Sex and the City 2 | Michael Patrick King, 2010
I liked “Sex and the City.” I’m not a big fan since I did not start watching it until it ran on syndication, and well, it’s not the greatest thing ever. I’ve not even seen the show from beginning to end, but from what I’ve seen, I got the gist of it: four independent women making it in a world ruled by men. There was also the relationships, family issues, the fashion, and, of course, Mr. Big. Every episode has had great writing, and the performances matched the writing, and it was a joy to watch it and it ended in a great note. The first movie was dreadful as it was full of drama, half-assed writing, and a couple of awful performances, meaning that it was the opposite of the show. And now there is Sex and the City 2. I went in expecting a disaster, but it actually wasn’t. Sure, it sufferes from some of the same problems that the first movie had, but it is miles better, but it still doesn’t come to the quality of some of the worst episodes of the show.
So, this time around Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) is married with the man of her dreams, Mr. Big (Chris Noth), but she thinks her life is boring because all he wants to do after a hard day of work is stay home and watch TV. Meanwhile, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is still a slave to her job, and has a new boss that hates her. Charlotte (Kristin Davis) is on the verge of a mental breakdown because her two-year-old child won’t stop crying and because she thinks her husband is sleeping with the nanny who never wears a bra. And Samantha (Kim Cattrall), well, she is trying to keep her groove with a ton of medicines. One day, Samantha gets the opportunity to go on a PR trip to Abu Dhabi, and of course she has to bring her friends. And so off they go on a vacation that may end up as some sort of retreat where all of their feelings will pour out and they will learn a lesson.
So, I’m gonna start with the good. Once they go to Abu Dhabi, the movie goes back to what made the show what it was. It becomes about four girls living it up in a world where women are considered to be almost nothing. Also, I quite enjoyed Samantha’s arc as she starts feeling the effects of menopause after her medicines are taken away, and the fact that she has do deal with sex being taboo in that region. And, of course, what would “Sex and the City” be without its over-the-top costumes.
And now the bad:
First off, the script and the direction are fucking awful. Sure, I liked some of the story, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that some of the situations they are involved are utterly ridiculous and don’t really fit in the “Sex and the City” world, chief among them is the trip to Abu Dhabi. Why bother calling it “Sex and the City” if it is not going to take place in New York? And then there is the wedding. Oh my god, that was as painful as being hit in the face by 10 bricks due to the aesthetic of the place they were in, and mainly because of Liza Minelli’s nightmare inducing performance of Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies.” Also, there is one scene where, were it the real world, the four women would have been stoned to death, but they are saved by women who were designer clones under their wraps. That was also painful to watch. As for the direction, King does absolutely nothing to save the movie from his crap script. The overall aesthetic is just above your average television show, and he pretty much just points and shoots.
And when it comes to the performances, it is obvious that they were doing it for a paycheck and because Hollywood has not been kind to any of them (well, Broadway has been good to Cynthia Nixon). Their line delivery is not good; you can tell they won’t want to say the many one-liners that were written for them
So, with all that said, Sex and the City 2 is far from being one of the worst movies of the year, but it is much better than its awful predecessor. But I must say that women deserve better movies aimed for them.