After the success of Sex and the City, the movie, in 2008, writer and director of the fabulous six year series, Michael Patrick King, had stated he would only make a sequel if there was a story worth telling. I guess his views changed somewhat when started seeing green. Maybe it also had something to do with the soaring careers his four lovely ladies were leading. Can you say Did You Hear About The Morgans? Either way, when a second film was announced, I was perturbed to say the least. The way the first film had ended was perfect. It wrapped up their stories and gave everyone a happy ending. Charlotte got her family, Carrie got Mr. Big and so on. Needless to say, after the first trailers started popping up, I started getting excited for a second film and went into this one with high hopes that King wouldn’t ruin a franchise I had evolved with and loved.
The main premise of the story is the four girls getting away for a week from their hectic or boring lives for a little rest and relaxation in Abu Dhabi on an all expenses paid trip from some higher-ups that Smith Jerrod, Samantha’s ex, was affiliated with. Somehow, waiting for four years from the end of the series to the first film, there was still a very strong connection to the foursome Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte. Yet after only another two years, the second film seems distant, frivolous and unconnected.
The film opens with a wedding. The completely obvious, yet unrealistic wedding of Stanford Blatch to Anthony Marantino. Anyone who ever watched the show knows that these two always hated each other. To have them marry one another was just a belittling joke to gay marriage itself that they will just settle with ANY other gay just to get married. They are in New York for God’s sake, you’re telling me they couldn’t find anyone else that better suited them? This is a show that was also loved and embraced by the gay community and even though there was an appearance and fabulous performance by the great Liza Minnelli, it ultimately left the gays behind.
All of the side characters that we have loved and grown with were also left by the wayside as most of the film wasn’t even filmed in New York. We have a brief shot of the husbands kids and nanny in the first twenty minutes or so. Just enough to know they aren’t dead and then its back to the glitter. The film is a staggering two and a half hour length, most of that dedicated to showing off scenery and set designs. They were beautifully decorated, and were intended to be a fifth character to the four girls, but ultimately, they just entertained our eyes when the girls weren’t saying anything of worth, which was tragically common.
When it came to the lives of the girls, the main focus was on Carrie, even though her story was the weakest. She is suffocating in a boring, and very stable marriage with Big in their very perfect apartment and tons of money. She is striving to still go out every night and have an excuse to wear Dior at any chance possible. John has been around the block with marriage and now that he’s happy, he just wants to stay home with his wife and have take out. The only important plot in her life comes in the very beginning and is promptly dropped thereafter. She is faced with the dirty faces and misunderstandings from happy parents when she claims that she and Big are happy being just the two of them and they don’t want kids. This was a major issue that could have made this film gold. I, myself, am faced with this dilemma all the time when I proclaim that I am happy remaining childless. I either get a joke, a dirty look, or someone telling me that I will surely change my mind later. If they could have had Carrie plagued with this problem rather than the minor, stupid problem they gave her, I would be standing in line to see it again.
The most entertaining and realistic plot any girl faced was Charlotte struggling to be a fantastic mother. She now has two girls, and the little one is in the terrible-twos phase. Even with the help of a nanny, it can be a little much sometimes. One of the most sincere moments of the film comes when Charlotte and Miranda sit down and spill secret thoughts about motherhood over drinks. Thoughts that women are taught not to have about being a mother.
Sadly, Miranda didn’t have a story at all. She hates her job and quits, and that’s all we get. Seeing that they couldn’t muster up a story about Miranda proves that this was a story that should have remained out of theaters.
Samantha’s plot was interesting but had many missed opportunities. She is a single woman going through menopause. She still strives to have a sex drive and will swallow any pill necessary to keep it that way. However, her story became more of a joke as it provided for cheesy one-liners that could have just as easily been written by Jimmy Fallon. The girls were in Abu Dhabi, a part of the world that has held sex and public attention to it’s close quarters and you could probably be stoned to death for showing too much skin. This was an opportunity ripe with possibilities of stating the differences in cultures or trying to make a stand for women all around the world. Instead, it just turned and opportunity into a tour of the desert. They only once tried to connect with the culture in Abu Dhabi. They had a short conversation with some of the ladies in garb and this turned into a ridiculous insult as well. These girls cover up all day long, but underneath, they’re magically wearing name-brand clothing from fifth avenue in New York, just for fun.
This wasn’t a film for the fans, even though they did pull out the Dior newspaper dress again that Carrie wore when she apologized to Natasha in the show. This wasn’t even a film, really. This was a fashion show of what King and his costume designer, Patricia Field, think women will or should be wearing in the next year. It was a who’s who of New York and a how-to if you are looking for a decorating idea for that spare bedroom.
I hate to say that my hunch about the second film was right all along, but I beg of you, if you are a fan of the show and first film because of the quality story-writing and deep connections with the characters stay away from number two!
I give SATC2 2 “What?! No Manolo Blahniks?” out of 5
by Angela Davis