Movie Review: SEX AND THE CITY 2

This is an escapist, girly movie—no getting around that. I went in not expecting it to remotely resemble my own life and ended up mostly enjoying the fantasy of the foursome’s lives.

It’s two years after the events of the first movie and the ladies have a new set of problems: Carrie is afraid she and Big are turning into a boring old married couple, Miranda isn’t appreciated at work by her sexist boss, Charlotte’s kids are driving her crazy, and Samantha’s going through menopause. Conveniently, a sheikh offers Samantha an all-expenses paid vacation to Abu Dhabi to possibly engage her publicist skills to promote his luxury hotel and of course she wouldn’t go without her girls. While there, the ladies shop, drink, play with fire, get arrested, talk about their issues before coming home with new insight and appreciation for their situations.

The movie’s main attractions for me—no surprise—are the furniture and fashion porn. Big and Carrie live in a “little bit of heaven”—an impeccably decorated New York City apartment with a dream closet—and the women’s outfits are so jaw-droppingly over the top that they sometimes made me laugh. But that’s the way it should be; who wants to see them in Old Navy duds and Keds?

I also ogled the scenery (Morocco subbed for Abu Dhabi) and suddenly got the urge to ride a camel and/or Jeep over sand dunes. I love the friendship the characters have, how they’ll always be each other’s anchors. I enjoyed seeing Raza Jaffrey as Carrie’s butler, Guarau. On MI-5, the actor plays a formidable agent so it was quite a change to see him as the gentle, wise Indian man. And Liza Minnelli channeling Beyoncé! She must’ve gone to the Tina Turner School of Legs Preservation. Go, Liza. SATC2 is lighter in tone than the first one, though some of the jokes are rather crude (one involves camel and toes).

What I didn’t like? Samantha repeatedly flouting Abu Dhabi’s public dress laws by showing too much skin. I don’t agree with how women are forced to wear burkas but if I choose to go there, I would obey the emirate’s laws. Flipping off the men isn’t liberating, it’s disrespectful. Samantha claims hot flashes and hormonal changes as an excuse and Miranda does step in to talk some sense into her, but the scene smacks of arrogance. The ladies’ karaoke rendition of Helen Reddy’s “I am Woman” is also much too literal a declaration of girl power.

SATC2 certainly isn’t perfect but it doesn’t apologize for its fantasy elements, nor should it. It’s a two-and-a-half-hour virtual vacation to an exotic locale, allowing you to bask in the sun and not worry about frying too many brain cells.

Nerd verdict: Frivolous City life



  • Reply
    May 28, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Thank you for this–I’ve been on the fence, but now I feel like I have permission to enjoy it! ; )

  • Reply
    May 28, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    I just came back from the film and was so happy to read your review.

    Aside from a few over the top scenes (Samantha’s a bit old at this point to be so blatantly pornographic), some very bad, aging lighting and at times too much make up, it was thoroughly entertaining.

    I felt the first 20 minutes were pushed. I felt this way in the 1st one too, but in time they all seemed to relax into their characters.

    My girlfriend and I laughed out loud several times, as did everyone else.

    How hot was that guy in the jeep and wow, did Aidan look great!

    Miss you Elyse!!!

  • Reply
    Shell Sherree
    May 28, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    That’s excellent, as I don’t want to fry any more brain cells than I absolutely must. And those I do lose will be shallow-fried as opposed to deep-fried. A visual feast is about all I was expecting, so anything else will be a bonus. Thanks as always, PCN!

  • Reply
    May 29, 2010 at 10:31 am

    I will go to see it and not apologize for enjoying…..”Furniture and fashion porn.” You are a great writer, Elyse. I am looking forward to the over-the-top fashion and hope to see something that takes my breath away like the dress Carrie was wearing on the bed in Paris final season.

  • Reply
    May 29, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    I went to see this last night with 6 girlfriends after we celebrated our girl’s night out with way too much good food and several rounds of martinis (mine were cosmos with blueberries on the bottom – hey red, white and blue, it’s Memorial Day weekend after all!) Had a wonderful time before and really had fun at the movie. Was it over the top. Of course! What could be better than 2 hours of furniture and fashion porn, assorted great looking men and Chris Noth and John Corbett – uh yum!

    Funniest moment in the movie…when Charlotte confesses to Miranda that the first thought that went through her head when it was insinuated that her husband had a thing for the nanny…”I can’t lose the nanny!!” The mom’s in my group of rowdy friends were high fiving that comment.

    I highly recommend you join a few girlfriends and enjoy the movie. Is it a cinematic masterpiece? Hell no, but it’s an enjoyable way to spend 2 hours with friends. And with the brownies and chocolate covered strawberries we had after the movie, it’s a movie I’ll always associate with laughter and friendship. Husbands are great, but girlfriends are forever!

  • Reply
    May 29, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Yeah, I was dragged to it by my wife, but I did chuckle. I have read the other reviews that slammed it and I am scratching my head. Yeah, these ladies are ridiculously extravagant, but weren’t they always?

    I’m not saying I would have gone on my own or with some buddies, but I did laugh and that’s more than I can say for most movies currently playing.

    Thanks, PCN, for keeping it real.

  • Reply
    Pop Culture Nerd
    May 29, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Joy—Go! And enjoy!

    Lainie—Haha! I didn’t notice the bad lighting. Dude in Jeep (Max Ryan) was indeed hot but Aidan’s never done anything for me. When are you coming out to visit?!!

    Shell—Oh, why did you have to say “deep-fried”? You know what that makes me think of!

    Paulette—There’s no dress comparable to that one you mentioned, but Carrie’s got a couple nightgowns that I would wear to a black-tie affair.

    Ybnorml—Your girls’ night out sounds like great fun! I saw groups of dressed-up women at the theater I went to, one even had on a fancy head scarf. They all looked so glam (I was wearing khakis and Chucks, oops). I agree about that line being the funniest!

    EIREGO—You are an enlightened man, not just for seeing this movie but also enjoying it. Your wife is lucky.

  • Reply
    May 29, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    I was disappointed by the first one for a number of reasons but mostly because Samantha barely had any screen time. I’m glad to know it’s more balanced this time.

    For the first, my group of gal pals got all dolled up and went to see it and are planning on doing that again. It’s funny, but whenever I go see a movie, I feel like I have to dress according to what I’m watching. (This is something I cannot believe I am admitting). I went and saw Robin Hood and wanted to look girly but old world because of Lady Marian. If I see something like James Bond (which, please hurry up with that one), I want to look sleek and sexy. I know. I’m a dork. 🙂

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      May 29, 2010 at 8:15 pm

      Oh, that’s awesome! Wish I could go to a Bond film with you so I can see your sleek, sexy outfit. Your Maid Marian ensemble must have been lovely, too. What do you wear to something like Avatar or The Hurt Locker?

      • Reply
        June 2, 2010 at 6:52 pm

        Um, I saw Avatar under duress only and wore jeans. 🙂

        I don’t go to the movies often, so I guess that’s partially why the added drama… or maybe that’s just me. The silly thing is (SATC aside), I don’t get actually dressed up. I just try to pull something from my closet that’s fitting. (Can’t have your readers thinking I wore a bustier and long, flowing dress to Robin Hood.)

  • Reply
    May 31, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Thanks for your realistic and fun review. I saw the movie today and had a thoroughly enjoyable time. I’m not big into fashion, but I loved seeing all the crazy clothes, and yes the real estate porn was wonderful, as was the Australian rugby team. Plus having been to Morocco twice in the last few years I wanted to see those scenes. But best of all for me was seeing our 4 stars dealing with regular problems with grace and their continuing friendship. No this isn’t an Academy Award-quality film, but it’s not pretending to be and it’s just what I needed to kick-start my excitement for the summer movie season.

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