The release of the "Sex and the City_ The Movie" has a Trekkie aspect to it -- something like the reverence with which fans of "Star Trek" greet each new installment. As many as 70 percent of women who say they will be seeing the movie will also be attending social gatherings inspired by the release, at which they can debate the series' best and worst moments, shake their heads at the brashness of the characters and don the fashions made famous by "City" designers, ie. Manolo Blahnik shoes. The fans will be, by and large, women who have never traveled the orbits of the characters -- the storied streets of Manhattan made that much more alluring by the bold sexuality of Carrie and Company.
They don't swap war stories about one-night stands or joke with one another over dinner about male anatomy or talk openly about what they find most erotic. In fact, the dialogue in the series is so "out-of -this-world" that nearly every woman I've asked has admitted she would be appalled if a close friend of hers spoke or acted like she were a "Sex and the City" character.
"I'd have her hospitalized," one joked.
Sex turns out not to be the reality that drew so many American women to HBO and will draw them to movie screens; just as the fight against Klingon warriors isn't the core drama of "Star Trek." Confronting the unknown with courage and principle was the fuel for journeys to galaxies far, far away. And the search for love, not sexual escapades, is the fuel that powered "Sex and the City" to the stratosphere.
The fact that Manhattan, as portrayed in the series, is an alternate universe makes it the perfect backdrop. It isn't too threatening because it isn't so close to the homes most Americans know. The fact that the sexual banter is outrageously overboard makes it "unreal" and thus, something to laugh about, rather than be offended or frustrated by.
What's "real" about "Sex and the City" hits much closer to home: - Many millions of American women (and men) who have never sipped Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity are indeed searching for true intimacy in their marriages -- and in their friendships
- It's the fact that finding your heart and sharing it takes courage and can take half a lifetime (or longer)
- Real human adventure is the journey toward understanding one another and oneself, while empathizing with our friends and finding the sustaining connections that allow us to build 'families' with one another. As fun as the trip to a fantasy Manhattan can be on the Starship Carrie, the underlying hopes and worries and possibilities that the series speak to are quite real.
And inspiration for the worthy search for love and understanding will be what many viewers take home with them.
Dr. Ablow is a psychiatry correspondent for FOX News Channel. He is the New York Times best-selling author of
Living the Truth: Transform Your Life Through the Power of Insight and Honesty
. Visit his Web site at