“Sex and the City,” the new film version of the popular, critically acclaimed HBO series of the same name, delivers on the things its fans most wanted to see: its four core ladies – Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha – back together again in the city they know and love, dressed in clothing that ranges from vintage to couture to everything Chanel. Unfortunately, it seems that the filmmakers paid more attention to the characters’ fabulous costumes than putting together a solid script that justifies the existence of this film’s labored 148-minute running time.

This film, released four years after the show ended its six-season run, follows the romantic relationships of these four women and their respective partners: Carrie and Mr. Big, Samantha and Smith, Harry and Charlotte and Steve and Miranda. It also conveys the beauty of the strong friendship these four women share, proving that through everything, they are always there for each other.

Those are the highlights. The writing, however, is somewhat bland and leaves more than a little to be desired. Writer/director Michael Patrick King, who helped make the show a cult hit, delivers some good one liners here and there, but as a whole, the movie and its weak script fail to attain any depth. For anyone who isn’t too familiar with the show, the characters will probably come across as shallow and uninteresting.

What’s more, the film is depressing: Carrie and Big’s relationship and marriage is troubled, Miranda’s marriage to Steve suffers, and Samantha predictably suffers in her relationship, thanks to her sexy next-door neighbor. Charlotte, on the other hand, has never been happier: She’s finally pregnant, like she always wanted. Most of the film is spent watching Carrie’s life change as a result of another on-again, off-again relationship with Big.

One of the most dissatisfying elements of the film is the fact that its fifth, completely essential character is almost MIA: The film contains plenty of the show’s titular sex but very little of the city that made the show so memorable. Parts of the film are set in Mexico, and Samantha has left the city altogether to make take up residence in Los Angeles. New York used to be an essential part of these women’s lives, but as they have aged, it seems they have forgotten where they came from and what has held them together all this time.

Carrie’s new assistant, Louise (Jennifer Hudson), adds little to the story, though she is a constant reminder to Carrie that there is still hope for love in the world, despite the trouble that plagues her relationship with Big.

No matter the men in their lives, the fancy clothes on their backs or the purses they carry, above all else, these women will always have each other, and that deep connection stands out greater than any other disappointment in the film.