Sex and the City gets a pre-emptive name-check early on in this very loose adaptation of former SatC story editor Liz Tuccillo’s novel, but that doesn’t mean the movie can dodge the whiff of the overly familiar in this New York City-set tale. Alice (Dakota Johnson) is our Carrie, the romantic soul-searcher; her sister, obstetrician Meg (Leslie Mann), is the flinty professional considering single motherhood á la Miranda; Robin (Rebel Wilson) is the Samantha-esque promiscuous party girl; and Lucy (Alison Brie) is the Charlotte who only wants to fall in love and get married. The leads are all appealing actors, and each one gets a couple of showcase funny scenes. But the structure makes it virtually impossible for the characters to become anything besides those familiar archetypes; one relationship of Alice’s goes from first kiss to three-months-later break-up in literally five minutes of screen time. A few solid chuckles and a few attempts at dropping new catch-phrases can’t erase the realization that the struggles of the urban singleton haven’t changed all that much in the 15 years since Carrie Bradshaw first got splashed by a bus.
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