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“Sex And The City - (2)- (Chris)
Reviewer:
Chris Pandolfi
Studio: New Line
Genre:
Comedy
Release Date:
10/26/10
Special Features:

See Below

Review:

With the possible exceptions of my reviews for "Fanboys" and "Mamma Mia!," I don't think anything I've written has been as universally despised as my 2008 review for "Sex and the City," a film I described as, "one of the longest two-and-a-half hours I've spent at the movies this year, and that's mostly because it didn't need to be two-and-a-half hours." I went on to say that it was, "as over-inflated as the characters themselves, some of the most annoying, artificial, selfish women ever conceived of." Oh, but I made some people mad. And I'm going to do it again. That's because I'm up against a dedicated fan base, which now has "Sex and the City 2" to cherish. Just like before, the intended audiences will leave the theater with big, dopey grins on their faces, as if they downed more than a few particularly heavy Cosmopolitans.*** But what are people like me left with? What about those who aren't deluded into thinking that shameless consumerism and shallow ideals qualify as escapism? Shouldn't movies in some way have all audiences in mind and not exist in a closed universe? "Sex and the City 2" - just like its predecessor - is nothing more than an in-joke for the fans, one that confuses inane sitcom dialogue with genuine wit, trivialities with compelling emotional drama, and tasteful fashion with gaudy displays of fabric and color. It also mistakes featherbrained fashionistas with authentic comedic personalities, our four friends possessing little if any redeemable qualities that would make them seem like actual people. I've been told that "Sex and the City" is a fairy tale. I don't think so. "Hansel and Gretel" is a fairy tale; this is daydreaming run amok.***

The plot involves Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon), and Charlotte York (Kristen Davis) going on an all-expenses-paid trip to the emirate of Abu Dhabi, the result of Samantha's fateful meeting with a wealthy sheik who wants publicity for his hotel. They fly on the sheik's private airline and are provided with first class cabins so luxurious, they're like miniature rooms. Once they arrive at the hotel, they're placed in $22,000-a-day suites and given access to all sorts of excessive amenities, including their own private butlers. Once they settle in, they decide to take a tour of the city's market district. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that they strut around the city, wearing clothing so bright and tacky, it's as if they survived an explosion at a textile mill.***

Now, what exactly is the theme here? Apparently, it's the institution of marriage, although I find that hard to believe given how unrealistically it's explored. Consider the central conflict: Carrie and her husband, Mr. Big (Chris Noth), are in a rut because she prefers nights out on the town and he prefers to sit on the couch and watch black and white films on their big screen TV. I think the real problem here is that there isn't a problem. If he were having an affair, or if she was neglecting her children, okay, then there would be a problem. But he's been faithful, and they have no children, and they live in an apartment most of us can only dream of living in. So what it really boils down to is that Carrie is needlessly nagging her husband, a man so unbelievably boring he can't even raise his voice beyond a monotone hum.***

This theme is also explored with Charlotte, who finds herself on the verge of motherhood burnout and in need of a break. I find this odd given the fact that her children are raised almost entirely by their nanny; the closest we get to a meaningful moment between mother and children is a scene in which they bake dozens of cupcakes, cheapened by Charlotte's yakking on the phone at the same time. The moment is ruined when the older girl plants her dye-stained hands on her mother's rear end, leaving prints on her vintage Valentino. Here's a piece of advice: If you're going to bake with young kids, who are naturally inclined to be messy, you probably shouldn't be wearing expensive designer clothing.***

As for the nanny, she's an Irish bimbo who never wears a bra, a plot point that doesn't faze Charlotte until it's so helpfully suggested that it might lead to an affair with her husband. She then spends the rest of the film neurotically trying to reach him on her cell phone, despite the eight-hour time difference.***

Other touches, like Samantha's hormonal treatments to maintain her overactive sex drive, are just juvenile attempts at menopause humor. An early scene at a gay wedding, designed to look like the set of an MGM musical, is an overblown spectacle of tiresome stereotypes. It's not at all helped by the inclusion of Liza Minnelli, who, as far as I know, has no credentials for performing a marriage ceremony. And I was especially turned off by a scene late in the film of Muslim women revealing that they wear designer clothing underneath their burqas. This isn't a feminist statement - it's an indecent example of materialism.

Special Features:

(DVD) Special Features: * “Revisiting the 80s” featurette * “SATC2 Soundtrack: Behind the Scenes with Alicia Keys” featurette***

(Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) *

”So Much Can Happen in Two Years” - A conversation with MPK and SJP *Styling Sex and the City 2 *Marry Me Liza! *Revisiting the 80s *The Men of Sex and the City *SATC2 Soundtrack: Behind the Scenes with Alicia Keys Audio Commentary with MPK

Final Words:

Much like the film as a whole; "Sex and the City 2" is all style and no substance, an airy, superficial, petty display of glitzy excess. There's nothing to be gained by watching movies like this. ***

 

 
 
 
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