Thursday, May 27, 2010
Sex and the City 2
I'm not going to spend much time considering the cultural relevance or impact of the horrible Sex and the City 2 because I think that even many of those who liked the first installment (I didn't) will find this outing a bore. If SATC2 will be remembered for anything it's as an example of how badly it's possible for the writers and producers of a multi-miliion dollar motion picture to misunderstand both ordinary human behavior and things outside of their immediate experience. The first SATC at least provided a button for the relationship of Carrie and Mr. Big; the film ended with Samantha's 50th birthday party and seemed to be a yielding of the stage to a younger generation of fashion-dazzled young Manhattan women.
Not so fast; this time there's a crisis in the marriage of Sarah Jessica Parker's Carrie to Mr. Big (Chris Noth). Two years in it seems that Carrie is unhappy because she and the Mister aren't going out enough. Quiet dinners (takeout of course) and old movies aren't enough for our girl, who fears boredom like a virus and hasn't realized that marriage means accountability to another person. A deadline for Vogue prompts the first of many ridiculous plot twists, the idea of Carrie and Mr. Big taking two days off from their marriage each week. In a movie that is genuinely offensive longtime fans of the series should most disgusted by the fact that the films present the ladies as able to conceive of life only as a series of superficial pleasures.
The second half of the film involves a trip to Abu Dhabi for reasons that don't matter. We're told Abu Dhabi is the fun and swinging "New Middle East," but when Samantha (Kim Cattrall) offends Muslim standards of propriety the movie essentially becomes a cartoon full of swarthy men and women who secretly yearn for couture. SATC 2 is the opposite of one of those unmanned space probes that broadcast welcome message and old songs; Carrie and her friends, it seems, are a mirror that the rest of the world's women long to see themselves reflected in. I haven't even mentioned Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) or Charlotte (Kristin Davis, always my favorite) because now I don't like them anymore either. Let SATC 2 be your farewell to Carrie and the girls, four emblems of their time who hung around too long.