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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

something new to read for ‘Sex and the City’ fans

Remember that book Carrie reads from to Big in bed in Sex and the City: The Movie? It’s called Love Letters of Great Men, and it doesn’t exist… at least until now. British publisher Macmillan just published a collection of those real love letters. Look, it’s even pink:

It doesn’t take a lot of digging around, though, to see that several similar books of a quickie nature have been tossed out to SATC fans over the last few months (including one that’s a new reprint of a 1924 book!), though they’re all from tiny publishers, not a powerhouse like Macmillan with a budget for promotion.

I do hope all those SATC fans who’ve been clamoring for this book won’t be disappointed, because — as John Mullan points out at the Guardian book blog — no one really wants to read other people’s love letters, and we probably wouldn’t want to receive one like these, either (“the intensity of the letters is usually caused by the impossibility of the passion they describe…”).

And then Mullan points out the absurdity of the whole love-letter situation in the film:

Having left Carrie at the altar, Mr Big must win her back. How will he do it? He could take out his Montblanc pen and fashion indelible sentiments of regret and devotion. His letters would be as personal as words can be. Carrie would see him struggling to express his passion (Mozart tells his beloved that she should see his tears blotting the page in front of her). His handwriting would be the very graph of his true emotions. What does he do? He copies chunks out of Love Letters of Great Men and pastes them into his emails. Tragic really.

It is tragic. And not in the least romantic. Though that’s true of the rest of the film as well, isn’t it?

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