Sex and the City 2 is what we have all been waiting for since the HBO series sorrowfully ended. Two years ago I expected the franchise to continue in dramatic fashion. Little did I know wishing for drama would prove to be one I wish I could take back. For me the first SATC film destroyed my enthusiasm for all things Carrie Bradshaw and company. Everything was hyperbolized, overwrought, overdone and it felt like a party thrown for the cast at the expense of the audience. Happily, 2 years and two movies later, SATC 2 is everything fans could want and more.
After we are finished with the Stanford and Son (joke people) wedding we turn the page to the chapter on the romantic lives of our entourage of ladies, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Charlotte (Kristin Davis), Samantha (already introduced), and Miranda (recently outted Cynthia Nixon). Carrie and Big are living in a much less luxurious apartment (several floors down from their penthouse but the closet space naturally remains the same). Speaking of the same, they have mutually agreed to maintain a foothold in their old lives as they continue to own Carrie’s old apartment, clothes, laptop and run-in closets. This leads to serious questions being raised about their ability to commit to marriage. On the subject of marriage, Carrie’s newest novel is about her first year of marriage with Big. Fearing the worst, The New Yorker confirms her suspicions when it publishes a scathing review of her book suggesting she keep her mouth shut (a vow of silence to be exact). This is what I love about the second SATC film; it is unafraid to criticize itself, the characters and the premise. Not everyone is infallible, this time they are real people with real emotions and real consequences for their actions or inactions.
Samantha is the same as usual. Except for HOT FLASHES. Excuse me while I get a few ice cubes for her, strictly for platonic reasons of course. She is menopausal give or take a few hundred seductive lotions and creams forestalling the inevitable middle-age moustache and tissue dryness. Instead she seems to remain wet (I mean moist, I mean moisturized) throughout. She is not only Carrie’s press agent but also Smith Jerrod’s go to girl. This is where the story really begins. Samantha is presented with the opportunity to promote a famous new hotel in Abu Dhabi. A billionaire Sheik is impressed with her ability to take a layman like Jerrod and make him a recognizable movie star. All she needs is three friends to travel with and presto we have ourselves a SATC adventure.
Miranda is still happily married to Steve (David Eigenberg) but is in the process of a messy divorce from her job. Her employer is a sexist who is unwilling to allow Miranda to deliver well-prepared presentations and he enjoys humiliating her in public. Feeling a change of career is in order and needing time away from home to relax, Miranda is ready for a trip to the "New" Middle East.
Charlotte is still prissy, pure and preventative. She is her unflinching self…until Samantha notices her new nanny is blazing hot and has a top shelf rack without support (she doesn’t wear a bra people, DUH!). While her children and her husband are busy drooling over the nanny, poor Charlotte is quietly building suspicion and doubt. It is time for a trip to the most exotic foreign spot in the world (the Middle Eastern galaxy). Hey everyone let’s go to Abu Dhabi?
The plane chartered by the Sheik and naturally comes equipped with travel suites and a fully loaded Lexus, by that I mean bar. It is a state of the art plane the likes of which I will never travel on for good reason (nobody will pay for my ticket). Once they land Samantha is forced to discard her anti-aging hormones and is left forlorn with only hummus and yams to comfort her decaying skin. Poor Samantha. At the hotel there is a soccer team staying while touring and a very masculine Dutch architect with her name written all over him (in 12 pt. Cougar Font). Her sexual humor never ages. For good measure Miranda teaches her how to say "yes" in Arabic but I am not a cunning linguist so I cannot recall the word.
Their hotel has been used before to shoot foreign films. It is quite simply an incredible state-of-the-art architectural specimen. Nothing is left to the imagination. Our quadrumvirate (group of four) are treated like princesses meant to be worshipped. Left to her devices on vacation, Carrie goes shopping and miraculously runs into her long lost boyfriend Aidan (John Corbett). Despite both parties being married, Carrie is drawn to him with a feverish passion. At home she and Big argued over typical things such as his lack of willingness to go out after work and her distaste for his choice of an anniversary gift (a flat screen TV for the bedroom lol). Chris Noth is my kind of a guy. Without spoiling anything, this leads to some serious soul-searching (a clever euphemism for couples fighting).
Miranda and Charlotte invoke the sacred code of womanhood: they get obliterated with martinis and spill their deepest, darkest secrets. Apparently they both fear being bad mothers because they need time to themselves. Join the club sistah’s! For Samantha’s part a dashing man awaits her attention. This occurs after she has been yamming it up. His name is Rikard Spirit (Dick Spurt according to Samantha). He is everything a man should be, and a pervert like her. Unfortunately this leads to her arrest for indecent exposure in Abu Dhabi. As they gals say "so much for the new Middle East." Once the collapse occurs on account of Samantha’s arrest we are treated to a "Sex and the City" (the show) style closing of the action or denouement.
There is much to criticize here. Ordinarily I would jump all over the miscues about Arabic society, Abu Dhabi and four American women hanging out half naked when surrounded by women completely covered, give or take an eyeball or two. Forget all of that because part 2 is exactly what this series needed and deserved. It is hilarious, charming and best of all, TRUE TO THE SHOW. SATC the first made me resentful of the entire franchise. I wondered if I had been wrong to be a in the first place. Instead I am happy to report Sex and the City 2 is a really great movie and deserves all of the praise in the world. No flag of caution, just a checkered flag so get going to the theater.
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