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Sex and the City (the movie)

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Image credit: Sex and the City, 2008

Look, I know, we’re all extremely disappointed/fatigued by the Sex and the City franchise at this point. And Just Like That… ruined it beyond repair, shining a spotlight on all the problems of the original series, while failing to distract us with witty jokes and fabulous clothes (they weren’t that witty, or that fabulous this time around). There was also a very, very bad movie sequel Sex and the City 2, which we will not talk about. But when it comes to the first Sex and the City movie (Disc/Download), I’m not ashamed to admit- I actually like it!

Here’s the absolute truth: if you enjoyed the television show, you’ll enjoy this movie. And back in my early-twenties, I adored the show. Back then, it felt like my only real responsibility was being home in time to watch it each week. But as Carrie astutely points out in this film, your twenties are for having fun, thirties are for learning the lessons, and forties are for paying for the drinks. Now that I’m pushing forty, I’m working hard to pay for the drinks and simply don’t have time to care about trivial things such as how large Carrie’s closet is. I’m building my own large closet now, thank you very much. And it’s super stressful!!!! So while I may not have the energy for a weekly date with Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha, I don’t mind them swooping in on their cloud of privilege to distract me for a couple hours in the form of a movie.

I recently came across a cocktail in one of my favorite recipe books Experimental Cocktail Club that’s a surprising and delicious take on Carrie’s signature Cosmopolitan. This one keeps the pretty pink color, but has a much more interesting flavor profile. While watching Sex and the City, I recommend drinking this Big (Cosmo) is Dead.

Big (Cosmo) is Dead

1/2 oz Velvet Falernum

1 oz Aperol

1 oz Lime Juice

1 oz Vodka

2 dashes orange bitters

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into a martini glass.

*Adapted from Big Cosmo is Dead recipe in Experimental Cocktail Club by Mitchell Beazley.

I may have had my quibbles with these characters over the years (STEVE- YOU ARE FAR TOO GOOD FOR MIRANDA!!!), but they’ll always have a fond place in my heart. We grew up together, found love together, drank cocktails together. Sometimes, it’s nice to pay a visit to your old friends, even after you’ve gone your separate ways. Because when something is really, really funny, you’ll always find time to laugh. Cheers!

In Her Shoes

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Image credit: In Her Shoes, 2005

I was so saddened to hear about the passing of director Curtis Hanson last month. I’ve featured his films LA Confidential and Wonder Boys on Cinema Sips in the past, but this week I’m excited to write about one of his less frequently lauded films In Her Shoes (DVD/Download). An unconventional choice for Hanson, this quasi-rom com could have veered off into Hallmark Channel territory. But with his skilled hand it became a beautiful film about the relationship between sisters, the joy and pathos of aging, and the quest we’re all on to find professional fulfillment. The fact that it features sugary pink drinks and designer shoes- well, that’s just icing on the cupcake.

Adapted from the wonderfully fun novel by Jennifer Weiner (one of my personal favorite writers), In Her Shoes is about two sisters (Toni Collette and Cameron Diaz) who have a falling out, and struggle to find their way back to each other.  Along the way they reunite with a long-lost grandmother (played by Shirley MacLaine), and discover the love and self-confidence both had always lacked. Sure there’s some romance, a lot of cute shoes, and bikini shots of Cameron Diaz after she moves into her grandma’s retirement community. But there are also some great scenes about the struggles many of us face in life, and that really triumphant moment when finally, at last, you figure out what you’re meant to do. Watching this movie just makes me hopeful.

In an effort to bond with her too-cool-for-school adult granddaughter, Shirley MacLaine spends an evening watching Sex and the City and drinking cosmos. It’s a cliche, but I’m sorry, cosmos are delicious!  And for this movie, the drink fits. While watching In Her Shoes, I recommend drinking a Cosmopolitan.

Cosmopolitan

1 ½ oz Vodka

1 oz Cranberry juice

½ oz Cointreau

½ oz fresh lime juice

Lime wedge

Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a lime.

cosmopolitan

What always delighted me about this film was the spot-on depiction of Florida retirement communities. As a child of Florida snow-birds, I’ve always daydreamed about just running away to the land of early bird specials, white pants, water aerobics, and cocktail hour. It’s only the lack of decent Tex-Mex there that stops me (and okay, my really great life back in Texas). Lucky for me, I’ve got In Her Shoes, and that really great Florida-set episode of Seinfeld to remind me of what I’m missing. Cheers!