What happened
The movie version of Sex and the City, which picks up from where the HBO series finale left off four years ago, opens in theaters Friday, and critics are weighing in on everything from the quality of the script to the characters' social impact.

What the commentators said
“Let’s face it,” said in Jocelyn Noveck in The Associated Press, “Sex and the City may be the quintessential chick flick of all time. Women are booking their seats in giddy anticipation of the film’s Friday release.” But online, “one Web site is promising a survival guide for boyfriends and husbands” full of advise on how to endure having to watch the movie, while a columnist in Chicago is offering men “Get Out of Watching the ‘Sex and the City’ Movie” cards.

“We can handle the premieres, marathon rerun specials, and our copiously overexcited girlfriends’ chain e-mails about buying tickets together and going this weekend,” said Amy Odell in New York magazine’s blog The Cut, but “we’re starting to collapse under the absurdity of press releases sent from publicists desperate to alert us to special Sex and the City–related promotions.” In New York, it seems like everyone is using the movie to try “to sell a dress, bag, or cocktail.”

What did you expect? said Reuters. This movie is a big deal to a lot of people, and “this weekend is shaping up to be all about sex at U.S. theaters.” A survey by Fandango found that “nearly 70 percent of women are planning special group outings to see Sex and the City,” and “80 percent” are “planning to attend a Sex and the City get-together before or after seeing the film.”

I’m almost afraid to see the movie, said Kelly West in the blog Cinema Blend. I “loved the series,” but what if “the film ends up having a negative impact on how we remember it?” The TV show ended perfectly, and “when a series ends well, it makes me feel like all the time I invested in watching it season after season was worth it.” But “what if the movie undoes that, somehow?”

Trust your instinct, said Ella Taylor in The Village Voice. The Sex and the City movie is “plotless” and “pointless.” It’s “less a movie than a very long goodbye (again).” And “at 142 minutes, Sex and the City is basically a whole season's worth of episodes—or outtakes—slung together for no better reason than to squeeze all remaining revenues from a stupendously popular show that got out while the going was good.”

Are you kidding me? said Jessica Reaves in the Chicago Tribune. “Witty, effervescent, and unexpectedly thoughtful, the big-screen iteration of the HBO series stands up beautifully (and somewhat miraculously) to the twin pressures of popular expectation and critical assessment.” And “Michael Patrick King’s screenplay hits all the right notes, building on the warmth and familiarity of the series (which King also wrote), while taking full advantage of the longer format, drawing the characters into a more fully realized, emotionally resonant narrative.”