Sex and the City 2 has very little sex and even less city. Whose brilliant idea was that?
I loved the first movie because it gave me everything I enjoyed about the HBO series—the clothing! the friendships! the snark! the romance!—only more so. It was two-and-a-half hours—the veritable Birth of a Nation of chick flicks—and I wouldn’t have cut a single moment.
But SATC2 is a labor of greed, not of love—and it shows. I had the vague feeling watching it that it was produced by imposters: people who were desperately trying to capture the original’s fizzy magic, but who didn’t know the secret handshake.
The basic premise is this: Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), now married to her dream guy Mr. Big (Chris Noth), is beginning to get a little restless. Her worst fear is being trapped in a kind of dull domesticity. But it’s really hard to sympathize with a woman who got her happily ever after—and it underscores how utterly unnecessary this film is.
Since the confessions of a restless wife do not a film make, a detour is necessary in the form of Abu Dhabi, where Samantha (Kim Catrall) has been offered an all-expenses-paid trip by a sheik.
“Get out of town!” Carrie says when she hears the news.
“That’s the plan,” replies Samantha.
So the fearless foursome head to the Middle East. And it’s in Abu Dhabi where the film really stumbles.
We start with what plays like an Abu Dhabi travelogue—lots of oooing and aaahing over gold-plated hotel rooms and desert scenery and hunky Arab stewards—and then the inevitable scenes of the gals riding camels (yes, there are camel toe jokes), flouting Arab tradition (public canoodling), and bonding with their Arab counterparts (turns out, girls in burkas like Dior, too!).
The actresses work hard, but we see their sweat (literally in the case of Samantha, who’s going through menopause.) For the most part, the puns are cringe-inducing (Lawrence of My Labia! chic sheik!). The “I Am Woman” girl power seems forced (there’s even a karaoke scene where the gal pals belt out the Helen Reddy hit.) The fashion hits some high notes but pales compared to the first. And because all the characters are paired up (save Samantha, whose randy cougar bit isway played out), there’s practically no romance.
I’m just going to watch my old Sex and the City DVDs and pretend this whole thing never occurred.
To read my complete review of Sex and the City 2, check out the July issue of Baltimore.