Sarah Jessica Parker’s roles in Hocus Pocus and Sex and the City might, at first glance, seem like two unlikely characters to compare, but, upon closer examination, it’s easy to see just how similar the ditzy witch, Sarah Sanderson, and the “sexual anthropologist,” Carrie Bradshaw truly are. For one, both women rely heavily on their feminine wiles to get things done. Though Sarah is more overt about it, Carrie is just as ready and willing to use her vagina as a means to an end. And, ultimately, don’t most people view the vagina as some sort of sorcery anyway?
What Carrie Bradshaw is most noted for, her innovative fashion sense, is also something Sarah Sanderson possesses. Granted, she’s generally wearing a velvety dress from the 1600s and a cape for most of it, but still, it’s pretty revolutionary for 1993, the year the Sanderson sisters are resurrected. Paired with the ultimate functional fashion accessory, her broom, to tool around town, Sarah might actually be more chic for not bothering with the gauche practice of taking a cab (or, in those rare moments, the subway). Although, what Carrie does have over Sarah is living in New York City, instead of some drab, dreary town like Salem. But again, the comparisons arise in that they both gallivant around a city on the Eastern Seaboard.
The most overt similarity between the two women, however, is their stance on men. Viewing them as something of a sport—specimens to be toyed with—both Sarah and Carrie look to boys, men and everything in between that resembles the gender as things to be toyed with and explored. It might even be viable to say that Sarah is exactly what Carrie was like in her early 20s and still had yet to care about her carefully cultivated image. All it would take for Sarah to get to the Carrie point is one heartbreak from the wrong warlock.
The final nail in the coffin of likeness (in trying to keep with the Halloween motif of Hocus Pocus) is the fact that both Sarah and Carrie roll with a coven. Sarah’s crew might only have two fellow witches to Carrie’s three fellow bitches, but each woman still embodies the same archetypes. Mary (Kathy Najimy) is the obvious choice for Charlotte—prudish and unassuming—while Winnie (Bette Midler) is the Miranda of the group—intelligent and condescending. Sarah represents both Carrie and Samantha (Kim Cattrall) in the free-spirit/slut combo role.
The jump from witch to rich seems simple enough for Sarah Jessica Parker in terms of character roles. But she’ll always have her original, fun-loving sorceress to thank for reaching Carrie Bradshaw status. And so, Candace Bushnell and Michael Patrick King might actually have Hocus Pocus screenwriters Mick Garris and Neil Cuthbert to thank for their carefully crafted HBO franchise.