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The fan: Best bit was our bitchfest

The girls are in town. And like any girlie reunion, there's a fair amount of "would you look at her" -- Sarah Jessica Parker's hair pulled off her face is way too severe for a thin woman -- and "still banging on about that then" -- Carrie still isn't sure she and Big are working out (is she the only woman on the planet who hasn't realised he's a bore?) -- and "ouch, not so good a look" -- how did stylists allow Kim Cattrall to look Botoxed to blankety-blankness in the opening scenes of this mostly well-lit sequel?

You know you'll get to the part where you all settle down and pick up easily where you left off, just like you did during the TV series. And just as well, because the wait, with a heart full of nostalgia and affection, goes on for quite a while during this piecemeal follow-up (the film goes on for more than two hours, which is more to do with the number of costume changes than storylines).

The mind does wonder in the absence of a plot. How is Charlotte's baby Rose the spit of screen husband Harry? And when did Carrie get so shallow she worries about a sofa?

And, finally, a storyline clicks in -- thanks to Gucci and Dolce and Gabbana. It's one of regret-versus-optimism, because the girls are moving on in their lives, so take-out meals, middle-aged sex and menopause then -- and are mourning their previous carefree-ish existences.

And yes, old friends are always best, and when the proverbial hits the fan -- when Carrie falls for ex Aidan, when Samantha gets arrested for a sexual act in Abu Dhabi, when Charlotte's children are driving her mad, and Miranda is torn between career and child, it is the girls who rush to each others' sides.

The laughs are few, and Samantha (below) gets the half-decent quip ('Lawrence of a labia'), and Carrie and crew struggle to sparkle. There's still no competition though, and even on a bad outing, these four are head and shoulders above the girls of Desperate Housewives, Cougar Town and The Hills.

And it's still good to catch up.