Sex and the City 2

An Illusion Review by Joan Ellis

            Oh come on Hollywood; you can do better than this. It's hard to imagine a bigger insult to an audience than "Sex and the City." What were the filmmakers trying to do? Are they trying to tell the story of four friends navigating the physical and emotional vagaries of middle age? Are they trying to explore relationships among the women and their men? You'll never know because there are very few men and no plot. What's here in abundance is whining.

            Does it work as a composite of one liners? "You knew when you married me that I was more Coco Chanel than Coco vin." That's the level of the jokes. Does it run for two and a half hours so we can know the characters better? No, all we know about them is that they shop. Sarah Jessica Parker alone has 41 costume changes. The fashion addiction of the four friends becomes a revelation of narcissism gone awry. They spend money, and they totter - on heels as tall and thin as ice picks.

            The gang's all here: Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) hates her job and quits it, but this is one woman who does not want to be home with husband and baby. Charlotte (Kristin Davis) has two children, a husband, and a nanny who is husband bait. She is overwhelmed by motherhood; Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) is married to Big (Chris Noth) but cannot bear the thought of an evening at home. For her, life is shopping and parties. Samantha (Kim Cattrall) wants to be the cruise director. She wants to find a man for the night - any night. Overwhelmed by the undue stress of their empty lives, all of them want to play.

            Samantha wangles a trip for four on a private jet to Abu Dhabi. They are met at the airport by four chauffeured white Maybach 62Ss for the trip to their $22,000 per day hotel suite where they proceed to mock, violate, and trash every convention of the host country. They are the collective epitome of the ugly American abroad. At this point, I sank into a pit of earnest embarrassment from which I tried mightily to recover but couldn't.

            If the movie were either funny or satirical, they might have gotten away with it, but it is so bad, so awkward, so fake in all ways, that we sit there, stunned that anyone would even finance the film. With two wars under way, a recession circling the globe, and a British oil spill threatening two coasts, it's just plain bad taste. You might say that thought could be applied to any frivolous movie in these times, but not so. Comedy is a great distraction, a great release. It's hard to imagine that not one of these four actresses protested the silliness, the self absorption, or the rudeness that is the humiliating core of the film. They may survive this disaster, but they shouldn't.


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