Sex & the City 2
Major spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned.
I have a friend who told me: Never see a movie featuring white people on camels unless it’s an historical drama.
Oh but you will go see SATC2 anyway. Even though it’s getting annihilated by critics, even though I’m about to annihilate it here, you will see it for the Dress Porn, which is fine, if that’s all that the film is declaring itself to be. Laura keeps insisting that it doesn’t matter if the movie is sh-t, she doesn’t expect much more from it than to look at the shoes and the clothes. I disagree. I think it DOES matter when SJP and the producers keep insisting that this franchise is still a Girl Anthem. That somehow Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda still represent women.
This was true for the tv show. As you know, I LOVED the tv show. This is however 100% not true of the movies. These movies are an insult to that legacy and those achievements. And while I was grossly disappointed by the first film, that disappointment actually pales in comparison to how disgusted I am by the second.
Were there moments? Sure. The first 20 minutes featuring Stanford and Anthony’s wedding, that was alright. I was perversely entertained by the sight of Liza Minnelli as Sasha Fierce, barely alive, working her moves on that stage, half wondering, even though this was filmed a long time ago, whether or not she would actually drop dead on screen. I enjoyed the scene when Carrie and Big were confronted by a woman and her husband judging them for choosing not to have children. And the style porn at the wedding was probably my favourite. Carrie’s black tux is the best followed by Miranda’s daring low cut metallic gown.
So we spend the first half hour or so of a two and a half hour movie in the city proper. Great. And then the rest of the time, we’re in Abu Dhabi. The MAJORITY OF THE MOVIE is in Abu Dhabi. In other words, the love affair with New York? It’s over. It’s no longer about the city, it’s about mining exotic locations for contrived storylines all in service of satisfying a fanbase that just wants to look at pretty dresses?
Really? Is that all we want?
In the wanting of that would you accept the misrepresentation of a different culture? Would you be too mesmerised by a pair of shoes to be offended by this film’s horribly insulting and unacceptable mockery of Muslim culture? Because that seems to be what they’re asking you to do.
Samantha is invited by a super rich hotelier to visit his super luxe hotel, all expenses paid. So off they go, the four of them, flying crazy ass first class, met at the airport by four Maybachs so they never have to ride with anyone else, given the best suite with a private elevator and FOUR BUTLERs to attend to their every wish. It’s obscene how they are spoiled.
And how do they repay the overwhelming generosity and hospitality of their hosts? Well, they proceed to judge the women wearing veils, to judge the conservative value system, while Samantha insists on flinging her tits around in a variety of revealing outfits, and then gets arrested because during dinner with her next conquest, she fellates a pipe and rubs him up to erection at a restaurant before making out with him on the beach – considered inappropriate conduct. All this for laughs, so that you will laugh, not at her, but at THEM, because they’re so backward, because they’re so uptight, because there’s no Freedom in the Middle East and we are so much better. That’s why Carrie had to come to the rescue of her butler.
Oh Carrie is so kind and befriends her manservant and they talk and one night in the middle of the night when she forgets to “dismiss” him from duty, he tells her about his wife and that he can only afford to see her once every three months and then he makes her warm milk with cinnamon and holds on to her slippers. So when Carrie is rushed out of the hotel because Samantha has offended all the stupid Arabs and their stupid values, she leaves the butler with a huge tip with a note, telling him to use the money to go see his wife. Thank you white lady for fixing the poor Arab’s marriage. You are so benevolent. Maybe he would have preferred getting released from duty on time a few nights though. Then again, cash money solves everything.
Insight? Please. Insight took a backseat to accessories. There were opportunities, yes, but why bother when the girls can go shopping? Example: Charlotte goes by York in Abu Dhabi because Mrs Goldenblatt suddenly doesn’t want to be Mrs Goldenblatt among Arabs. Which could have been a very interesting thread, if they’d bother to explore it. Instead it’s noted and then it’s dropped. Just like that. Because why care about anything that doesn’t have to do with designer bags and flirting with boys?
Ironically enough, the two characters I identified most with, whose short and bare storylines were somewhat true and relevant, were Charlotte and Miranda who help each other admit that motherhood isn’t everything, that Charlotte is allowed to not like her kids when they’re screaming, and that Miranda can say that she wants to go back to work instead of staying at home without feeling like sh-t.
If I’m relating to the two characters who have children and NOT to the two characters who don’t have children, what does that tell you about this movie?
Carried cheated on Aidan with Big. Now Carrie cheats on Big with Aidan. It’s a kiss that she regrets and admits to immediately. Apparently the reason for her infidelity, two years into her marriage, is that she doesn’t know how to be married, and would rather go out for dinner every night instead of having dinner at home with her husband. Which was kinda why she couldn’t be engaged to Aidan. In other words, our heroine is going backwards. Because they needed a poor excuse for a plot and this is what they came up with. Not that flaws aren’t great. Flaws are wonderful. See Nurse Jackie. But flaws have to make sense. They can’t be added as an afterthought post wardrobe. It amounts to not knowing who they are...
Our Samantha had cancer and ended up embracing her baldness and rolling with the sucky luck. This Samantha cannot accept aging, is threatened by 20 year old au pair with big tits, and descends into a panic when her anti-aging, anti-menopause elixirs are taken away from her in the Middle East. This Samantha also didn’t think to ask the Australian rugby team to spunk all over her face when she couldn’t find her wrinkle cream? Who is this Samantha? Because she definitely isn’t mine.
These are not the women we knew and loved. These are women put into a box, wound up from the back, and told to max out their credit cards at Bergdorfs while the MiniVan Majority claps in the theatre after too many cosmos during dinner when the word “fab” is tossed around once every thirty seconds.
Am I sh-tting on your fun? You just want to go out with the girls and not get so serious and watch a movie that was supposedly MADE FOR THE MODERN WOMAN? Yes, of course. I’m sorry. I suck. Carrie on.
Here are the girls at the New York premiere the other night.
Photos from Wenn.com and Splashnewsonline.com