Mark Reviews Movies


1 Star (out of 4)

Director: Michael Patrick King

Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall, Chris Noth, John Corbett, Raza Jaffrey

MPAA Rating: R (for some strong sexual content and language)

Running Time: 2:26

Release Date: 5/27/10

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Review by Mark Dujsik | May 27, 2010

The first continuation of the HBO series in feature-length form came out when I was on hiatus from writing. I saw it and hated it. I also was not a viewer of the show, having attempted to watch one episode on a self-imposed dare and ending my foray into the world of "Sex and the City" immediately after.

Now comes Sex and the City 2, the continuing vapid saga of four fashionistas from New York, whose lives of gossiping and wearing (mostly ridiculous) expensive clothing are occasionally interrupted by some mildly upsetting distractions and complications.

On this occasion, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Charlotte (Kristin Davis), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), and Samantha (Kim Cattrall) win a free trip to Abu Dhabi to stay in a luxurious hotel, have their every need served by their own butler, and given each a car.

There are problems at home, of course. Carrie and Mr. Big (Chris Noth, at the height of smugness) are thinking of formulating a plan to take two days a week apart from each other. Charlotte is afraid her husband (Evan Handler) might want to cheat with their full-time nanny (Alice Eve). Miranda quits her job to spend more time with her family (then realizes what a pain that is). Samantha is fighting the effects of menopause with various creams and hormone treatments.

It's an absolutely terrible series of events for the foursome, especially when Charlotte's vintage dress is ruined by one of her daughters (Carrie responds with an empathetic apology that sounds more suited to the news of the death of immediate family member). Then, if things weren't bad enough, Aidan What's-his-face (John Corbett) and Somebody Jerrod (Jason Lewis) come back into the respective lives of Carrie and Samantha, and Liza Minnelli officiates and acts as the entertainment for their friends' gay wedding.

The major difficulty this time around is telling which is worse: the characters' sense of self-entitlement or the actresses' sense of self-congratulation—proudly forcing giddiness and staging "random" giggles—as their characters' faux feminism knocks progress back a decade or so.

Also included is a level of judgment and intolerance heretofore unseen (or just forgotten) in the characters. Whether it's Carrie's scolding of Mr. Big's excessive use of the phrase "gay wedding" while happily tossing in her own light-hearted barbs (It's ok, though, because "the gays" are her friends) or just about every scene involving the culture and people of Abu Dhabi, the movie reeks of backwards class and taste. That's not even to mention the endless puns, plays on words, and pop-cultural callbacks. Miranda's proclamation of "Abu Dhabi Doo!" might be the worst, but there are others of near-equal retch value.

Obviously, this is meant for fans of the show, who get to watch these characters go through the same situations they've gone through before. The franchise will eventually, like all things, come to an end (once it stops being financially viable). Sex and the City 2 is one step closer to that inevitability, so there is hope in it.

Copyright © 2010 by Mark Dujsik. All rights reserved.

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