Sex and the City 2

by | May 28th, 2010 | 11:04AM | Filed under: Movies, Theatrical Reviews

All good things must come to an end, and the fab foursome’s reign has finally sputtered out in this embarrassing, hard-to-watch sequel that for some inexplicable reason, leaves “the City” out of Sex and the City.

It pains me to write this review. It really does. Because I adored Sex and the City for its entire ninety-four episode run on HBO, and also was extraordinarily happy with the franchise’s first feature film in the summer of 2008. I had high expectations for the sequel after its trailers seemed to serve up more of the flighty, frivolous fun I’d come to know and love over the years.  And I actually enjoyed Sex and the City 2 for the first 70% or so of its running time. But then, unfortunately, its ridiculousness was taken to such an extreme level that I left the theater with an awful feeling that made me wish I’d never witnessed any part of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda’s ongoing exploits.

From the previews, I’d assumed the girls-only jaunt the four friends take to the Middle East would be a relatively short segment in the film. Um, no. It was pretty much the entire movie. Which begs the question: Why take the ladies out of Manhattan at all?  In the series, New York City was a character in its own right.  Sure, the first film whisked the women off to Mexico for Carrie’s non-Honeymoon, but that was a very small piece of the overall story.  In SATC2, Abu Dhabi (played by Morocco) was center stage. And while it was fun to see the decadent palace-hotels and expansive landscapes and the wispy, flowy fashion inspired by the region, the focus soon settled on how far Samantha could push her penchant for plunging necklines and sexual innuendos in the notoriously conservative, Islamic country.

Which brings us to why the characters jetted off to a foreign land in the first place. The action begins in the City That Never Sleeps, two years after the events of the first film. Carrie and Big are married and living in their crazy-swank apartment, but Big is, uh, normal, and would like to just order in and watch movies in bed every now and again. Carrie, however, thinks this is a bad sign — that they’ve “lost their sparkle” — and that they should instead be running around the city for dinner every night, attending movie premieres, and living out her version of a glamorous, fabulous life. Big’s like, “Really? I kinda just want to rest on the couch.” But Carrie cannot abide such a mundane existence!  She needs to be constantly reminded of how awesome she is!

Elsewhere in Manhattan, Charlotte is realizing that having two young daughters is hard. Especially when they do things like ruin the designer skirt that she was wearing while making cupcakes — which, of course, was an exceedingly smart and practical idea to begin with. She’s also got a bouncy Irish nanny to worry about.  Miranda is still a powerful attorney, but has a new superior at work who is making her life a living hell.  So much so that she finally can take it no more… and quits without another gig lined up.  Samantha remains a sought-after PR guru, but is fully and completely obsessed with looking good and feeling even better. She’s hooked to a cocktail of hormones, lotions and potions that she claims will turn back the clock and keep her libido at its regular, abnormally high level.

Samantha is reunited with Smith for the debut of his latest film, which was shot in the United Arab Emirates. That’s how Samantha comes to meet the sheikh who financed the film, who also wants Samantha to come to his exotic land and help him promote his hotel. She says she’ll only do it if her three besties can come along, and he’s all, “Sure, why not? I’m a sheikh! I can afford it!”

So the ladies head east on the sheikh’s luxury airline, and they’ve barely spent any time roaming around the city’s bustling spice market in hideously inappropriate outfits before Carrie spies her old flame, Aidan, bartering for rugs. Although Charlotte warns her friend that she’s “playing with fire” if she agrees to a dinner date with her ex-fiancé, Carrie is apparently so desperate for male attention that she gets all gussied up for the occasion, despite the fact that she knows her husband would flip out if he learned she was noshing with the dude he once had a knock-out, drag-down fight in the mud with.

I actually would’ve been OK with all of the above if writer/director Michael Patrick King just left things at a carefree, lighthearted level. The series had always been about escapism, and was at its best when it revolved around the unshakable bond between friends, the gossip about their love lives, and of course, their enviable fashion sense. Though there were a few truly memorable and touching moments — including a heart-to-heart between Charlotte and Miranda about the realities of motherhood — by and large it seemed that the sequel was trying to make a misguided “statement” about the restrictive Muslim culture in Abu Dhabi. King proceeded to use Miranda as some sort of talking head (she was constantly shouting out “surprising facts” about the region after devouring several travel guides on the flight), while Samantha offended locals and disrespected customs left and right. I don’t consider myself the most politically correct person on the planet, but even I was horrified. The film’s climactic sequence — which brought the girls back to the spice market and involved Samantha dropping condoms all over the place — was nearly unbearable to watch. All I could think was, “Aren’t these women supposed to be sophisticated New Yorkers?” Instead, they came off as the stereotypical Ugly Americans.  And there’s absolutely nothing fabulous about that.


50 Responses to “Sex and the City 2”

    • Currently 5/5 Stars
    Jesse
    Posted on June 1, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    While there were some truths, this review completely missed the mark, and was not thought out as to what was the actual theme of the movie and what the producer/writer was attempting to get across. Why do so many of these reviewers constantly think so shallow minded and in defense of Middle Easterners… they as a majority don’t defend our culture or respect it when here? And then I watch the responses of the comments, falling ever so quickly into this one-track minded media PC brainwashing… Gosh, people wake up and smell the wonderfully delicious kabobs in this movie!!

    I thought the movie was a quite enjoyable romp across the world, a regular sit back, relax, enjoy the opulence of the Middle East and then be shocked by the absurdity of opposites not only in the world culture differences, but their own now married lives. Let’s face it, the series was really “Single Sex in the City”, and now they are married… and dealing with “Married Sex in the City”. Whoaa!!! Pull the reins in on THAT camel before it spits in your face! Too late! Although I too LOVE NYC and visit it every 2 months! — Just keeping them in the city would have been like, okay, now we have a huge movie budget and we’re just gonna keep doing the same old thing. Movie goers would be bored with that too, so they tried something as over the top as possible.

    The topics between the women and in their relationships were real issues and some were the absurdities in their own lives — how opposite being laid back and settled down in a marriage for a few years is from all the years of exciting, but confusing singlehood where each one felt over the top special whenever they met a new man; now the ladies must evolve and change, build on that “settlement” of marriage and start thinking of middle age as well.

    These are hard and serious topics and I don’t believe the producer/writer wanted to take this 2nd movie and bring it down harder than the serious, heartbreak non-wedding issue of the first movie. Instead he chose to have a Crosby/Hope “Road to Morocco” fashion overstatement fun, bring their marriage vs. single culture shock from their home lives to taking them into the most culturally opposite city than NYC they could think of! It was brilliant! And if going to “Arabia” didn’t give them an even greater appreciation of their modern, women-appreciating, no women-adoring men in their lives, nothing would!

    The troubling part in this movie is not how free and easy Samantha was in “their country”; it is how offensive and anti-personal rights the Middle Easterners are. The Sheik invites Samantha to “sell his hotel to Americans”, to make even more millions off of “us” to the country which sells itself on being modern and civilized, and yet a person can’t be who they are w/o being attacked on the street first by crooked thieves who try to take her purse, and then by a bunch of intolerant men shrieking about what’s in her purse (none of their business people!!!).

    Had it ever occurred to you that these men should have assisted in Samantha after being attacked for her purse?? .. instead of ganging up and intimidating her (and probably would have stoned her if this were not kept a comedy) for what any “free single woman” would intelligently carry in her purse. Geez, stop letting PC news media reviewers day in and day out, affect your senses to resorting to stick up for abusive, controlling men!

    Was Samantha stupid for behaving the way she did in that country? Without a doubt! but we all knew she had no common sense when it came to her narcissistic looks and outlandish sexual behavior since episode 1! So shame on us for knocking her behavior, and expecting her to change for the Middle East! Remember, …. they invited HER to their country to make money off of us, so the sheik should have been kissing her behind and protecting her everywhere she went. Put the movie’s context in its proper place.

    Can’t believe so many comments here are supportive of an anti-female uncivilized “civilization”, especially when our country is under constant terrorist attack from that part of the world! American better start thinking more deeply about these kinds of things, and start sticking up for your rights before you are conned into losing them. In America, it is still OKAY to have an opinion that says you appreciate being free, and that you do not like how they treat women!!

    When have we become so Pro-rights of intolerant societies and anti-American, that we can’t enjoy a silly romp of absurdities of our favorite fun ladies who may be sophisticated in NYC where they are accepted, but are like babes in the woods when in “Arabia”??

    I think the point was to show the opposites and make us laugh. But we have become sooooo brainwashed by the media and their one-sided reviews, that we not only have to be “tolerant” as our mostly Christian nation properly suggests, but also improperly must “appreciate” values that are repulsive to most Americans. No respectable American valued man would want his woman treated as Samantha was, even if she is behaving badly. Remember, just because she behaved over the top only in her own personal behavior (she did not do something to someone else), does not mean that she is to be treated so inhumanly after she was being attacked.

    Recheck why you felt so uncomfortable and rethink your response to that scene. It is because you know you would have been TOO SCARED to be yourself in that country, and Samantha’s lack of fear made you more scared, to the point that you ended up turning on her and accepting “their culture”, instead of seeing the real theme of the picture … the opposition of culture, and that they do not accept “us” as we are.

    Please go and enjoy the movie and think more Crosby/Hope comedy and stop being so “PC” just because the media has its agenda. Stop taking everything so seriously and looking for a movie to solve the problems of the world! This movie was simply about the absurdity of opposites in life. Your agenda is to think for yourself and have a good laugh!

    • Currently 4/5 Stars
    Kristie
    Posted on June 1, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    I too disagree with this review. I am a DIE HARD SATC FAN and I went with the expectation to laugh and have a good, care-free time with the girls–that’s EXACTLY what this movie delivered. It’s not supposed to be an Academy Award winning film, for god’s sake. I personally enjoyed it more than the first one, which I have since watched again for the millionth time and thought “wow…this first movie was SO depressing!!” SATC2 was definitely more light-hearted, funny and, in my opinion, MUCH more like the series itself. The ‘girls’ have grown up and though the issues they deal with have changed since the show began in 1997, the writing and the humor are still just as great. If you are looking for a 2-hour escape from reality and want a good laugh that’s similar to the silliness of the show, this is definitely worth the price of the ticket!

  1. Florence
    Posted on June 1, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    I loved the movie. Exciting and funny. I loved the dresses and hairstyles. Loved the Arabic scenery and the camels.

    Flo@yahoo.com

  2. Don
    Posted on June 1, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    While I hated the first scenes of the wedding, overall I thought that the movie was worth the time and I had many laughs. I often wonder why people seem to hate these extensions of a well worn subject when a little new is infused. Hey. . if another comes along, I will be there!

    • Currently 5/5 Stars
    Linda
    Posted on June 1, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Come on……it’s a MOVIE!!!!!! Lighten up ladies………..I agree that some things were a bit “over the top”…………but I laughed and enjoyed myself – and I LOVED that Aiden was in it………..

  3. Stacey
    Posted on June 1, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    I disagree w/ reviewer great movie!!!

    • Currently 1/5 Stars
    marilee
    Posted on June 1, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    I totally agree with this review. This movie had no plot and was TOO long! Fashions were fabulous as well as the opulence that is totally beyond a common girl’s reality. don’t waste your time. Wait for it on redbox. :((

  4. Msanders
    Posted on June 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    I Loved Sex in the City, From the begining to the very end was great……………I want to see it again and again

  5. jeral lene roquemore
    Posted on June 1, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    i didn’t think the movie was all that bad!but some of the scences were just terrible. but i did like the part where they had to get the hell of out the hotel at $20,000 a day! that was very funny. i also like liza minella scene she was just great. and i think they should have stay in the city. what was really the point of going over there.it was stupid and dumb and made no sense of sex and the city.also the condom scene in the down town area was stupid where the peddles tried to get the wrong purse and the condoms fell out. the other scene with the arab women was funny the designer clothes. well its my opinion and its how i’ve preceive watching the movie.i will give it a C+, not an A+ because they left the city.an a B- for the bitches that they were.

    • Currently 4/5 Stars
    Sandra
    Posted on June 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    I am a SATC fan, watching the first movie earlier this week as a “refresher”. If you go expecting typical over the top SATC, you’ll be happy. If you go with your “thinking cap” on, you get what what other reviews describe. Having a cosmo before hand helps, too :)
    The clothes are fun & open to love or hate. the characters are essentially the same (we’d be mad if they weren’t, because that’s who we know & love).
    I beleive the best scenes are “Single Ladies” & “I am Woman”,(I wanted to belt out the songs along with them)and the true life interaction between Charlotte & Miranda, sharing vulnerablility and perceived shortcomings w/ a friend.

    I was embarassed for sophisticated Samantha, totally missing social mores, but it gave the story much of it’s levity, however unbelievable it was!

    Not anything other than mindless,fun diversion, just as expected & wanted!!!

  6. nelly
    Posted on June 1, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    SATC 2 was a very good movie, despite the insults this editor has 2 say. They truly are just being theirselves no matter what strict and ridiculous belief country they are in. All I have to say is I am glad to be an American, and have the freedom of speech, and the right to wear regular clothes and not have to wear a sheet covering my face, the control freak muslim men might not like it but women have rights to in America!!

  7. Julie
    Posted on June 1, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    I absolutely agree with this review. I loved the entire series and the first movie, but this was just hard to watch. Carrie is just never happy. She always wants what she can’t have. When she had Aiden she cheated with Big, then Aiden took her back and she didn’t want to marry him, now when she has Big she wants Aiden. Back and forth, back and forth…come on already! [SPOILER ALERT] Oh, and why do Stanford and Anthony get married? I mean really?! Standford is so sweet and Anthony is so obnoxious. And Samantha was just embarrassing! I thought the movie was drawn out and there were too many awkward, uncomfortable for me. I really wish they had quit while they were ahead and ended with the first movie. Hopefully they don’t try to make any more.

  8. Byron
    Posted on June 1, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    I love the whole series and the first movie. I was happy to see the four sexy ladies being filmed in a Muslim country but did not like the Abu Dhabi twist, where Middle Eastern culture was so downgraded. I did not like the last spice market scene either and I totally agree with Eirka Olson. Samantha should not have done that. I am from New York and I will not like a lady making a scene in the middle of the street holding condoms in her hands. If middle eastern culture is so strict than why did they go to middle east to film the movie, why not Europe. I was in San Jose, California, where you are not allowed to have a half naked model’s picture on a billboard in downtown. What are we talking about, double standards, out own country has different laws and cultures in different states. As far as Lynsey comments is concerned would you appreciate a girl getting a [sexual favor] in front of your parents, kids, or yourself. I will not. I love talking about sex but will not appreciate in on the street.

  9. Deb
    Posted on June 1, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    I tend to wait for the movie’s in redbox. I wish I would have waited. The movie was NOT worth the money! They should never ever think of another!

  10. Aimie
    Posted on June 1, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    I don’t understand what the problem is. The show was like this & maybe you guys just expected something else or maybe you don’t remember the show @ all. Exactly, they don’t treat women like royalty so why be upset about how they acted. As for Carrie not wanting to just sit @ home every night, I don’t blame her. They don’t have kids so why not enjoy that. Charlotte has always dressed like that no matter what, Miranda has always been kind of a load mouth & always trying to be right or fit in where she is, & Samantha has always been on the prowl. I guess you just have to be true SATC fans.

    • Currently 4/5 Stars
    Pam
    Posted on June 1, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    I thought SATC2 was great! They examined so many of the life changing events in our lives…early marriage, motherhood, having a voice in our work place, and still being sexy past 50! Many women will identify and find “friends” in these women! I thought the market scene was a bit over the top, but other than that, I found the move GREAT!

    • Currently 3/5 Stars
    Alexis
    Posted on June 1, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    I liked the movie, but some scenes were WAY too hokey–it was a bit embarrassing. The “I Am Woman” scene and the scene where the Middle Eastern women unveil their uber fashion sense in the secret room. WTF? I absolutely loved the scene with Charlotte and Miranda sharing a drink and having a heart to heart about motherhood. The entire movie was such fashion eye-candy, and any girl’s gotta LOVE that!

  11. Lori
    Posted on June 1, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    I thought the movie was great and funny. Yes it was over the top but the show always was also. That was the fun part of it all. I can’t stand when people call them all whores. They obviously don’t watch the shows in their entirety and they obviously need some more night games! These are normal american girls. I’m sure everyone reading this has friends or aquaintances they can name for each character. I don’t understand why people are so opposed to them? They are in all of our lives. What happened to women’s liberation? What did our mother’s and grandmother’s fight for all those years? Dang it, I have a career, I am a mother, I’m married and me and my husband have a wonderful sex life. What is so wrong with all that? I loved the movie the show and the characters. It was fun. That’s all it is supposed to be. Fun.

    • Currently 5/5 Stars
    Deon
    Posted on June 2, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Loved the movie. Fun was what they intended, and fun it was. Hilarious moments with Charlotte’s nanny and with Samantha’s purse in Abu Dhabi. Loved watching it and will do so again on video.

    • Currently 5/5 Stars
    Ilona
    Posted on June 2, 2010 at 12:23 am

    I liked the movie, it had some cheesy scenes, but okay, they can’t be perfect every time! I thought the story was spectacular, over the top, and as usual, one of them screwed up big time. Can’t say they were ever “sophisticated”, as the reviewer said. They always came up with egg on their face whenever they stretched their wings on the TV show! So they went BIG time egg with Samantha this time! I can’t wait till the NEXT one, just to see what they’ll do next after all the critiques come out, good or bad!

    For those, like this reviewer who insists she was a fan, but infers strongly that SATC ought to quit with the “all good things must come to an end”, just because THIS movie didn’t please her, well, wow! Isn’t that HARSH!!! One movie mistake (in her mind) and they should quit! That doesn’t sound like a fan to me — a fan wants more, regardless. I’d hate to be Erika Olson’s husband!! One mistake, and hey! You’re HISTORY!!! LOL!!

    Wow! I’ve just got to share this other review site that is just fantastic! It sure puts things in perspective. I really liked the movie, but had some confusing feelings about the Arab/NYC culture clash, and was getting sick and tired of reviewers and comments disrespecting American values and turning around the premise of the movie as being anti-Muslim. That’s camel poop!

    http://www.libertasfilmmagazine.com/review-sex-in-the-city-2-satirizes-islams-treatment-of-women/ It is intelligently and respectfully written by a woman who lived in several Islamic Arab countries throughout her life. You will see that our gals were always respectful, even Samantha, interacting with their country and the people. Samantha is entitled to her own opinion, as we all are, even if we personally disagree with her behavior.

    We do still live in a free country and mostly free world… Read this site and feel proud to be an American woman and have this wonderful series turned movie with starring independent females having fun. So few movies are women-oriented, starring all women and just having fun, being stupid, being serious, or whatever! I have no assoc. with that site, but I think you should share it with your friends, since so many reviewers are coming down on this movie!

    • Currently 2/5 Stars
    Pamm
    Posted on June 2, 2010 at 3:15 am

    I am a total SATC freak. Loved the series. Loved the first movie – it was everything I would have wanted to see happen with the characters, and was so happy to be seeing the girls again in the second movie. But along the way I was saying “what?” It was all over the place. It might have played better as 5 half hour episodes. But because I love SATC so much, and am an optimist, I am now thinking, “OK, they have to come back with one more movie that will totally make up for this mess, put “the City” back in, and leave us on a high note.” I can only hope.

    • Currently 3/5 Stars
    Jean
    Posted on June 2, 2010 at 7:24 am

    I enjoyed the first Sex and the City movie, this movie was okay.

    It was wonderful to see John Corbett (Aiden). He had a minor role, wish he married Carrie.

    Rent it versus spending money at the movies.

  12. cindy
    Posted on June 2, 2010 at 11:39 am

    I loved this movie,the first one not very much,I do wish Carrie could get it together,she got what she wanted and now the writer has her unhappy again. I hope it ends up doing well at the box office so another one will be made, hope Carrie will be happy in the next one !!!!Love Aiden.The wedding was off as the two guys couldn’t stand each other in the T.V. show.

    • Currently 5/5 Stars
    Naomi
    Posted on June 2, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    I am a huge huge fan of SATC!!!!!!!
    Loved the series, the first movie & i absolutely loved the 2nd movie also!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I liked the idea that they traveled out of NY, why not?????? Overall it was fabulous!!!!!!!!!!

    • Currently 5/5 Stars
    Conchita
    Posted on June 6, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Wow!!!!! Loved the movie!!!!! Loved the fashion and girls!!! Great job!!!! Well worth the wait!!! Going back to see it again!!! I give this movie 7 stars!!!!