Our job is to tell you about the good stuff to buy, see and do out there in this big gay world of ours. But every once in a while, we feel it is our moral obligation to tell you what not to see, buy or do. And Sex and the City 2 is one big DON’T.
We know, we know. It kills us to say that because until this latest big-screen foray, we considered ourselves die-hard fans. Apparently, we’re not as hard as we once imagined.
The Carrie Bradshaw franchise was created by a gay man, the movie is written by a gay man, and the target audience is equal parts gay men and straight women. So it’s in our DNA to want to see this sequel. Therefore, we won’t blame you if you ignore our advice because we realize we’re competing against a much higher power: Hollywood marketing.
But hear us out. The first film was a welcome reunion of these four beloved characters (three if you don’t count Miranda) and the story was a logical progression of the TV show. It had more than its fair share of drama with the whole left-at-the-altar story line, so we were ready for (and promised) a much lighter, escapist romp that finds the girls out of their New York element and experiencing culture shock in the Middle East.
Sounds funny on paper, but instead this sequel feels forced from beginning to end and at 2 hours and 26 minutes, too much of a not-so-good thing. Writer/producer/director Michael Patrick King once again delivers a script mired in unnecessary drama that brings the mild laughs to a screeching halt.
And there’s no Charlotte diarrhea scene to save the day this time around.
For an R-rated comedy, very little feels R-rated. Or all that comedic, either. It almost seems like they delivered the edited-for-television version to the theater by mistake. Where’s all the nudity? Where’s the requisite Samantha titty shot? Where’s the raunchy sex talk?
An apparent attempt to coin new terms (interfriendtion?) gets annoying and each of the characters becomes a one-dimensional cliché based on her current neuroses. Carrie is obsessed with retaining her wild, single-girl lifestyle while Big is content to live out their marriage eating carry-out and watching TV every night. Charlotte is obsessed with thoughts of her husband cheating with the nanny. And Samantha is obsessed with her fight against menopause. Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha…are we forgetting anybody? Guess not.
Our biggest issue is everything is so gimmicky and uninspired. Who’s the biggest gay icon to officiate a same-sex wedding? Liza Minelli! What’s the best song for her to perform that nobody’s tired of yet? Beyonce’s Single Ladies! (Note to producers everywhere: once the Chipmunks have performed a song, consider it officially dead). Where can we send these liberated women that’s going to most challenge their world views? Abu Dhabi!
All that aside, there are a few scenes (mainly involving Kim Cattrall’s Samantha) that sparkle almost as much as some of the TV series’ most classic moments. Sarah Jessica Parker may be the official star, but it’s Cattrall who continues to be our MVP.
Her outburst in front of a group of conservative Muslim men heading off to prayer is delightfully politically incorrect and easily the highlight of the film, but it’s quickly forgotten as the last few minutes of the movie become a madcap caper that seems more That’s So Raven than Sex and the City. It’s as if everything for the first two hours and ten minutes is building up for one “hilarious” sight gag that’s as clumsy as a camel in a hookah shop.
So, if there is a Sex and the City 3, which there probably will be, we’ll still be the first in line. Because if there’s one thing we love, it’s a triumphant comeback. And after this one, there’s no place to go but up.
Now playing in theaters everywhere (except, probably, Abu Dhabi)