Sunday, June 06, 2010

A review of "Sex and the City 2"

by Michael Patrick King

I miss Carrie and the gang, so I was happy to watch Sex and the City 2, even with its numerous flaws.

The movie starts out fine, with some relationship troubles – good, that’s what they do best.

Shortly thereafter, in a major plot detour which occupies most of the movie, the girls wind up taking an all-expenses-paid trip to Abu Dhabi, and things go downhill. There’s the star treatment with all the ooh-ing and ah-ing over resplendent riches. OK, I can deal with that. Then they’re on the beach, they’re in the bazaar, they’re on camels – it starts to feel like a giant tourist sell.

And finally there’s a little more relationship trouble, and then it becomes all about Samantha behaving like a complete idiot American, and getting herself in deep trouble. Yes, Samantha is something of the clown on the show. But she’s not an idiot, and it’s not believable that her character (at the age of 52) would behave so stupidly as we see here.

It’s as if the writers wanted to make a point about the thin veneer of splendor in Abu Dhabi, and then drag out the nasty reality of the harshness of the society (in comparison to ours) and say “this place actually sucks, it’s dangerous and you’d better be careful if you go here.” Anyone who goes to Abu Dhabi and doesn’t know what to expect is a bit of an idiot. It’s kind of hard to take, seeing these women, who have been depicted as, yes, shallow, but also smart and savvy, getting treated like children in a foreign country, and then landing themselves in hot water for some careless actions. It’s not a question of them “disrespecting the culture” – it’s a question of them being savvy enough to keep themselves out of harm’s way in hostile territory. The actions just didn’t feel right for the characters.

I wish they had kept the location in NYC, which is such an attractive background for a movie. I suppose it was cheaper to film in Morocco than in NYC? Next time, please please stay in NYC.

Despite my complaints, I still enjoyed the film. It was nice seeing the gang back together again.

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