Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sex and the City 2: A Mid-Life Crisis in Three Acts

Sex In the City 2: Poster | A Constantly Racing MindSarah Jessica Parker’s film mimics Carrie Bradshaw’s New Yorker book review, “put a gag on it.”

Every film finds it audience. "Sex and the City 2's" fans are now middle-aged women looking to recapture their youth and their freedom. Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis return to the screen as a team one last time, hopefully. The never happy Carrie Bradshaw and her friends escape the monotony of their daily lives for one of excitement in Du-bai. This comedy - drama - romance, gets an R rating for a few F-bombs, silly erection jokes, naked butts, and a couple of Samantha getting laid scenes. With lots of sparkle and glamour, however, "Sex and the City 2" is a two-hour version of one of the shows less appealing episodes.

Act I – Everyday life

The film opens smartly by introducing, non-"Sex, and the City" fans with a short catching up scene as Carrie (Parker), describes her coming to New York in 1986, meeting each one of the women that TV viewers have come to know. A brief mention of the women's last adventure in Sex and the City, of getting married, Charlotte (Kristin Davis), her husband and two kids, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) her family and job at a leading NY law firm, and Samantha still up to her old tricks despite the fact that she is pushing 50. The women are getting together in preparation for Stanford and Anthony's wedding, as best man, and Carrie takes the lead in dressing, in a suit with a tiara. While Big (Chris Noth), not necessarily homophobic, however, keeps mentioning the fact that he is attending a gay wedding. The wedding is right from a Broadway musical, with Liza Minnelli, “officiating” at the ceremony. Turning into Broadway musical, Minnelli and her two look-a-likes take the stage and do a version of BeyoncĂ©'s Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It). Unable to handle her two children, Charlotte has hired a nanny, an Irish hottie named Erin (Alice Eve). Alice (Crossing Over), as the bra-less nanny, is a reminder to the women of what life was like when their breasts were perky and firm, and of course, the men don't mind. Working at key legal firm, Miranda finds herself in a male dominated firm, with no say in any matter, quits on the spot. Samantha is struggling to look and feel young takes 40 pills a day and rubs creams all over places. Of all the women, Kim Cattrall may be the only one doing something right. Carrie, now Big’s wife, after two years of marriage to the man she spent six years chasing and finally landing him; is not sure how married couple should spend their time together. Carrie, spending the last two years transferring those feelings into writing a book titled, I do, or Do I. Now that the honeymoon is over, and Big wants to come home after a long day at work and sit on the couch and watch a little TV, Carrie declares that they have no sparkle.

Sex In the City 2: Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon | A Constantly Racing Mind

Act II - The Escape

Samantha meets a sheik at a movie premiere, invites her as a publicist   to Abu Dhabi for a visit in return for publicizing his hotels and airlines. The Sheik reassures the women that Abu Dhabi is a part of the United Emirates new Middle East, and more progressive toward women. The girls go along of course, and find that their host treats them like royalty upon their arrival, the women, and each one receiving their own personal butler. The hotel manager treats the women to every accommodation and each woman adjusts according to their respective characters, no real character developments so far. Our heroes, playing the ugly Americans, are mocking the women in the burqa, and the cultural differences, calling one of the black clad women a, "Real Housewife of Abu Dhabi.” During a night of drinks, the women go up and sing a karaoke version of Helen Reddy's I am Woman, the theme of sisterhood and the feminist movement. By accident, Carrie reads a highly unflattering review of her book on being marriage. Upset, she becomes obsessive, wandering around trying to figure out how to break her rut. I wonder how Sarah does with severe movie reviews. Figuring about a costume change every scene, and figuring (just a guess) at around 200 scenes in this film, the women, went through about that many costume changes. The trip out into the desert with the wide sweeping landscape seemed devoid of any sense of heat as the women walked through the sand in their costumes. During the trip to the souq (street markets), the set also seemed too staged and too clean. This is the scene where Carrie, while buying shoes - of course, runs into an old flame, Aiden Shaw (John Corbett). The encounter is a chance, but in Carrie's mind, it must mean something...

Act III – There is no place like home

Well to be honest, I am not going to tell you the ending; however, I will tell you that "Sex and the City 2" was sometimes painful to watch. John Corbett's part as Aiden is small and uneventful, and so are the other cameo roles that Penelope Cruz, and Miley Cyrus. The sets are fantastic and opulent, filmed in Morocco, in place of Abu Dhabi, the city scenes are in some cases too clean. I must admit that I did like the musical score more than I cared for the story. Pacing throughout the film, predictable as it was, sometimes is uneven, and dragged. However, the music, blending middle-eastern rhythms, hard drums and with a dash of "Lawrence of Arabia" melodies thrown in, gave the film a sense of grandeur and sparkle that the women seemed to lack despite their costumes and make-up. Except for Kim Cattrall, Parker, Nixon, and to some degree Davis, should probably dispense with the romantic-comedies and play roles that fit their ages gracefully. All of these women are excellent actors and should find roles where their characters show some growth. For example, Sarah Jessica Parker,   in last year’s film, “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” The 2009 film brought in $51,601,919 in foreign markets, almost double than the $29,580,087 in domestic sales. Did you hear about the Morgans? Was not a funny film and Parker, although an excellent actor, she looks less hot. The "Sex and the City 2" jokes, or the situation are not hilarious as advertised, although there are a few laughs from time to time. Samantha's Lawrence of my labia, comment and the fact that she is going through menopause, which is probably no laughing matter, make up the bulk of the humor of this film. Not a date movie and not a story of aging that would appeal to women in the twenty to mid-thirty range, "Sex and the City 2" franchise are past its prime.

Movie Data
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Year:  2010
Staring:  Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall, Chris Noth
Director: Michael Patrick King
Producer(s): Michael Patrick King, Sarah Jessica Parker, Darren Star
Writer: Michael Patrick King, Candace Bushnell, Darren Star
Rating: R
Running Time: 146 minutes
Release Date: 5/27/2010

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