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 of." Oh, but I made some people mad. And I'm going to do it again. That's because I'm up against a dedicated fan base, which now has "Sex and the City 2" to cherish. Just like before, the intended audiences will leave the theater with big, dopey grins on their faces, as if they downed more than a few particularly heavy Cosmopolitans.
But what are people like me left with? What about those who aren't deluded into thinking that shameless consumerism and shallow ideals qualify as escapism? Shouldn't movies in some way have all audiences in mind and not exist in a closed universe? "Sex and the City 2" - just like its predecessor - is nothing more than an in-joke for the fans, one that confuses inane sitcom dialogue with genuine wit, trivialities with compelling emotional drama, and tasteful fashion with gaudy displays of fabric and color. It also mistakes featherbrained fashionistas with authentic comedic personalities, our four friends possessing little if any redeemable qualities that would make them seem like actual people. I've been told that "Sex and the City" is a fairy tale. I don't think so. "Hansel and Gretel" is a fairy tale; this is daydreaming run amok.
The plot involves Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon), and Charlotte York (Kristen Davis) going on an all-expenses-paid trip to the emirate of Abu Dhabi, the result of Samantha's fateful meeting with a wealthy sheik who wants publicity for his hotel. They fly on the sheik's private airline and are provided with first class cabins so luxurious, they're like miniature rooms. Once they arrive at the hotel, they're placed in $22,000-a-day suites and given access to all sorts of excessive amenities, including their own private butlers. Once they settle in, they decide to take a tour of the city's market district. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that they strut around the city, wearing clothing so bright and tacky, it's as if they survived an explosion at a textile mill.
Now, what exactly is the theme here? Apparently, it's the institution of marriage, although I find that hard to believe given how unrealistically it's explored. Consider the central conflict: Carrie and her husband, Mr. Big (Chris Noth), are in a rut because she prefers nights out on the town and he prefers to sit on the couch and watch black and white films on their big screen TV. I think the real problem here is that there isn't a problem. If he were having an affair, or if she was neglecting her children, okay, then there would be a problem. But he's been faithful, and they have no children, and they live in an apartment most of us can only dream of living in. So what it really boils down to is that Carrie is needlessly nagging her husband, a man so unbelievably boring he can't even raise his voice beyond a monotone hum.
This theme is also explored with Charlotte, who finds herself on the verge of motherhood burnout and in need of a break. I find this odd given the fact that her children are raised almost entirely by their nanny; the closest we get to a meaningful moment between mother and children is a scene in which they bake dozens of cupcakes, cheapened by Charlotte's yakking on the phone at the same time. The moment is ruined when the older girl plants her dye-stained hands on her mother's rear end, leaving prints on her vintage Valentino. Here's a piece of advice: If you're going to bake with young kids, who are naturally inclined to be messy, you probably shouldn't be wearing expensive designer clothing.
As for the nanny, she's an Irish bimbo who never wears a bra, a plot point that doesn't faze Charlotte until it's so helpfully suggested that it might lead to an affair with her husband. She then spends the rest of the film neurotically trying to reach him on her cell phone, despite the eight-hour time difference.
Other touches, like Samantha's hormonal treatments to maintain her overactive sex drive, are just juvenile attempts at menopause humor. An early scene at a gay wedding, designed to look like the set of an MGM musical, is an overblown spectacle of tiresome stereotypes. It's not at all helped by the inclusion of Liza Minnelli, who, as far as I know, has no credentials for performing a marriage ceremony. And I was especially turned off by a scene late in the film of Muslim women revealing that they wear designer clothing underneath their burqas. This isn't a feminist statement - it's an indecent example of materialism. Much like the film as a whole; "Sex and the City 2" is all style and no substance, an airy, superficial, petty display of glitzy excess. There's nothing to be gained by watching movies like this.
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 … more
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 … more
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 … more
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. … more
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!
"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 … more
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 we thought they hated each other … more
As with the first Sex and the City film, Sex and the City II is more or less "review-proof." The films are made for fans that are already well-immersed in the characters from the TV series, and these fans are just as interested in seeing what everyone is up to and what they're wearing as they are in a coherent plot or deeper meanings. For fans of SATC, more is more. So I guess this makes SATC2 a big success. It's nearly two and a half hours long. It features more costume changes … more
Growing up a shy kid in a quiet suburb of Los Angeles, Chris Pandolfi knows all about the imagination. Pretend games were always the most fun for him, especially on the school playground; he and his … 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 ...