Thursday, June 10, 2010

SEX AND THE CITY 2 (2010)

Written & Directed by Michael Patrick King




Where & When: Arclight Cinemas, Hollywood, CA. June 7, 2010 7:05 PM


The latest film based on the HBO television program, "Sex and the City" has been bashed by critics and although it is far from a box office flop, it's numbers are down compared to the first film. While some of the criticism is definitely warranted, I do think the film does have some fun moments but not nearly enough as it should.

The film starts up two years after the last film ended and Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Big (Chris Noth) have settled into married life. However, not all is idyllic as she thought it would be. Carrie is unhappy that Big doesn't want to go out and hit the streets with her. He just wants to sit at home, eat take-out and watch the boob tube with her. How horrible.

Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) hates how she is treated at her job, Charlotte (Kristin Davis) is not nearly as happy as she thought she would be raising children despite even having a nanny to help her out and Samantha (Kim Cattrall) is very unhappy about aging and plans on putting a stop to it by using expensive hormones and vitamins to trick her body in to thinking it's younger. These ladies are unsatisfied with their pampered lives but what should they do? After attending the over-the-top wedding of Stanford (Willie Garson) and Anthony (Mario Cantone), Samantha gets an offer by an Arab business man to discuss doing P.R. for him and he invites her and the girls to stay at a luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi. This little trip should be the answer to all of their problems.

While there, they experience the obvious culture clash and behave like typical ugly Americans except for Miranda who at least made some attempt to do some research before arriving. Carrie and Miranda go shopping in a bazaar, when she runs into Aidan (John Corbett), her former boyfriend. They agree to meet for dinner later, sparks fly and soon they briefly rekindle a little intimacy. Carrie freaks out that she kissed Aidan and wants to tell Big what happened but Samantha advises her to at least sleep on it before she does anything. I'm sure you can guess what she decides to do and that decision could put her marriage in jeopardy.

Although I did like some of this film, I think it had more to do with the nostalgic revisiting of these characters that I love and less about the movie that was made using them. The film started off okay with the wedding but as soon as they landed in Abu Dhabi, my mind started to wander for a while until Aidan showed up. I thought something really juicy would happen but they just didn't go there. I think this was the problem with the film as a whole, not enough juice. They didn't work deeply enough with the characters to have them do anything particularly interesting. Everything was just focused on the surface, like mainly on their clothes and shoes.

I think the surprise success of the first film made Mr. King feel that this sequel needed to be even bigger and better, which caused it to collapse under the weight of all that excess. So, having Liza Minnelli performing at a gay wedding ceremony as well as other assorted, pointless cameo appearances that included Miley Cyrus and Penelope Cruz, then having the girls riding camels in the middle of the desert in high heels while later singing a very painful rendition of "I Am Woman" in a bar in Abu Dhabi, and giving Samantha ridiculous golden, spiked shoulder pads to wear didn't help make the film any better. All it did was highlight how far they have lost sight of what made the television show so great.

So the real question is: "Should I waste any time and see this film?" I would say that if you were a fan of the television show, the movie is watchable but very disappointing. If not, well, to be honest, you weren't going to like the movie anyway.