pregnant Charlotte accidentally bumps into Big at lunch and attempts to flee. Big chases her down, as classy men do. Charlotte attempts to insult Big, fails, and breaks her water in the process. Unable to hail a passing cab, Charlotte is convinced by Big to take his Mercedes. Her water is going to be hell on the leather seats, Big. That’s got bio-hazard written all over it.

Carrie appears at the hospital to congratulate Charlotte and her husband on the birth of a daughter, and learns how Big sacrificed a couple hours of his dreary existence as well as his car’s interior in a vain effort to see Carrie while putatively helping Charlotte. Charlotte’s husband, the bald political consultant from The West Wing, tells Carrie that Big’s been writing to her.

Carrie returns home to find that Louise has been reading and saving Big’s emails. Carrie finally breaks down and reads them all. She goes to the 5th Avenue apartment to retrieve the shoes she’s left there—she’s spent months without them, but whatever—finds Big, and makes out with him. Big ultimately offers a more romantic marriage proposal than the business deal they did the first time around. Still: pre-nup, Big. Pre-nup.

They marry at City Hall, or some such place, in front of a justice of the peace. Big calls in the girls for the after party at a local Denny’s. Big is so high class. Great that he has their phone numbers now, when he didn’t on the original wedding day.

Finally we see the girls go out to celebrate Samantha’s 50th, and Carrie drones on about girls becoming women. If only.