Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) have grown up since the early episodes of the HBO series (which was when I last saw them). They’ve gone from being shallow fantasy figures to something resembling real women. As a result, Sex and the City makes good use of a quality the series sometimes squandered: its unique position as a Hollywood narrative told completely from the female perspective. There is the sexual empowerment, of course, yet also a mature consideration of the emotions the women’s sex lives presumably involved (there are some authentic, moving conversations here, and they have nothing to do with Oscar de la Renta dresses or Louis Vuitton purses). Most of all, the movie captures the paramount importance of female friendship in a woman’s life – especially for a woman who can’t count on lasting happiness from a man. One of the picture’s endearing qualities is its aversion to happily ever afters. In a way, it plays like the epilogue to your standard Hollywood romantic comedy, and it’s all the more refreshing for it.