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3 reviews, 13 user ratings

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Sex and the City 2
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by Erik Childress

"Raising Our Threat Level From Yellow To Red In 146 Minutes"
1 stars

I am a man and I watch Entourage. Let's just get that out of the way up front for those who might be ready to take my views on Sex and the City with a grain of salt. Yes, I am aware that the travails of Vincent Chase and his buddies is the shallow male equivalent to Carrie and her galpals but even at their worst I found them more tolerable and likable than what I saw in the three or four episodes of Sex where I attempted to get into the show. That led to one of the worst moviegoing experiences of 2008, where upon reflection of my review of the big screen effort I realize that I started it with practically the same admition. In all fairness I wanted to give writer/director Michael Patrick King and the characters a chance and hit upon an experiment that might accentuate the so-called witticisms of these women I have heard so much about over the years. While not working entirely in its favor, I abandoned the test (imagining the dialogue was being spoken by Apatow alums like Paul Rudd & Seth Rogen) when I discovered the film appeared to actually contained a straight-line focus that could inhabit the four of them without splitting between four mind-numbing storylines. The drama was no greater than your least salacious soap opera, but there was an appreciable blah-ness that kept the pain at bay. That is until the film's final 75 minutes, a miscalculation of feminine power so extreme that our country's threat level should immediately be raised.

Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), during an opening credits tribute to apparently New York's only piece of architecture - the Chrysler Building - remembers the days of the city B.C. (Before Carrie). It was a time of bad fashion for her and the friends she met in 1986 and nothing else. In present time, Carrie has been married for two years to Mr. Big (Chris Noth) and her publicist, Samantha (Kim Cattrall) is still trying to fill every hole on the precipice of menopause. Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is still a workaholic but now has a boss so horrible that she contemplates quitting to spend more time at home. And Charlotte (Kristin Davis) could just use some alone time from her constantly bothersome children if she can just feel safe leaving her husband around their jiggly, nipply nanny (She's Out Of My League's Alice Eve).

As Carrie struggles to keep her own man's interest away from take out and television, Samantha's acquaintance with an old fling leads to an all-expense paid trip to Abu Dhabi. The land of lavish sheiks and archaic attitudes towards women and sexuality is about to be invaded by a fashionista who has found shoe bargain heaven, a lawyer so white she looks like a mummy and a hot-flashing slut who believes she has found the "Lawrence of her labia." Imagine the all-girl vacation taken in the first film expanded into a second and third act, but thankfully without Charlotte shitting all over herself. It is actually Michael Patrick King's screenplay doing all the shitting, including embarrassing the one semi-decent gal of the bunch again by literally giving her a cameltoe in the middle of the desert.

A moment like this can be viewed as King's pigeonholed view of the problems facing these women as well as the level of lowbrow double entendres that pass as liberated feminism. Anything men can say, women can say dirtier and more public. King is not afraid to bring up issues. Confronting them with a degree of real-world tact is entirely another. The first act revolves around a gay wedding where roles are reversed but only up to the point that will remind you just how gay it all is right down to having Liza Minnelli show up as herself to perform both the ceremony and Beyonce's Single Ladies. Opposed to this will be less the conservatives among us prompted into knowledge how illegal gay marriage is in most states but audience members who haven't spent this long at a wedding since the opening of The Deer Hunter. If Sex and the City 2 had continued along that film's path, we may have had a second hour worth waiting for.

Instead King continues to chase hot-button issues instead of the everyday ones like motherhood and marriage. The opportunity is there to challenge the perception of an everyday monogamy and the value in taking breaks from our perceived responsibilities, but the solutions are as base as any Tyler Perry monstrosity. Not exactly the guy you want to invite comparison with when you want to parody, satirize or simply bring attention to misbegotten mindsets about women in the Middle East. One better be up to the task to mount a full-on offensive in tone and have the balls to attack with a biting wit or the courage to use these moires to strip down the superficial layers of the foursome. Utilizing four stereotypes to karaoke I Am Woman at a nightclub where not a burkha is present sets back the art of satire to the actual B.C.

If the intention was to thrust the Sex gals into some piffle of a high-concept plotline out of some screwball comedy or partnered farce from the Hope/Crosby, Abbott/Costello lines, it probably still would have been equally offensive but, at least, in line with the gauche self-indulgence of the upper-class Manhattanites. For a best-selling author in tune with the modern woman, SATC 2 plays like an expose on Carrie's lack of range with the evolvement of the feminine movement other than her own progress. How is it that Mr. Big has to be the one to tell her that Claudette Colbert's leggy cab stop from It Happened One Night was pretty shocking at the time? Oh right, because she's never seen the damn thing. This ignorance on the part of our heroine permeates throughout the entire Abu Dhabi sequence. Samantha's insists on revealing as much skin as possible despite the reminder of it being frowned upon there. The close-ups of a World Cup team's bulging sausage packages would have served as a hypocritical statement on the roles of the sexes in this region if Samantha wasn't so lustfully ready to give them all a bun to put those things away in. Instead of playing up the role reversal of these women in the $22,000-a-night rooms presented with male servants, the film's only sympathetic character is subject to a little white guilt charity (as Carrie did for her African-American assistant also away from her family in the first film) while the ladies make their escape back to America.

Watching Sex and the City 2 attempt to go from potentially universal themes to overt slapstick is like seeing your worst John Hughes film in reverse. The circumstances that rage from another Samantha-induced boner to a what-do-Arab-women-REALLY-wear-under-all-that-black gag is so patently unfunny and excruciating to watch that it is not unfathomable to expect the worse is still to come. Either an impromptu stoning is in store in the town square for the demonstrative condom-laced female or just imagine the punishment to be inflicted once these broads blueball a city and hightail it back to a land where slutting it up is accepted and diamonds are bought for women who cheat. We are well past the advent of female empowerment, so all these revolutionaries are proving to their Cosmo-sippin' worshippers that they can shout the worst of their stereotyped vices louder than the boys. I don't know if an Entourage film would entirely work either, but seeing as it is at least set in a world like Hollywood that is as ripe for a skewering as the excesses it inspires in the male ego, there might be some hope. Sex and the City on film is not skewering anything except for good taste, the art of storytelling and respect for both the working and stay-at-home women out there.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=19930&reviewer=198
originally posted: 05/27/10 09:37:35
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User Comments

4/07/13 reptilesni Offensive, xenophobic, stupid. Loved the series, movie 2 is a disaster. 1 stars
6/05/11 Piz If you liked the show, you will like it...if you didn't you won't - pretty simple 3 stars
6/15/10 The Stick that Slaps Should have been called 'Whores go to Camp' 1 stars
6/05/10 M For die-hard fans only 4 stars
6/04/10 Ronald Holst if you nlike putting women back 60 years you will love this > 2 stars
6/04/10 Monster W. Kung Ahahahahaha... no. 1 stars
6/02/10 Luisa Disappointing, boring, shallow. Carrie needs to get her a-- in the kitchen and cook! 1 stars
6/01/10 Cat Smith Witless and boring. Insulting to women with a brain. Please don't make another. 1 stars
6/01/10 Louise A few silly bits but overall great fun. I laughed a lot! 4 stars
5/30/10 Lenore Francois Mediocre. Would have been better with less cheesy, meaningless scenes. 3 stars
5/29/10 Jeronimus Bosch Cunt crap! 1 stars
5/28/10 John Duncan Insulting and a total waste of time! 1 stars
5/27/10 Phub Tenzin I really enjoyed this movie....... 5 stars
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  27-May-2010 (R)
  DVD: 26-Oct-2010


  DVD: 26-Oct-2010

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