The reviewer, Julie Szego, was once a fan of the TV series:
... the show represented a parallel universe of sorts ... for my group of 20-something girlfriends. Carrie Bradshaw and her cohorts spoke to professional women who fancied themselves as sassy, powerful and poised to uncover the ultimate truth in their quest for love.
But the lifestyle pursued by these women didn't yield all that it was supposed to:
... the show tapped into the Zeitgeist of young women reaping the rewards of the sexual and feminist revolutions, but dancing around their fears that all this freedom wasn't yielding any lasting rewards ... in truth, these girls weren't really having fun.
The movie carries on where the TV series left off:
Relationships remain fragile or out of reach, families complicated by separation, divorce or problems with reproduction, the future very much a whatever-will-be-will-be proposition.
For Julie Szego this is all too familiar terrain:
A stocktake of my girlfriends 10 years on suggests many of their stories are still unfolding; they are yet to partner, or have partnered just in the nick of time and are crossing fingers with hope, or they're grappling with the joys and challenges of blended families, or they're quietly mourning as careers, or dreams of parenthood, slip away.
Reading Julie Szego's review, you understand why feminism is currently in one of its down phases. A generation of women, who thought they were on the cusp of radical liberation, have instead experienced a radical disruption to family formation. There is a sense of sadness and fatalism in the way Julie Szego writes about the situation.
It's a pity that Julie Szego doesn't develop her idea that the feminist and sexual revolutions, with "all their freedom", hadn't yielded "any lasting rewards". It seems highly relevant to ask why not.
What was wrong with the feminist concept of freedom? Is freedom the only good to be conserved? Why didn't 30-something professional women meet better husband material? What did 30-something women do to undermine their own chances in love and marriage? What do these disillusioned women now owe a younger cohort of females?