Tuesday 25 May 2010

"Sex and the City 2" (The Scotsman 28/05/10)

Sex and the City 2 (15) **
Directed by: Michael Patrick King
Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon

And yea, their contractual wrangles and personality clashes having been resolveth, the Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse did ride again. With the exception of one xenophobia-enabling fiesta in Mexico, 2008’s debut SATC feature limited its hen-night ghastliness to domestic soil. This sequel engages in a form of Sex tourism, eventually dispatching the girls and their Louis Vuitton cases to Abu Dhabi, where you wouldn’t be surprised if their sniggering permissiveness (here’s Samantha, slurping suggestively upon a hookah pipe!) leads to calls for a jihad on certain fashion houses, or thoughts Sharia law might have got some things right all along.

Segueing from heavenly civil-partnership rites - where cameos from Liza Minnelli and Garland impersonator Mario Cantone gild an already somewhat fabulous lily - into Carrie and Charlotte’s domestic hells confirms this franchise as gay- and fabric-friendly, but deeply uncomfortable around anything conventionally straight: we’re invited to boo Chris Noth’s Mr. Big for wanting to snuggle up and watch old movies in bed. As shrill, culture-trashing paeans to globalisation go, Carrie 2 enervates less than its predecessor, but widescreen has killed any real or sustainable intimacy between these characters: Parker’s heroine appears more self-involved than ever beneath those expensively ludicrous rags.


  1. The desperate tourism element alone makes it a good deal worse than the first one, I think: had flashbacks to Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, and no one needs those. What's more annoying -- this, or The Darjeeling Limited?

  2. Hard to say, really. Yet I did rather feel as though the awfulness of the first film inoculated me against this one: the sequel was just *there*, and it didn't bring me out in hives so. (I suspect seeing it among fellow critics, hunched over and bracing themselves for the worst, probably helped. We could cowl and cringe together - there was a sort of Dunkirk spirit in the air. Did you hear the chorus of "We Shall Overcome" drifting down from the back rows towards the end?)

    Oddly enough, I actually began finding things to like in it: there's an Annie song they use in the nightclub scene in Abu Dhabi which was good to hear; this morning, I awoke to the thought that - excruciating as it is - everybody needs to see Liza doing "Single Ladies", just so we can collectively grasp where the bar for Western civilisation currently sits; and I thought Mr. Big (a nobody in the first film) became heroic by accident here, by offering some resistance to Carrie's desperate neediness. Not that the film cares to acknowledge it, of course.