May 19, 2010 -- In the poster and previews for the upcoming "Sex and the City" sequel, Carrie Bradshaw may look like she's turned back the hands of time, but in real life 45-year-old actress Sarah Jessica Parker, a mother of three, admits she feels "old and tired."
Most women Parker's age -- including Parker herself -- lead lives very different than Carrie's.
"I don't feel like Carrie -- my life is so different, my choices are different. But I love her. I love playing her and everything about her -- the good, the flawed, the mistakes, the bad choices," Parker told Heat magazine recently.
Asked by the magazine to reveal the secret to her beauty, Parker quipped: "I don't have one. I feel old and tired! I have children I run round after, I try to walk as much as possible, and other than that I buy every cream possible."
Parker appeared nonplussed by the flap over the Photoshopped movie poster.
"It's curious to me because everything's Photoshopped now," she told E! Online's Marc Malkin while promoting the film. "I'm curious, because do they ask it about a Will Smith poster or a Tom Cruise poster?"
Fans of the popular HBO series-turned-movie-franchise know it's a fantasy -- and they don't care. They can't wait to see the latest exploits of that fabulous foursome. And that includes women over 40 who can relate more to Parker's feeling old and tired than Carrie's high-fashion lifestyle.
"It's so indulgent. They are in the middle of the desert with all their fashion," said Alison Gigl George, a 47-year-old art therapist and mother of a six-year-old, referring to the storyline which takes the four women to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
"It's very Hollywood," George told ABCNews.com. "They amp up the glamour. But it doesn't bother me. It's what we love. And the scenes that run through it can be very true and relevant."
Even though Rebecca Michelman, 44, a Manhattan art dealer, has experienced some of that glamorous lifestyle firsthand, her own life is about to change dramatically with the birth of her first child.
Still, she is eager to see "Sex and the City 2," which she says will always remain relevant because the series once reflected a time in many women's lives when they were young and single but striving for more.
"It reminds you of a special time in your life," Michelman told ABCNews.com. "You're notstaligic for what you gave up -- not that you want to go back. In real life you don't want that life, but in a movie, it's the right dose."
"For all of its outrageousness it still manages to touch very real buttons," Michelman added. "That's why it's so compelling -- to imagine we can be all things, glamorous and sexy but also tired and struggling with our identities."
In clips from the film, it's clear that Samantha, played by 53-year-old actress Kim Cattrall, is struggling with getting older. As Samantha, who is going through menopause, opens up a box of vitamins and supplements, she tells her friends, "I've tricked the body into thinking it's younger."
In real life, Cattrall has called this period "one of the happiest times in my life." She recently conquered London's West End in a Noel Coward revival and received raves for her roles in Roman Polanski's "The Ghost Writer" and the indie film "Meet Monica Velour."
Asked if she feels burdened by the sex-symbol role she has been cast in and growing older, she told TheWrap.com last month, "You know, I can't control what people project on me. And I think the great thing about getting older is that you don't give a s*** as much."
"The thing I'm most proud of is that I'm in my 50s and I'm still a leading lady," she told the New York Times recently.
Leslie Colette, a marketing consultant in the Bay Area, said she loves to see actresses over 40 still practicing their craft on the big screen.
"I don't care what she's doing, how airbrushed she is, it's still cool," Colette, 46, told ABCNews.com.
She said that "Sex and the City" touched on issues relevant to her life.
"Even though it's postioned as fantasy and escape, they still talk about aging and kids and divorce -- all the things that women go through in middle age," Colette said.
One thing the film will touch on is how women's feelings about their careers change over time. A clip from the film shows Miranda, a working mom and the most career-focused of the group, no longer in love with her job as a lawyer.
Cynthia Nixon, the actress who plays Miranda, is also a working mom of two, but her real-life partner is a woman, Christine Marinoni.
Since going public, Nixon, 44, has been outspoken about their relationship, recently calling Marinoni "a short man with boobs."
"A lot of what I love about her is her butchness. I'm not saying I fell in love with her in a sexually neutral way. I love her sexuality -- it's a big part of what I love about her -- but I feel like it was her," Nixon told the Advocate recently.
"It wasn't something in me that was waiting to come out. It was like, this person is undeniable. How can I let this person walk by?"
Meanwhile, Kristin Davis, who plays Charlotte, a stay-at-home mom who couldn't wait to be married, remains unmarried, though she was recently linked to photographer Russell James.
"My life is very, very different from Charlotte's. I'm much more independent," she once said. "I feel like it's important to say that not everyone has to get married. Everyone thinks it's very important that we have to be paired off all in twos. It's like this crazy antiquated 1950s thing and that's not the way life is."
While most women's lives are nothing like "Sex and the City," the movies still manage to capture the ultimate connections among women. That has as much to do with the chemistry of the four actresses as the writing of the film.
It's why Jana Platina Phipps, a mother of two who owns a home furnishings business outside New York City, will go see the film with a group of girlfriends.
"It's the bond of friendship," Phipps told ABCNews.com. "Stripped down of all the worldly stuff, the movie is still about the relationships. That's what made the first one successful."