When it comes to friendships portrayed on TV, very few come across as truly genuine (see: Blair Waldorf and Serena Van Der Woodsen). Surprisingly, the one between Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) is among the few to elicit an emotional response. Over their years of heartache together (more on Carrie’s part than Samantha’s), the duo’s pinnacle of support is shown most succinctly in the film incarnation of the series, after Big (Chris Noth) stands Carrie up at their wedding and she goes on the honeymoon they had planned to in Mexico with her friends instead.
During what Carrie later dubs her “Mexicoma,” she enters the textbook definition of the bell jar, staying in bed with all the blinds closed, not bothering to eat anything. Being that Samantha is the one who insisted on Carrie going through with the trip so that she could take her mind off of Big and not have to deal with the agony of being in New York post-shame/being the talk of the town, it is she who feels most responsible for looking after Carrie.
Once Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) help ensure all romantic honeymoon paraphernalia is cleared from the hotel room pre-purchased under Big’s last name, Samantha attempts to comfort Carrie by remarking, “It’s going to be a gorgeous sunset.” Carrie stoically commands, “Close the blinds.” When Samantha only slightly obeys, Carrie adds, “All of them.” This dramatic scene highlights the years of wariness that have finally caught up to Carrie after chasing a man she thought had finally stopped running. With no energy left to expend, Carrie simply goes to sleep for the next twenty-four hours, waking up to Samantha sitting before her with a tray of food and tea.
Carrie asks sadly, “Did I dream it?” Samantha looks upon her with empathy, in a way that only a friend of many years could–for, rather than being horrified or disgusted by Carrie’s pitiable emotional and physical state, she is compassionate. Her understanding of all that Carrie has gone through leads her to view this depression as a well-acquired badge of armor, a right to numbness long ago earned.
This is why her insistence, “Honey, you need to have a little breakfast,” so simple in its expression of kindness and concern, is one of the purest exhibits of true friendship ever rendered to the screen (apart from any scene pre-beach spell in The Craft). Carrie matter-of-factly states, “I’m tired.” Samantha, willing to let Carrie bask a few more days in the mire of her melancholy, insists, “Well, eat something, then you can go back to sleep.”
Although–particularly in retrospect–Sex and the City is viewed as a show that accents only the worst stereotypes about women, including their frivolous materialism, there can be no denying that the friendship of Carrie and Samantha being an authentic one of rare quality shines through with every re-watch. The apex, of course, being Samantha’s willingness to literally feed her friend in Carrie’s most dire time of need. It’s maybe but once in a lifetime that a girl unearths a cohort like this, iterating an aphorism Charlotte once said: “Maybe our girlfriends are our soul mates and guys are just people to have fun with.”