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One Sequel Too Many For Sarah Jessica Parker, ‘Sex and the City 2’

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Average: 1.8 (6 votes)
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – “Sex in the City 2” has very little sex and even less city. That is the least of its sins. This bloated, directionless semi-narrative take the familiar foursome – Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis – into unfamiliar geographic territory, but with no dramatic arc there is simply nothing there.

It is two years after Carrie Bradshaw’s (Sarah Jessica Parker) marriage to John Preston (Chris Noth), AKA Big, and the couple has settled down to domestic bliss. It is somewhat too domestic for the antsy Carrie, but she still has the comforting friendship of her three galpal soul mates. Samantha (Kim Cattrall) has moved back to New York City and is on a post menopausal hormone regiment (seriously). Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is still the hard-charging lawyer who can’t quite juggle motherhood. And soothing Charlotte (Kristin Davis), the domestic goddess of them all, revels in her two children and perfect life.

But is it so perfect? The complexities of being the perfect Mom start to wear on Charlotte, despite a live-in Irish nanny named Erin (Alice Eve), whose running gag is that she never wears a bra (Erin go…never mind). This plants the idea that perhaps hubby Harry (Evan Handler) will stray, following – according to Carrie – the Jude Law (rimshot).

So what do rich New Yorkers do when faced with so many problems? They take a trip to Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirate. The ladies jet away on Samantha’s dime, a free PR trip to the most luxurious hotel in the Middle East. Faster than you can step on a camel’s toe, the four lasses are caught up in the desert life, which includes a reunion between Carrie and her old fiancé Aidan (John Corbett).

Carrie of Arabia: Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattral and Cynthia Nixon in ‘Sex and the City 2’
Carrie of Arabia: Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall and Cynthia Nixon in ‘Sex and the City 2’
Photo Credit: Craig Blankenhorn for © New Line Cinema

The first film worked because it was the culmination of the just-finished TV series of Sex and the City, with the promise of Carrie and Big getting married thrown in. The dramatic circumstance of that situation gave a life to the story that isn’t in the sequel. There are no break-ups or come-togethers in this current adventure, only people debating about TVs in the bedroom, mothers lamenting their “difficult” lives (replete with nannies) and a romp in the Middle East that serves little purpose beyond a more exotic setting.

The film begins promisingly with a lavish gay wedding, which seems like a thumb in the eye to the red states by the writer/director Michael Patrick King. The fabulousness is so over the top that Liza Minnelli is the only one that can tame it. This big bang that starts the proceedings morph into the aforementioned debates on bedroom TVs, long stretches of bored dialogue about whether Big and Carrie still have the “sparkle.”

The use of a braless nanny and Samantha’s hormonal therapy obsession smacks of idea desperation, and Michael Patrick King has been much better than this storyline. He has stayed with these fictional friendships for too long, and the non-problems of relativity rich and domestically stable middle age women are hard to fathom in an age of recession and anxiety. Yes, Carrie and the gals are fashionista fantasies, but their welcome is worn out once the lavishness becomes everyday and mundane.

The trip to Abu Dhabi did have some promise. King obviously wanted to make a political point by putting the Sex and the City females in a wholly patriarchal society. There was a successful confrontation with some men by ballsy Samantha, which quickly devolved into the discovery of a secret society of Arab women wearing New York fashions under their burqas and reading Suzanne Somers for book club. Really? That’s what they’ve got?

Start of Something Big: Parker and Chris Noth in ‘Sex and the City 2’
Start of Something Big: Parker and Chris Noth in ‘Sex and the City 2’
Photo Credit: Craig Blankenhorn for © New Line Cinema

The men of Sex and the City, always forced into the thankless side, are merely window dressings in this picture. While Steve and Big had meaty parts in the first film, they are reduced to playing golf and staring at Erin’s underwearless visage. These are the characters that might have given King some new direction, because he certainly didn’t do anything with the Fab Four this time around.

It’s hard to say whether we’ll see this crew again. There are not many questions left to answer, short of some more radical hormone therapy for Samantha, who at least expresses the “sex” in the city. They just can’t go to the well too many times and expect anyone to care. This go-around is one overblown “I don’t care.”

“Sex and the City 2” opens everywhere May 27th. Featuring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis, Chris Noth, Steve Eisenberg and John Corbett, written and directed by Michael Patrick King Rated “R”

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

By PATRICK McDONALD
Senior Staff Writer
HollywoodChicago.com
pat@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2010 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

Anonymous's picture

Thank you for good topic. >,,

Thank you for good topic. >,,<

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