Wednesday, 2 June 2010
FILM REVIEW: SEX AND THE CITY 2
Who would have thought there could ever be too much Sex? But at almost two and a half hours, Sex and the City 2, the sequel to the 2008 film spun off from the hit TV series, is very much a case of quantity over quality. “Do you want it long or do you want it good?” the producers seem to have asked on the audiences' behalf, and answered in the former: they obviously believe that size matters.
That running time shouldn't deter fans of the franchise, and the four women – Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha – with whom millions of women (and plenty of men) love and identify with. We catch up with the girls some two years after the previous film, with Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Mr Big (Chris Noth) married and happily ensconced in their New York apartment. Well, maybe not so happily since Big's idea of a pleasant evening is a night in front of the flatscreen watching black and white films. But Carrie wants sparkle and not of the diamond variety.
The others are not so happy either. The new senior partner at Miranda's (Cynthia Nixon) law firm seems to hate her; Charlotte (Kristen Davis) is struggling with motherhood; and Samantha (Kim Cattrall) is in a war of attrition with menopause.
All of this is revealed during an elaborate gay wedding which opens the film and it's not too long (or far too long, depending on your point of view) before the gal pals head to Abu Dhabi (actually Morocco) and a week of luxury in the Middle East at the generosity of a Sheikh, a prospective PR client for Samantha. Cue a procession of Arabian Nights-inspired wardrobe changes, some desert misadventures and a cavalcade of instances that, if not racist and/or anti-Muslim, are certainly culturally insensitive on a cringe-inducing level.
It's a bit much for us to be onside with the sexually aggressive Samantha when she's in a country that has a very strict code of conduct for women. It's also a bit rich for Carrie and co., to preach against the Middle East's 'mistreatment' of women when these four Westerners are very much slaves to fashion, commercialism and the ideology of 'a woman can have it all but she's nothing without a man'.
But Sex and the City 2 is supposed to be fun, and it is, but only sporadically which isn't nearly enough to warrant its 150 minutes (or another sequel). Still, fans know exactly what they're in for and non-fans know not to even bother.