Review: Sex and the City 2
PLOT: Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) and her best gal pals (Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis) are back! Two years after finally tying the knot with the infamous Big (Chris Noth), Carrieís starting to feel tied down. Needing a break from the monotony of married life, Carrie and her pals embark on a trip to Abu Dhabi, where she runs into a former flame (John Corbett).
REVIEW: First, a confession. Other than catching a few minutes here and there while channel surfing, Iíve never watched an episode of SEX AND THE CITY, nor have I seen the first film. So if youíre a big SEX AND THE CITY fan, you can take my review with a grain of salt, as Iím not the slightest bit invested in this particular franchise, nor, as a twenty-eight year old guy, am I part of the audience this is geared towards.
Nevertheless, I went into the film with an open mind. After all, thereís got to be a reason the series/films are so popular, right? After seeing this, I can only assume that whatever the reason people are flocking to see these films escapes me, as I canít really think of the last time I sat through such an empty, vapid piece of work (oh wait, I can: TRANSFORMERS 2). I guess the only way this film can make a lick of sense is to imagine it takes place in some kind of magical, alternate New York, where everyone wears designer clothes, lives in MASSIVE apartments, and NEVER has to worry about things like cash, health, or age.
Now, I know this is supposed to be escapism. Considering my devotion to the shallowest show of all time, NIP/TUCK I understand the need to sometimes embrace trash. However, given the mad popularity and critical acclaim the show has reaped over the years, I expected a hell of a lot more than this feature-length fashion show/travelogue.
For one thing, nothing happens in this film. Iím not exaggerating people- there are no character arcs. No one changes, or even has anything to overcome. All we get is Carrie being briefly tempted by a rendezvous with a past lover, but that plot-line is only dealt with in the most offhand, predictable way.
Most of the TWO AND A HALF HOUR (!!!!!!) running time is spent with the gals taking a luxurious (re: gaudy) trip to the Middle East. Now, sending these four ladies, each a poster child for Western decadence if ever there was one, to Abu Dhabi could have been interesting. However, rather than actually, God forbid, say anything relevant about the way Middle-Easterners view Americans, all we get are loads of the broadest Arab stereotypes Iíve seen in a mainstream film since TRUE LIES, and a bunch of niqab jokes that could have been lifted out of an episode of FAMILY GUY or ISHTAR.
Probably the only good thing I can say about SEX AND THE CITY 2, is that the star foursome have great chemistry, and seem comfortable in their respective roles. It seems Carrie/ Parker seems to be the somewhat entitled one, while Cattrall is the horny one (which doesnít go over too well in Abu Dhabi), Davis is the family focused one, and Nixon is the uptight one. All four actresses are good in the film, but itís a shame they werenít given any interesting material to work with. Given the fact that people obviously seem to adore the characters, itís too bad the film is so predictable. Considering it lasts an oppressive 150 minutes, you think there would be some drama to justify the running time. Alas, no dice.
Other than the four ladies, Chris Noth and John Corbett are onboard, as the somewhat unrealistic, idealized love interests that do little more than grovel at Carrieís feet. Noth in particular is downright saintly in the film, but of course, Parkerís Carrie still finds reasons to be unsatisfied with him, making her come off as a bit of a witch with a capital B, but I digress. We also get two cameos from Miley Cyrus, and Penelope Cruz (who I THINK, was originally supposed to have some kind of role, but her part seems to have ended up on the cutting room floor). We also get super-fox Alice Eve as Kristin Davisí sexy nanny and I appreciate that the filmmakers were thoughtful enough to throw in a nice wet t-shirt scene for the male audience (of course, the only thing better than a wet T-shirt is NO shirt, but weíre not THAT lucky).
Now, before it seems like Iím being too harsh on SEX AND THE CITY, Iím sure that the TV show must have had something more to offer than this bloated, vapid offering. But I was ready to bolt for the exit once Liza Minnelli showed up to belt out a rendition of Beyonceís ďAll The Single LadiesĒ but I still had over two hours to go.