Just because nobody slays a dragon doesn't mean "Sex and the City 2" isn't a fairy tale.

Little girls raised on stories about princesses grow up. And what do they watch then? A movie in which the women wear Valentino skirts while baking cupcakes and at age 52 can put on the same outfit as Miley Cyrus and look fantastic.

"It's our grown-up 'Cinderella.' It's a great depiction of both what life really is and what we want it to be," said Nora DeLaRosa, 31, of Jersey City, who saw the film at the Farmingdale Multiplex on opening day Thursday. "You know there's going to be great fashion. You know there's going to be outrageous dialogue. Our lives are not bad, but it's that fantasy life we're looking for."

And so Cinderellas across Long Island are reveling in the release of the movie, continuing a pop culture phenomenon that began when the series premiered on HBO in 1998, and moved on to the big screen two years ago with the first "Sex and the City" movie.

The film is especially appealing in this economy, when fewer women can afford such a lifestyle, said Matt Dillon, 27, of Chelsea, who calls himself one of the gay men who loves "Sex and the City."

"It's aspirational," said Dillon, who attended a pre-screening party Wednesday evening at the Steven Dann shoe store in Great Neck.

"I think it all comes down to one thing, really, and that is glamour," agreed Paula Uruburu, an English professor at Hofstra University who wrote about the life of a New York City "It Girl" of the early 1900s in her book "American Eve." During the Depression, people escaped with movies about exotic places and lovers in gowns and top hats. And "Sex and the City 2" has mirrored that with the fantastic clothes and the women being swept into the Abu Dhabi desert, she said.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Second to the glamour is the friendship of the four women, said Leslie Sopko, a fashion consultant who attended the "Sex and the City"-themed opening of the club Liquid at Woodbury Country Club.

Liquid had its grand opening on the eve of the movie because the venue wants to attract a similar crowd - women of a certain age, sophistication and means, said a spokesman for the club. The Long Island Plastic Surgical Group hired a woman to wander the crowd asking "Sex and the City" trivia questions; the practice purchased 100 tickets and brought its whole staff to the movie last night in Westbury.

True fans don't care that the movie has gotten panned by critics. "You're not going to this movie to watch the acting," said Steven Dann, who threw a "Sex and the City 2" party in his Great Neck shoe store, hiring five sailors in dress whites from the Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point to serve cosmopolitans from silver trays. Quite a number of the women plunked down $695 or more for one pair of shoes, a sort of movie foreplay.

"It ignites a drive to shop, to become a part of fashion, to look better," Dann said. The "Sex and the City" girls go out for coffee and look killer, he said.

That's inspiring to DeLaRosa, who used to wear stilettos before the birth of her daughter, Penelope, 3, but came to the flick in her current fare: flip-flops.