Cinderella Ending – Sex and the City : The Movie

This movie starts out with Carrie Bradshaw getting engaged to the Mr. Big, the love of her life. Everything is set for their extravagant wedding, but then Big backs out and leaves Carrie at the alter. He realizes that he has made a huge mistake and tries to intercept Carrie as she is fleeing the wedding, but she is too humiliated and upset and beats him with her bouquet. Months go by and Carrie refuses to answer Big’s messages, but she continues to be sad and depressed as she copes with her ailing heart. Right before Carrie goes to get the shoes she left in the apartment she and Big were to live in, she is surprised to find him there. As soon as she sees him, all the anger she had towards him is gone and they make up on the spot. He gets down on his knee and proposes again, placing her diamond encrusted shoe on her foot. Carrie finally gets her happy ever after.

Carrie is different from most other Cinderella-like figures we have seen since she is a determined, hard-working, and successful New York woman. She clearly isn’t dependent on Big financially, yet her life does not seem complete to her unless she gets married.  Even though Carrie represents the modern woman who can be assertive and reliant upon herself, she still wants her Cinderella ending. Since this movie is very recent (2008), does it seem like society has really changed in that women view marriage as their ultimate achievement? Would critics like Karen Rowe praise Carrie for her self-empowerment, or is she still like most of the typical Cinderella figures we have seen?


About Elisabeth Gruner

English professor, University of Richmond
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5 Responses to Cinderella Ending – Sex and the City : The Movie

  1. I think that Karen Rowe would definitely praise Carrie. Carrie is so successful and she does anything she wants to, she is not afraid of a challenge. In this sense of living, she does not let her gender hold her back (if anything, it empowers her.) Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte are all women who are powerful in their career and in their life even though they are women. However, marriage is seen as the “icing on the cake” for them. Once you have accomplished your personal goals and you are ready to move on to the next chapter in your life, why shouldn’t it be marriage? Marriage is the social norm these days. Although Rowe would praise these women for being self-sifficient career wise, they all still fall on a man and marry them in order to complete the next chapter in their life.

  2. es9nq says:

    I would have to agree with Sheila in that Karen Rowe would definitely praise Carrie for her successful New York City career and independent lifestyle. Carrie is only human wanting someone to love and share her life with, and Mr. Big has been her best friend for years, as seen on the T.V. series. She is absolutely not like any of the typical Cinderella characters that we have seen so far, and instead she shines a new light on love stories. Just because women want to get married and fall in love, does this characteristic always justify a “Cinderella” story? In my opinion, Sex and the City is a perfect example of a modern New York City love story, rather than the traditional “Cinderella” story.

  3. Vicky DeFreitas says:

    I see how “Sex and the City” can be seen as a Cinderella story. While the movie might give light to a new improved Cinderella figure, the same cannot be said for the new prince. Carrie, when compared to classical Cinderellas, is seen as having admirable characteristics such as independence, assertive, and successful (which Karen Rowe would be pleased to see). When compared with the classical prince, on the other hand, Big is just as charming, but not quite as admirable. He is unwilling to commit, and practically has to be talked into marriage. He does not lose his Cinderella because of a time limit, rather because he leaves her at the alter.

    There is actually an interesting article about this topic, the link is posted below if you want to read it.

  4. Alex Ordel says:

    Sex and the City is an interesting parallel to Cinderella. Carrie Bradshaw isn’t necessarily fighting the advertsities of a stepfamily but the obstacles of the modern women. The need for marriage is becoming less stressed especially in financially secure situations. Romantic love is still the reward in the end but the battle is more emotional and personal. Without the support from Carrie’s “family,” I don’t think she would of been able to stay on her feet and get back into her slipper’s.

  5. kmcnichol says:

    I would have to agree with the comments before me in saying Karen Rowe would praise Carrie for having her own career, which she started before marriage. To me Carrie is the perfect anti-cinderella character. She went to New York on her own looking for love and labels. While there she found friends, lovers and successes all on her own. Carrie also lacks the stepmother and stepsister figures as well as a fairy godmother. The closest person to a godmother figure would be her assistant Louise who helps rebuild Carrie’s life after the wedding disaster with Big.

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