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Sex and the City 2 Even More Embarrassing Than Its Predecessor

  • Christa Banister Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
  • 2010 5 May
  • COMMENTS
<i>Sex and the City 2</i> Even More Embarrassing Than Its Predecessor

DVD Release Date:  October 26, 2010
Theatrical Release Date:  May 27, 2010
Rating:  R (for some strong sexual content and language)
Genre:  Romantic Comedy/Drama
Run Time:  146 min.
Director:  Michael Patrick King
Actors:  Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall, Chris Noth, David Eigenberg, Evan Handler, Liza Minnelli, John Corbett, Penelope Cruz, Willie Garson, Mario Cantone

For a show that's always championed the cause of sisters doin' it for themselves, Sex and the City 2 manages to derail that mission (and anything resembling good taste along the way) in an excruciatingly long two hours and 26 minutes.

While the bulk of romantic comedies have always revolved around how the unlucky-in-love heroine eventually finds lifelong happiness with the dashing man of her dreams, Sex and the City 2 focuses on what happens after the wedding cake has been eaten—you know, the messy, real-life stuff that purely escapist flicks tend to avoid.

Sadly, the change of pace is an intriguing pursuit that's not executed properly. In fact, instead of providing a thoughtful snapshot of the ups and downs of married life with a smattering of humor and the high fashion you'd expect from the Sex and the City gals, most of the so-called "problems" portrayed here are downright ridiculous and devoid of anything resembling reality.

This time around, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), who's inching in on two years of wedded bliss with Big (Chris Noth), is feeling like married life is a little too comfortable. While she'd prefer a night of Cosmos on the town and dinner at the trendiest new restaurant, Big would rather stay in with a movie and takeout after a long day on Wall Street. And just when things can't get any worse for Carrie, Big buys her a flat-screen TV (gasp!) rather than jewelry for their anniversary.

For the perpetually perfect Charlotte (Kristin Davis), all is not well on the domestic front either. Not only is she worried about her husband hitting on their busty new nanny who insists on going braless, but her young two daughters are driving her crazy with their precocious behavior. In fact, when one of them ruins her favorite vintage skirt with red paint (quelle horror), Charlotte hides in a nearby closet so she can sob in peace, while the nanny entertains the girls.

Meanwhile, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is feeling the ugly effects of sexism on the job and doesn't have any time for her husband and son because of those long lawyer hours, and the sex-obsessed Samantha (Kim Cattrall) is worried about her libido now that menopause is in the picture.

Now it's not exactly a secret that the Sex and the City franchise has always favored style over substance, not to mention a seemingly endless number of junior high-ish one-liners involving some aspect of the bedroom, but Sex and the City 2 makes its 2008 big-screen predecessor, not to mention the TV series itself, look downright deep in comparison.

Far worse is when the girls make their way to Abu Dhabi (Morocco stands in for the Middle East locale) for the requisite glamorous journey "away from it all." While there are passing references to our troubled economy in the script, the girls are shown flying on a tripped-out private jet and being waited on hand and foot in a way that seriously screams "Ugly American." 

Equally disturbing is the sheer lack of regard for the culture. Instead of being respectful, Samantha is determined to "enlighten" everyone by wearing next to nothing, pumping her fist and yelling "Sex!" in the middle of the Eastern marketplace. And don't even get me going on Carrie's shock at how cheap the shoes are or Charlotte's ill-fated ride on a camel...

And when the camera isn't slowly panning through the girls' garish hotel suites, screenwriter/producer/director Michael Patrick King is also seriously out of his league when trying to make a very forced statement about the inequitable treatment of Muslim women. If anything, he makes Carrie and company look downright insensitive for the duration, which I'm guessing isn't what he was aiming for.

Truth be told, the reason that Sex and City has probably succeeded in the past is because it reveled in the angst that many women have felt with relationships. Even though Carrie has the killer job and a killer couture wardrobe to match, a reality that's far from most women's day-to-day existence, Carrie still didn't have someone to share her life with, and that struggle felt relatable.

But the new era of Sex, the one where Carrie is whiny, unlikable and even rewarded with diamonds for bad behavior when she betrays the man she's committed to, well, it's not quite so relatable anymore. If anything, it's an offensive waste of time and a sure sign that Carrie and her pals should finally retire those trademark Manolos for good.

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol:  Copious amounts of cocktails are enjoyed by the girls, plus Samantha uses a drug pipe in a pretty crass way.

  • Language/Profanity:  A few exclamations of God's name, plus multiple uses of the "f" word and other profanities.

  • Sex/Nudity:  Like the last big-screen installment of Sex and the City, this isn't the heavily edited TBS variety, but the full-on HBO version of Carrie and company's escapades. The movie begins with Carrie's gay pal Stanton's wedding where Stanton (Willie Garson) has proclaimed that he and his amour will abide by their "own rules" meaning that his partner can only cheat in the 45 states where gay marriage isn't legal. Several inappropriate cracks about homosexuals (and gay sex) are made before and after the wedding. Charlotte has hired a busty nanny who always goes braless while taking care of the kids, and the camera zooms right in on her bouncing breasts several times. In one scene, the nanny has on a wet T-shirt, which doesn't exactly leave much to the imagination. A good chunk of the movie is dedicated to Samantha's recent discovery that she's going through menopause. But that, of course, and hot flashes don't stop her from sitting at her desk without any underwear on or having sex with handsome strangers (two particularly graphic scenes have rear male nudity). Another scene zooms in on a bunch of men's crotches (fully clothed). Plus, it wouldn't be Sex and the City if there wasn't frequent discussion about sex itself, so there's plenty of that as well.

  • Violence:  Only of the comedic, slapstick variety.

Christa Banister is a full-time freelancer writer, specializing in music, movies and books-related reviews and interviews and is the author of two novels, Around the World in 80 Dates and Blessed Are the Meddlers. Based in St. Paul, Minn., she also weighs in on various aspects of pop culture on her personal blog

For more information, including her upcoming book signings and sample chapters of her novels, check out her Website.