Successful show ends. Successful show gets a very successful movie spin-off. Very successful movie gets a much-talked-about sequel. Voila: Sex and the City 2.
So here’s how it goes: Carrie and Mr. Big are in their second year of marrige but marital bliss is giving way to a humdrum life. Miranda is harrassed by an evil boss at work and doesn’t spend enough time with her family. Charlotte, on the other hand, spends too much time with her family and her two-year-old daughter is driving her insane as all she does is cry all day. Samantha is worrying about the menopause and still looking to have sex with every male thing that moves. Impressed with how Samantha helped a client skyrocket to fame, a Sheikh from Abu Dhabi invites the girls on an all-expenses-paid luxury holiday for one week and the four jet off to the sun.
And that’s about it. Well, story-wise it is anyway. At the beginning of the film the group are attending an extremely lavish gay wedding (swans, all-male chorus, white marble everywhere oh, and Liza Minneli singing “Single Ladies”. And doing the Beyonce dance. Yes, really. It’s a bit weird). At the end of the film everything works out okay, as you can imagine from a typical rom-com…
As a whole the movie is short on laughs and high on stereotypes. Charlotte’s nanny is Irish and comes extremely close to saying “Top of the mornin’ te ye” when she first appears. In Abu Dhabi only Miranda embraces the differences in culture and has to continually point out the do’s and don’ts of Middle Eastern society. Samantha, on the other hand, is less than willing to embrace it as she eyes up the Australian rugby team and flirts with every man she meets. Carrie is fascinated by the fact that Muslim women have to wear a veil and wonders how one lady will be able to eat her fries. Yes, really. And don’t get me started on the black-market traders. What occurred to me is that the group live in New York: not exactly a place out in the sticks where a person from a different culture is about as rare as a blue moon, and yet they act as if everything is completely alien to them.
It’s also terrible that in a time of austerity a film like SATC2 should be allowed to get away with such opulence. The hotel that the group stay in costs $22,000 a night, they each have their own private room, butler, service and car to get them around. Everything is covered in marble, jewels, gold or expensive silks and, of course, the clothes are all designer. Perhaps that last part can be forgiven: SATC does wear its attitude to designer firmly on its sleeve, but at the same time the whole shebang is completely unrealistic. The film pretty much waves expensive objects in everyone’s face without a care for what might be happening to less fortunate people. Perhaps this would have been an infinitely better movie if it had been “Sex And The City 2: Austerity Bites”, where Carrie is deprived of Manolo Blahniks because no-one can afford her books, her lust for fashion eventually driving her on to the street because she can’t afford the rent.
The best moment of the film comes when Charlotte and Miranda have a frank heart-to-heart over a few cocktails. The chemistry between Carrie and her old flame Aidan is great but fizzles out very quickly: if there had been more scenes like this then it would have been infintely better but SATC2 seems to reject plot in favour of dallying around in bazaars and deserts.
Verdict: Shallow, ditzy fluff. If you liked the series or the first film you’ll probably lap it up. Just don’t get your hopes up.