The movie opens with a little refresher on each of the ladies. Four years have passed since the TV show ended. Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and her husband, Harry, adopted a little girl from China and named her Lily. The three are on a merry-go-round. Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), her husband Steve, and her son Brady are still living in Brooklyn, and there's a shot of the family playing in their backyard. Samantha (Kim Cattrall) is still dating Smith. She moved to Los Angeles with him and manages his career. Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Big are together, after he finally told her she was the one at the end of the show.
Carrie and Big are looking for an apartment together. They're visiting their 33rd apartment in a nice building, but the unit is small with tiny windows. The manager offers to show them another unit that's more expensive. It turns out to be the penthouse on the roof, and it has huge windows and its own center courtyard -- but the closet is tiny. Big says he can build her a bigger closet. Carrie says they can't afford it, and Big says not to worry and that he'll take it.
Carrie tells Miranda and Charlotte about her plans with Big. Charlotte's happy for her, but concerned that it would all be Big's apartment, and Carrie would just be living there with him. The three meet up with Samantha (who flies in from Los Angeles a lot) and the four go to an auction. A model/socialite was dating and living with a really wealthy guy for years, but one day he locked the door of his apartment and threw her out. So now she's auctioning all of the jewelry that he had given her over the years. Samantha really wants a diamond flower ring, but is outbid by a woman who's bidding on behalf of someone else through the phone. In the bathroom at the auction, the women talk about how depressing the whole thing is and another woman in the bathroom agrees. She talks about how happy the couple had been, and how he just threw her out one day, out of the blue. You can tell all the women are thinking about Carrie and Big.
Carrie's at Big's apartment and says she wants to sell her own apartment to help pay for the new one they're buying together. Big says she doesn't need to and that he'll pay. But Carrie says if they're not married, she wouldn't have any claim to the apartment if something were to happen. Big asks if Carrie wants to be married. She says she wouldn't mind if he wants to. They're both very casual about it and they agree to get married.
Carrie tells Charlotte and Miranda at lunch, and Charlotte is ecstatic. She screams and announces to the whole restaurant that Carrie is finally marrying the man she has been dating for 10 years. Carrie later calls Samantha to tell her the news, but Samantha doesn't sound happy at all. She awkwardly congratulates Carrie then hangs up. Then Samantha calls back, apologizes, and says she was just surprised because she always thought of herself and Carrie as women who would never marry. But she says she's happy for Carrie and agrees to be maid of honor.
Miranda, Steve, Brady, and Magda (their housekeeper/babysitter) are having dinner at a restaurant. Miranda is in a rush to leave because she has work to do, but Steve points out that Magda isn't even finished eating. Brady says he has to go to the bathroom, so Magda takes him. Steve thinks Miranda should have taken him, since Magda is older and has been working all day. Miranda gets upset, saying she's tired too. She says Steve is always criticizing her, getting mad when he tries to tell her she has a milk mustache from her coffee foam. At home, Miranda and Steve are having sex. Steve wants to keep going, but she tells him to just get it over with, which upsets him, especially since they now rarely have sex. The next day, Miranda is talking about this with the girls at breakfast and admits that she and Steve hadn't had sex in six months. She doesn't think it's a problem, that it's just a dry spell, but the others don't really know what to say.
Charlotte is giving Anthony (her gay wedding planner friend) to Carrie as a wedding present. Carrie's planning to keep the wedding very small and informal - guest list of 75 and a no-brand-name vintage white suit and skirt instead of a gown. Charlotte and Anthony are visibly let down by her choice of wedding dress.
Samantha is getting restless in Los Angeles. Smith is busy working all the time, so they don't have sex as often as she wants to. But it turns out Smith was the anonymous buyer at the auction and he gives Samantha the flower ring as a present. But Samantha isn't really that happy - she wanted the ring to be something for herself, and now the ring will always remind her of Smith. Also, her neighbor is an attractive, promiscuous man who has sex with different women every night. She starts becoming obsessed with watching him.
Miranda is at home with Steve, who looks very upset and scared. He tells her he slept with another woman once because he and Miranda weren't having sex. He apologizes again and again, saying that it didn't mean anything and that it just happened. Miranda is stunned and immediately moves out, separating from Steve.
Meanwhile, Carrie's small wedding plans are getting bigger and bigger. Someone published the story in Page Six and her editor at Vogue wants to do a spread on her - a style icon AND a bride in her forties. Carrie agrees to do it, and does a photo-shoot wearing lots of different designer wedding gowns, including a Vivienne Westwood. Pretty soon afterwards, Vivienne Westwood herself sends the wedding dress to Carrie with a note saying she saw the pictures and that Carrie had to have the dress. Carrie also decides to have the wedding at the New York Public Library, a huge grand building. Previously, she and Big had been talking about how she must be the only New Yorker who still borrows library books. She has been borrowing books on love and love poems to prepare for her new book. She reads excerpts of "Love Letters of Great Men" to Big and points out that he has never written her a love letter.
Later, Carrie is discussing the wedding at Big's apartment, and the guest list has grown to 200. But Big is more concerned about contractors for their new apartment, and doesn't seem to like how big the wedding is getting. He tells Carrie that this is his third wedding and asks what people must think of him. Carrie says she didn't think about that, but that it's too late to scale back the wedding. Big says he would have been happy getting married at City Hall and that all he wants is her.
Meanwhile, the new apartment is finished and Big has built Carrie her dream closet. She takes out a brand new pair of Manolo Blahniks and places them in the closet to christen it.
Now it's the night before the wedding and everybody has gathered at a restaurant for the rehearsal dinner. One of Big's work friends keeps interrupting Samantha's maid of honor toast to tease Big about the fact that this is his third marriage and insinuates that this marriage probably won't work either. Steve comes to restaurant looking for Miranda because she won't talk to him. He asks Samantha to go get her because he doesn't want to go inside and spoil the party. Miranda reluctantly agrees to talk to him. Steve keeps trying to apologize and tell her that it didn't mean anything, but Miranda just explodes and screams that Steve broke them and what they had together. She goes back inside and runs into Big, who asks if she's okay. Miranda tells him that he and Carrie are crazy to get married, and that marriage ruins everything.
Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha are having the night-before slumber party at Charlotte's house. Big calls and asks Carrie if they're doing the right thing. He says he's having trouble writing his vows and that they were perfectly happy just as they were. Carrie reassures him that the big wedding doesn't mean anything - it's just him and her, together. He says okay, but doesn't sound convinced.
The next day is the wedding. Carrie is getting ready when Big calls her cellphone. But Charlotte's daughter Lily is alone with the phone, and she stuffs it into her purse. Big keeps calling Carrie over and over, saying that they really need to talk before they get to the library. Carrie doesn't know, and she and the girls head over. Big is already there, but he's just sitting in the car, which is parked in front of the library. He just keeps calling Carrie and leaving messages. Then Carrie's car arrives and parks in front of Big's, but she doesn't see him. He's still sitting in the car, and says to himself that he needs to know that it's really just him and her. He wills her to turn around and look at him, but she doesn't. She and the girls head into the library, and Big tells his driver to go. Inside, Carrie realizes Big isn't there and finally calls him with Stanford's phone. He says that he's sorry and that he can't do it. Carrie drops the phone in shock and says she has to get out of there. Samantha stays to take care of things, and Miranda and Charlotte take Carrie back to their limo. But Big suddenly realizes what he's doing and tells his driver to turn around and go back. The cars cross each other and Big calls out to Carrie. Carrie gets out of the car, looks at him, runs to him.. and starts beating him with her bouquet, screaming at him. She says she knew he was going to do this, that he has always done this, and that he humiliated her. They leave.
Carrie is so depressed; Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte buy tickets to Mexico and go with her on what should have been her honeymoon. Carrie refuses to listen to her voicemail messages from Big, and mostly stays in her room. When she finally does try to listen to her messages, she throws her phone into the ocean as soon as she hears Big's voice. Miranda arranges for Carrie to buy her old apartment back and Samantha gets movers to go to the new apartment and get Carrie's things for her.
When they all go back home, Miranda tries to tell Carrie what she said to Big at the rehearsal dinner, but Carrie cuts her off when she sees the new issue of Vogue with her photo shoot in it. The photos are all there, but so is an editor's note that says the wedding was canceled and that Carrie is still single. Carrie dies her hair dark brown to try to be more anonymous and decides to hire an assistant to get her apartment and life back together. She hires Louise (Jennifer Hudson) from St. Louis, who came to New York to find love. Louise says her ex-boyfriend in St. Louis broke her heart by saying she wasn't the one. Now Louise does a great job for Carrie, helping her re-decorate her apartment, fixing the carriebradshaw.com website, etc. Louise asks what she should do with an email from John Jay Preston (Big's real name). Carrie says to get rid of it and make it so that he can't contact her.
Charlotte gets pregnant and is thrilled, but afraid that something bad might happen. She says Carrie and Miranda are such wonderful people, but see what happened to their lives. Charlotte says she's too happy and something will happen. She's afraid to run as she always has, but Carrie convinces her that she shouldn't let fear stop her from being herself.
Miranda still hasn't forgiven Steve (although the girls keep asking her if she's absolutely sure she can't forgive him) and she's living alone in an apartment across the Brooklyn Bridge from where Steve still lives in their house. She and Steve split custody of Brady. On New Year's Eve, Steve comes to pick up Brady and he and Miranda almost have a moment. But when he invites her to go to dinner with them, she refuses. Instead, Miranda stays at home alone with Chinese takeout. She gets lonely and calls Carrie, who was sleeping. Carrie offers to come over, but Miranda says it's too far and that Carrie should go back to sleep. But Carrie goes to see her and reminds Miranda that she'll never be alone.
Samantha is still very tempted by her neighbor and unhappy about living in Los Angeles. She adopts a dog that reminds her of herself (it's constantly humping toys and cushions). She also begins overeating to resist her temptations to cheat on Smith.
Louise went home to St. Louis over Christmas and saw her ex-boyfriend again. They realized they still loved each other and got engaged. Louise plans to move back to St. Louis and get married in the fall.
On Valentine's Day, Miranda and Carrie go to dinner together amidst all the couples. Carrie is depressed and tells Miranda that it was her fault that Big walked out. She had gotten too caught up with the wedding and let it take over everything. Miranda can't take it anymore and finally tells Carrie what she said to Big at the rehearsal dinner. Carrie is furious that Miranda didn't say anything for five months. Carrie says she has never kept a secret from Miranda - then she corrects herself and says she has one secret: That she thinks Miranda was completely wrong to leave Steve. Then she walks out. Over the next few days, Miranda keeps trying to call Carrie and apologize, sending letters, emails, and flowers (just as Steve has been doing to try to get Miranda to forgive him). She finally gets to talk to Carrie by waiting in a taxi in front of Carrie's building until she comes home. Miranda says Carrie has to forgive her, and Carrie asks how Miranda can say that when she won't forgive Steve.
Miranda and Steve are then seen at a marriage counselor's office together. Miranda says she might never be able to trust Steve again. Steven says he doesn't know if Miranda will continue to punish him for this for the rest of their lives. The counselor says they'll have to decide whether their life together is worth taking those risks. Later, Miranda and Carrie are talking (apparently, friends again) and the marriage counselor told Miranda and Steve not to talk or see each other for 2 weeks. After two weeks, if they each decide to give their marriage another chance, they'll meet at a designated place on a certain day. By showing up, they would be promising to forgive and forget everything. Miranda and Steve agreed to meet on the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge (between their two separate homes) and they both show up, kiss, and make up. Carrie narrates that Miranda never looked back again.
Samantha realizes that she's just not a relationship-person. She tells Smith that she still loves him, but that she has always been in a relationship with herself and that's the one that will last. She tells Smith that he will find a girl who loves being in a relationship, but that's just not her. She moves back to New York with her dog.
Charlotte is now one week before her due date, and goes to lunch alone after shopping. She sees Big at the restaurant and rushes out, but he sees her and follows her. Charlotte yells at him, saying she curses the day he was born (for months, she had been practicing what she would say to Big). But she gets so worked up, her water breaks and she goes into labor. Charlotte tries to resist, but Big insists on taking her to the hospital in his car. Later, Carrie goes to the hospital and sees Charlotte, Harry, and their new daughter Rose. Charlotte and Harry tell Carrie about Big. When Carrie turns to leave, Harry tells her that Big stayed during the entire delivery because he was hoping to see Carrie. He also asked Harry to ask Carrie to call him and that he has been sending her letters. Carrie tells Harry that Big has never sent her a letter, but Harry insists that that's what Big said.
Carrie goes home and searches all of her mail and email but doesn't have anything from Big. Then she remembers that she told Louise to keep Big's emails somewhere she wouldn't see them. Carrie checks her computer and seeks the assistant account that Louise used. She figures out that the password is "love" and sees tons of emails from Big. Big typed out all of the "Love Letters from Great Men" and emailed them to her. The last email he wrote himself, simply stating that he will always love her.
Louise calls Carrie and reminds her that the new apartment that she and Big bought has been sold and today is the last day Carrie can still go in with her keys. Carrie says she can't go, but Louise reminds her of the brand-new Manolo Blahniks that are still in the closet. Carrie agrees and rushes to the apartment. She opens the closet door... and Big is there. He says he was planning to send the shoes to her. Carrie runs forward and kisses him. Big says that the last time they agreed to get married, the whole thing was too business-like. This time he kneels down and asks Carrie to marry him. She says yes, and he slips the Manolo onto her foot.
Big and Carrie get married privately in City Hall (and she wears the white suit and skirt she bought before). Carrie says she's happy with the way they got married, and Big asks whether she wouldn't rather have had her friends there. He opens the door, and there they are - Big had called Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte.
The four ladies go out and have a round of Cosmos (which they haven't been drinking for awhile after they got too popular and ubiquitous). They surprise Samantha with a birthday cake for her 50th birthday and tell her she's fabulous. They toast to 50 more years.
*CUT TO THE CHASE*
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Carrie and Big buy an apartment and plan to get married. They don't.
The four girls go on the honeymoon to Mexico together. Life goes on.
Carrie buys back her apartment, hires an assistant, and redecorates while writing a new book.
Miranda breaks up with Steve but they reunite and they have a sex life again.
Samantha gains 15 pounds, buys a pillow humping dog and watches her neighbor have the sex life she wants, so she leaves Smith and returns to NY.
Charlotte gets pregnant and has a girl named Rose.
Carrie gets back with Big and they get married after she reads his love e-letters.
The movie ends with the girls celebrating Samantha's 50th birthday with a night on the town.
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