SEX AND THE CITY 2
** (out of 5)
May 27, 2010
Sarah Jessica Parker as CARRIE BRADSHAW
Kristin Davis as CHARLOTTE YORK
Cynthia Nixon as MIRANDA HOBBES
Kim Cattrall as SAMANTHA JONES
Studio: New Line Cinema
Directed by: Michael Patrick King
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
Unlike most every other straight man in America, I wasn’t rooting for “Sex and the City 2” to be a dud. In fact, I actually watched the show on my own free will when it was on HBO. (I refused, however, to watch it on TBS. To me, that’d be like listening to a George Carlin routine on Radio Disney.) And when the first film came out two years ago, I gave it a favorable review, pointing out that it was a nice end to the series that actually did something more grand with the characters.
As a rule, I’m not a fan of TV shows turned into movies. I don’t get the point of paying good money to just see an extended episode. Some films – like the aforementioned first “Sex and the City” film – manage to be much more than that. But too many others fall into the trap of retreading old installments without offering anything new to the audience aside from a bigger budget, fancier locations and better special effects.
Unfortunately, everything I feared from the first “Sex and the City” movie has come to fruition in this lackluster sequel.
In this installment, Carrie and the girls get an all-expense-paid trip to Abu Dhabi, and they take the vacation to get away from the stresses of their daily lives. Carrie is dealing with her own midlife crisis in which her husband Mr. Big wants to just be a homebody but she wants to paint the town red. Samantha is in menopausal denial. Miranda is struggling with the decision to quit her law firm. And Charlotte is dealing with the stress of motherhood (which makes no sense, actually, considering she’s has a full-time nanny and no job of her own).
Really, there’s not much of a story here. Rather, it’s just a string of excuses to get the girls back together to chit-chat over coffee and cosmos, all the while making crass and often tired sexual puns. These scenes will make the die-hard fans of the show squeal, but they’re irritating to anyone looking for something more than witty banter, and they serve little purpose.
There is also something for all you straight men that might be dragged to this film by your girlfriends and wives… After a fifteen-minute tribute to the faaaaabulous fashion sense of gay men and outrageous outfits that really don’t work on women over 40, you should enjoy when the lovely and enchanting (and gloriously bra-less) Alice Eve literally comes bounding into the scene. And it doesn’t stop there. Let’s just say that Eve could have been wearing a red clown nose in all her scenes, and I wouldn’t have noticed at all.
By the time the first film came out, the show had become so iconic that it was a bit of a parody of itself. The first film was in on the joke but hadn’t become overpowered by it. Now, it seems that the folks behind “Sex and the City 2” decided to take every aspect of the show – from zany hats and other fashions to the over-the-top reliance on consumerism – to a ludicrous level.
What I respected about the series and the first film was that “Sex and the City” was a woman’s (and a gay man’s) James Bond movie. Most straight men live vicariously through 007, maybe never realizing that if they were in the spy game, they’d wet their pants at being shot at and tossed out of airplanes while not being able to talk to women half as attractive as the Bond girls. In this way, women live vicarious through Carrie and the girls. It’s not real because if it were, the characters would be flat broke, under massive credit card debt, with no one to love them and scorched with every venereal disease on the planet.
So yes, I get the attraction to “Sex and the City,” and to a certain degree I have enjoyed it. Which is why I’m so disappointed in this movie. It’s a real let-down to the otherwise remarkable franchise.