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Movie Review: Sex and the City 2

May 27, 2010

Sex and the City – A Warner Bros. Release

http://www.sexandthecitymovie.com/

Release Date: May 27th

Rated 18A for some strong sexual content and language.

Running time: 147 minutes

Michael Patrick King (dir.)

Michael Patrick King (writer)

Based on the characters from the book by Candace Bushnell

Based on the TV series created by Darren Star

Aaron Zigman (music)

Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw

Kim Cattrall as Samantha Jones

Kristin Davis as Charlotte York

Cynthia Nixon as Miranda Hobbes

John Corbett as Aidan Shaw

Chris Noth as Mr. Big

All images © 2010 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

SATC2-10298r: (L-r) KRISTIN DAVIS as Charlotte York, SARAH JESSICA PARKER as Carrie Bradshaw, KIM CATTRALL as Samantha Jones and CYNTHIA NIXON as Miranda Hobbes in New Line Cinema’s comedy “SEX AND THE CITY 2,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Photo by Craig Blankenhorn

Our reviews below:

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Sex and the City 2 Review By John C.

* (out of 4)

Hello, lover, we’ve got ourselves a 1-star movie.  Sex and the City 2 is just as nauseatingly materialistic as the first film.  Filled with tacky fashions and lame one-liners, this is an awful sequel to a bad movie.  This time around, Sarah Jessica Parker and the gang all slip into their roles as easily as they would into a pair of $20 shoes purchased from a shop in Abu Dhabi, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still overact.

The plot line, more like 27 minutes of sitcom melodrama – with 2 excruciating hours tacked on, picks up where the last film left off.  Carrie’s marriage to Big has gotten boring, and Miranda’s become a workaholic.  All Samantha seems to do is have and talk about sex, but this time she is also whining about menopause.  Charlotte now has two little girls that she is starting to realize are higher maintenance that she bargained for, but has the help of an Irish nanny.  The nanny is played by Alice Eve, (with a terrible Irish accent, mind you), who I almost didn’t recognize, as she wasn’t naked and beside Ray Liotta.  The biggest joke with this character is that she doesn’t wear a bra under her thin, sometimes soaked, t-shirts.

It starts out at a gay wedding – a needless sequence that just feels like an extra 20 minutes tacked onto the already bloated running time.  Then it switches to something about Samantha getting to bring her girlfriends on a PR trip to Abu Dhabi.  By the time they were finally on their way, (it should be noted that they would never allow Carrie’s hat on a plane, as you could hide a bomb on it),  I already hated the movie.  In a contrived twist of fate, Carrie runs into an old lover, Aidan (John Corbett), at a market.

In one particularly offensive scene, Samantha is arrested for sexual behavior at an outdoor restaurant.  The movie tries to make a statement about the state of sexual prudishness in other countries, but Samantha’s display and the man’s clear arousal, would be frowned upon when viewed publicly in most societies.

The movie ends with a ridiculous run through Abu Dhabi to retrieve a misplaced passport, and this whole sequence plays out like rom-com torture-porn.  We’ve got Samantha throwing condoms into the faces of strict Muslims and thrusting at the air, only to be rescued by a group of women secretly wearing Louis Vuitton under their burka’s.  This whole “exciting finish” is insulting and plays out like a knockoff to a real product.  It only serves to add more reasons to cringe.

There are many scenes here that are meant to speak out about woman’s rights, we even get a scene where they sing karaoke to “I am Woman,” but what could have made for empowering moments, are heavy-handed and hard to take, considering the stereotyped main characters and overblown lifestyle.  It should be noted that if we got a movie aimed at a male market with female characters this flaky, then it would be deemed only as sexist by the majority of the population.

After an inexcusable running time of 147 minutes, I left the theatre feeling more than a little nauseous.  Even the music choices are clichéd, including an Arab/disco remix of the SatC theme.  Lame, clichéd, predictable, overacted and boring, Sex and the City 2 is ultimately just a superficial and fake experience, that is often painful to endure.  Oh well, at least it’s not in 3D, as the gratuitous scene of bulging speedo’s would have been particularly disturbing in the third dimension.

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Sex and the City 2 Review By Erin V.

** (out of 4)

The girls are back!  In Sex and the City 2, Carrie is complaining that Mr. Big just wants to watch romantic movies rather than have sex, Charlotte is finding that motherhood is harder than she thought, Miranda feels underappreciated at the law firm, and Samantha at “50-effing-2” is trying to combat menopause so that her sexual drive stays the same.  Thus, needing a vacation, the girls go to Abu Dhabi for a week – all expenses paid thanks to Samantha’s PR business.

I actually liked this film better than the first one (2008), but I didn’t really quite like it per se.  For a movie supposedly about empowering women, they sure seem quite dependent on men (especially Samantha), and obsessed with trivial things, such as overpriced fashions.  Why do these girls often dress, well, kind of tacky?  Don’t even get me started on Carrie’s J’adore Dior dress!

I also found their attitude toward the culture of other countries kind of insulting.  When traveling abroad, there is a fine line to walk between doing what you believe in, and respecting the culture you visit.  Miranda seemed to get this – the others, not so much.  And some of Samantha’s actions would be frowned upon anywhere…

People are so worried about spoilers in this film, and don’t worry – I won’t give you any.  It’s really now, after watching it, that I finally get why.  So little happens of note in these 2 1/2 hours, that if you know the few plot points, why watch it?  But many will, and a lot of people, mostly women, enjoyed the show, and enjoy these films.  There’s nothing really wrong here, but also nothing for a non-fan like me to find right.  It is what it is, like it or not.

My one real qualm about this film is the length.  Half an hour to an hour shorter, and maybe it would have held my interest a little more.  Still, in a word, Sex and the City 2 is a superficial summer comedy that’s bound to garner big box office returns.  But judging by the ‘go-consumer!’ message of the film, is it not ironically appropriate?

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Sex and the City 2 Review By Nicole

**1/4 (out of 4)

The girls are back in town, and they’re off to a new adventure.  Two years have passed, and the women are starting to feel the stresses of life.  Carrie is starting to get used to being married, Samantha is going through menopause, Miranda is bored with work, and Charlotte is overwhelmed with the kids.  So when Samantha invites the girls on a free business trip to the United Arab Emirates,  they take the vacation of a life-time.  It may be just what they need.  Carrie encounters people who remind her of what’s important in life.  Charlotte has to let go of her anxiety.  Miranda is fascinated by the culture and language of the place.  Samantha, on the other hand, brazenly flaunts the modestly rules expected of women in Abu Dhabi, by wearing low-cut tops, and acting naughty in public.  This behaviour ends with expected  results.  All the women return home somewhat changed, but the one who changes the most is Miranda.  Unlike in the first movie, Miranda is now a respectable woman who respects other cultures.  I wish I could say the same about the film.  A lot of the humour could be considered offensive, in particular Samantha’s total disregard for manners.  Her behaviour would be considered unacceptable anywhere in the world.

What I did find interesting about this movie over the last, are the cultural differences.  While overly stereotyped, I was struck by the fact that while the country is very decadent, the women are kept plain under their niqubs.  A teenager however, is seen wearing an embroidered hijab while talking on her cell phone.  She is not wearing a niqab, instead showing her modesty without covering her face.  While the United Arab Emirates are very affluent, they are also very traditional.  This is why the movie, because of its title and content, was filmed in Morocco, instead of the Emirates.

What I liked about SatC2, more than the first movie is that the sequel is toned back in it’s sexual content.  While there are still two gratuitous sex scenes, they are fortunately very brief.  I still think that SatC2 is a bit too rude, but I found the movie mildly entertaining over all.  If you are a fan of the series, then SatC2 is a movie you will want to see.

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Sex and the City 2 Review By Maureen

**1/4 (out of 4)

There is so much that could be said about Sex and the City 2, and not enough print space to say it.  But everything about this movie is too much.  There is so much going on in terms of storyline, costume changes, character developments, big showy scenes, that it’s hard to keep up with it at times even though it’s got 2 1/2 hours to cover it all.  Yes, this movie is a good 30-45 minutes too long, but it is a far better experience than the first Sex and the City movie.

It’s two years later and the girls are back together to attend a wedding, a gay wedding, as various characters remind us again and again.  Carrie and Charlotte’s gay friends, Stanford and Anthony have fallen in love and what a wedding it is.  With an all male choir dressed in white, singing show tunes, white swans, and Liza Minnelli officiating this gay wedding rivals any musical production.  This event alone could have made a whole movie.

The main event however is the trip to Abu Dhabi that the girls take sans husbands and children.  Samantha is going on a P.R. jaunt to promote a brand new hotel in Abu Dhabi and the rich owner spares no expense to make sure Samantha and the girls have the experience of a lifetime.

To say that a lot is going on with each of them during this trip would be an understatement.  Carrie is worried that Big is paying more attention to their new flat-screen TV back home.  She feels even more worried when she runs into her old flame, Aiden.  Charlotte is worried that Harry might be attracted to their Irish nanny, Erin “go braless.”  She also feels guilty about enjoying her break from the kids, especially screaming two-year-old Rose.  Miranda has left her job and has to figure out what to do next.  On the trip she acts as the cultural interpreter for the group, trying to make sure they follow Middle Eastern cultural norms and stay out of trouble.   Samantha is in the throes of menopause and is afraid of aging and losing her infamous sex drive.  Fortunately they all look out for one another and they manage to survive the trip and make it back home with fresh perspectives on life.

On the plus side Sex and the City 2 manages to show the cultural differences and similarities between Middle Eastern and North American women.  There is the not so subtle message about women being empowered and independent.

On the negative side, the menopause jokes get more than a little annoying after a while and Samantha’s flaunting of the cultural expectations to dress and act modestly borders on offensive.

There are some nice moments in the film such as Carries’ interactions with her assigned Indian butler, Garau.  The scene with Miranda and Charlotte talking about being Moms also feels genuine.

Fans of the Sex and the City franchise will enjoy visiting with the girls again.  This second movie is more entertaining than the first one and has far less graphic sexual content.  The music is good, the scenery pleasant and the characters stay true to who they are.  Love them or hate them the girls from Sex and the City 2 are here to stay.  If you are already a fan you won’t want to miss this one.  Nothing like a night of mindless, light entertainment with your best girlfriends to lift your spirits.

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Sex and the City 2 Review By Tony

** (out of 4)

Sex and the City 2 follows the first SatC by two years, which itself came two years after the HBO series.  Never having seen the TV show, I prepared for SatC2 by watching the first feature last week.  I suppose that even people totally unfamiliar with the franchise might enjoy this film, as the characters are not too hard to figure out.  The film begins with a very campy gay wedding officiated to the delight of all by Liza Minnelli.  The three otherwise happily married women, after some brief scenes of doubt, are invited by Samantha to escape their problems temporarily for a week in Abu Dhabi.  Of course no expense is spared, from the individual compartments on the flight to the huge hotel suite, each guest provided with a personal servant and chauffeur-driven Maybach.  Except for Samantha, the women manage to avoid most of the cultural gaffes that are inevitable in a movie like this, which itself has trouble avoiding stereotypes.

Since I can’t buy into the shallow lifestyle, I found the film only mildly amusing and rather long.  Most fans will not be disappointed, though with three of the women now domesticated, only Samantha’s antics live up to the original premise of the series, with a couple of brief shags to keep the rating above PG.

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Consensus: A bit better than the first Sex and the City movie, this one will please fans, but still probably bore the rest of us. ** (Out of 4)

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