Sometimes I feel like my cultural literacy is shamefully limited. I watch a lot of movies but somehow I rarely watch many television shows. I only have the most basic cable, so I could tell you all about the most fascinating shows on Austin community access but nothing about, say, Sex and the City. I saw the movie Sex and the City without ever having watched an episode, with an unfortunate tendency to refer to it as Sex in the City, and with such an ignorance of pop culture that I kept mixing up Carrie Bradshaw with Carrie Underwood. I brought a friend to the screening who was well acquainted with the TV show, in case I needed help, and whispered things like "Is that the theme song?" and "What's the joke?"

Fortunately, for those of us who are encountering Sex and the City for the first time, the movie's opening sequence provides compressed backstories about the four characters so we don't feel lost and confused. But even if we didn't know who had done what and whom and where, the storyline -- set five years after the TV show's end -- is not difficult to follow.