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Sex and the City 2 (2010)

Comedy movie directed by Michael Patrick King

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Terrible Twos

  • May 28, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+1
After a time, all fictional characters that live in the world of the celluloid fantastic where reruns and `on demand' services allow frequent re-acquaintance overload enter an audience immunization state that suggests that nothing they do--no matter how horrendously outrageous--will phase their fans or viewers.

Think of Hannibal Lector who in "The Silence of the Lambs (Criterion Collection Spine #13)" raised goose bumps on the skin of anyone who watched his tongue flicker in and out while he uttered that famous line about fava beans and Cianti. Later in "Hannibal (Two-Disc Special Edition)" even as he ratchets open Ray Liotta's skull to partake of slices of lightly sautéed grey matter, exposure of the character and Anthony Hopkins' portrayal of him transmuted into someone more acceptable--an American Icon that was well-loved. More screen appearances materialized--"Red Dragon - Collector's Edition" and "Hannibal Rising (Unrated Widescreen Edition)." In effect, the media saturation of Hannibal Lector sanitized him to the point of audiences becoming immune to him--warm and fuzzifying him even though he still engaged in some of the most despicable acts that anyone could or should imagine. We love the character, but the weak storylines were there to just showcase our loved one--not to give us a film that was memorable--except for the travelogue views of Florence in `Hannibal'--or furthered his story in a way that was as compelling as that in our first encounter.

Now the girls of the SATC franchise--Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte--whose roles are currently reprised in this 2010 film "Sex and the City 2"--two years after the first "the Movie" version (Sex and the City: The Movie (Special Edition))--certainly have little in common with Hannibal Lector--or do they? They are, forgive the pun, man-eaters. However, their episodic escapades, ranking an eleven or twelve on the promiscuity scale of one to ten, at one time revolutionary for television as was Lector's first horror-inducing appearance in "TSOTL" now seems as campy and typically American as Liza Minelli's cameo at the gay wedding of Stanford and Anthony. The only reaction warranted is a bit of a jaw drop, a shake of the head and then no matter how zany, crazy, corny, spoofy or over-the-top, acceptance. As with the now cuddly Hannibal, the Fab Four can no longer surprise or repel us. They have become full-fledged members of Americana and we have to like them the way we love mom and apple pie.

And we do, qualities of forever friendship between women who do not back bite each other or fly off never to be seen again in jealous rages present the exception to the almost oxymoronic idea of the female friendship rule. Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte purport different mindsets and sensibilities that in the real world may not gel with the synergistic tolerance depicted in the series. That's why millions of women love these characters--none of them takes a backseat to one another; they all coexist even if it is in the Utopian world of the girl-pal support genre. When on the screen, the foursome compels the female viewer to climb into the scene and bask in the reflective light of iconic friendships that they will never have, as they simply do not exist. Our egos, coupled with the very nature of humanness, make this impossible.

Now, of course, my comments contain relevancy only for those who are fans of the show. Few people outside that subset of rom-com lovers would have any use for this particular adventure that features over two and a half hours dedicated to the terrible twos associated with questions arising in the two year old Big/Carrie marriage merger featuring Carrie's ennui regarding the predictable direction of her childless-by-choice union, Charlotte's inability to cope with her two daughters and a rather buxom nanny, Miranda's invisibility at her firm and Samantha's menopausal need for hormone replacement.

Changing the venue from New York City to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates suggests writer and director Michael Patrick King looked at this film as an extended episode where the girls need to get out of Dodge a la Thelma and Louise and do the obligatory once-a-season road trip. Showcasing another `city' for `the city' may poke a hole in the balloon of fan expectation. However, I pose this question for these filmmakers with such elaborate budgets: Rather than a foreign city, why not an American city that could have used the publicity to interject some needed stimulation to the flagging economy through an SATC tourism campaign? As in all such films that feature beautiful locales, Marrakesh which doubles for Abu Dhabi oozes with opulence and an oasis of splendid eye-candy--a $22K a night hotel suite, chauffeured Maybachs and Mercedes, individual man servants for each of the gals, enough food to feed a third world country, dazzling views of the Arabian desert and world class soccer players without their shirts. Escapist? For sure, why else would we watch it? But why not an escape to New Orleans, San Francisco, Seattle or any US city that could capitalize on the film's marketing efforts?

Designer Patricia Field again costumes the women in extravagant and sometimes tasteless outfits that make you wonder if she doesn't understand the concept of growing older donning elegant couture that accentuates the savvy and sophistication needed to know when not to wear something blatantly unattractive. Sarah Jessica Parker (Halston Heritage's new creative hire) as Carrie Bradshaw Preston preens with an extensive wardrobe of Middle Eastern themed harem pants and turbans that quite frankly characterized her as eccentric rather than chic. When she is not wearing gracefully draped Halston American Heritage, Carrie's odd desire for the unconventional snore-free relationship filters into her wardrobe choices. The Yohji Yamamoto hat she wears on the plane keeps viewers guessing, "Is it a nest for the bird she wore with the Vivien Westwood bridal gown?" as does the lavender taffeta floor length lining she pairs with a "J'adore Dior" vintage tee. Who would wear such a combo with four-inch heels while shopping in a foreign souk? Samantha's (Kim Cattrall) red dress by the Blonds featuring silver mace-like bulbs on each shoulder seems reminiscent of the padded 80s gone ballistic. Poor Kristin Davis (Charlotte) and Cynthia Nixon (Miranda) wear a sherbet smorgasbord of all the right clothes for their age group and body type, but somehow manage to get ignored in favor of the more eclectic Parker and age-defying Cattrall. All in all, most of these fashions seemed subtitled Mismatched Scheherazade; the presentation, especially the little runway stomp in the desert more a slow-motion, hair whipping-in-the-sirocco trailer for a new series season rather than a sequence in a film.

For those who are going to complain that the film contains little realism in the face of recession, think back to the 30s when most of the country faced depression, big stars flaunted furs, dripped with diamonds and supported maids and butlers galore. SATC2 doesn't take itself seriously, so why should we? Sit back and watch the extravaganza, but beware that the script is devoid of any main storyline. Carrie & Co. quip back and forth with each other and their men, punning shamelessly they epitomize a sour wit that relies on brand name recognition and other accoutrement of privileged life. Unfortunately, other than Samantha hawking her natural hormone replacement solutions and Charlotte confessing that motherhood can be exhausting (even with help-OMG!), our four favorite fashion oracles have little to offer in terms of real time wisdom other than a genuine love for each other.

We still love them no matter what they do--Samantha's suicidal shooting of the bird amidst a hostile grouping of gallibaya clad men while in the spice market comes quickly to mind with an eye roll that reminds me that these characters have become iconized like the diabolical Hannibal Lector as symbols of our American culture. And we, as a mainstream audience , will defend them to the death.

Bottom line? In SATC2, director and writer, Michael Patrick King, allows fans of the HBO series to go on the ultimate road trip with their favorite foursome. Surrounded by all fluff and no substance, Carrie and the gang age but don't seem to garner much wisdom; they want instead to stay sexy in any city whether they can pull it off or not. Whatever they do, these characters have stood the test of still having staying power for over a decade, allowing the audience the vicarious indulgence of all things slick, opulent and simply outrageous. This character recognition and acceptance into the American hall of TV legends seems to give the filmmakers carte blanche, putting the group in more and more outrageous situations that require desperate means and a good sense of humor to undo. The film's plot meanders, not down a street called Straight but, in the middle of Abu Dhabi where some pretty silly and sometimes disrespectful comments regarding Middle Eastern mores overshadow and downplay the gal's over-brandishing of their celebrated and presumed sexual freedom. For those who idolize the series, SATC2 provides another adventure with characters they love. For those who don't, realize that some folks do; don't get offended, just see another film or read a good book.
Diana Faillace Von Behren
"reneofc"

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More Sex and the City 2 (2010) reviews
review by . May 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Same Old Des, Different City
SEX AND THE CITY 2 Written and Directed by Michael Patrick King Starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon      Carrie Bradshaw: That’s the thing about tradition; when you’re not looking, it just sneaks in.      When I first discovered the “Sex and the City” television series, I saw it as a tiny, little gift from heaven.  This series about adult women looking for love and refusing to settle for …
review by . June 14, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I read some of the critical reviews and the one theme that seemed prevelent is that this movie is 2 and a half hours and seems like you can't wait for it to end.  I never felt that way about this film and actually enjoyed the movie up until the very end.      Even the wedding at the beginning was a lot of fun with Carrie being forced to wear a tuxedo because she is the best "man" at Stan's wedding to Mario Cantone.  Our question gets answered that …
review by . July 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I don't make it to the movie theater often- generally wait for DVDs to come out on Redbox. Sex and the City 2, however, was theater-worthy for me.   The movie itself could have certainly been better as I found the storyline somewhat lacking in substance. At times, it seemed more of a fashion show than a feature film celebrating one of the all time best shows in television history. But ultimately, I went to the theater to see my girls, Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda, and to …
review by . July 22, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I've always been fairly fond of the TV series, and therefore highly intrigued when the first movie came out. Not deeply disappointed by the first film, I actually found myself semi excited to see the second. My excitement soon turned to sheer disappointment after about ten minutes in. Although I can honestly say that the marriages and relationships of each of the ladies were kind of interesting, and I did enjoy how each relationship was different and unique, the actual plot and story line failed. …
Quick Tip by . August 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This one tells me marriage is a lot of work although one can occasionally escapes to the Middle East IF you can afford a suite that's costing some $22,000 a night! I did enjoy the movie despite it all; it is afterall just a movie :-)      I probably wouldn't be going to Abu Dhabi anytime soon but it's interesting to see the city as it now is. For those who love to travel, it's worth watching this movie, especially if you get it on DVD!
review by . May 27, 2010
With the possible exceptions of my reviews for "Fanboys" and "Mamma Mia!," I don't think anything I've written has been as universally despised as my 2008 review for "Sex and the City," a film I described as, "one of the longest two-and-a-half hours I've spent at the movies this year, and that's mostly because it didn't need to be two-and-a-half hours." I went on to say that it was, "as over-inflated as the characters themselves, some of the most annoying, artificial, selfish women ever conceived …
review by . August 13, 2010
"Sex and the City 2"  On and On and On  Amos Lassen    Let me start by saying that I loved "Sex and the City" when it was on TV. I do not love the movies, however. Be that as it may, I am going to review this film without letting my dislike show (ha!).    It has been two years since Carrie Bradshaw finally bagged John "Mr. Big" Preston, the man she was always meant to be with. Just as her friend Charlotte must deal with her young daughter's …
Quick Tip by . July 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I think that this movie is terrible. They should have stopped at the first one while they still had their heads above water.
Quick Tip by . June 29, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I thought this movie was very funny!
Quick Tip by . June 25, 2010
I definitely hear what everyone is saying about this movie being terrible but...SATC isn't about being good (although most of it was), it's about having fun. And as bad as many parts of this movie were, I still laughed, and I still had fun. Would I watch it again? No. But I'm glad I watched it the first time.
About the reviewer
Diana Faillace Von Behren ()
Ranked #167
I like just about anything. My curiosity tends to be insatiable--I love the "finding out" and the "ah-ha" moments.      Usually I review a book or film with the … more
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The four glitziest ladies ever to hit Manhattan as a single force--Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte--are back, fabulous as ever, inSex and the City 2. They may be older, and even a little wiser, but the pulls of love, lust, careers, and a pair of well-turned stilettos are still the focus of this Fab Four. As the women gamely face the prospect of aging--children, menopause, glass ceilings, and, in Carrie's opinion a fate worse than death--domesticity--they still manage to sparkle with the banter and great outfits that made the HBO series and the first film such hits.Sex and the City 2opens with Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) at the wedding of two of the foursome's favorite gay male friends, Stanford (Willie Garson) and Anthony (Mario Cantone). The wedding itself pulls out all the stops--in the true spirit ofSex and the City--and is one of the highlights of the film. From the no-holds-barred décor, including live swans, to the gay men's chorus singing show tunes while the guests arrive, the event is on the far side of over the top. As the guests settle into their seats, Miranda whispers, "Could this weddingbeany gayer?" and as if on command, out comes Liza Minnelli, playing herself, to officiate. (Minnelli's performance is unexpectedly splendid, and her "wedding song" will wow all her fans--gay, straight, married, single.) Yet beneath the luscious ...
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Details

Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 146 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
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