As part of my job, I sometimes get some really cool invitations so I was very excited when I got the chance to attend a preview screening of Sex and the City 2. I was huge fan of the TV series and even enjoyed the first movie but the franchise has truly jumped the shark – as epitomised by the karaoke scene where the rest of the bar joins in the singing a la the equally nauseous scene in My Best Friend’s Wedding.
I am still trying to understand the reason for the visit to Abu Dhabi when the only point seems to be use every available Muslim stereotype. The locals are sexually repressive and totally unreasonable because they object to Samantha simulating oral sex in a restaurant or wanting to get shagged on a beach – ironic given that TBS ran a censored version of the television series in the US.
If any movie depicted Jews/African Americans in the same insulting fashion there is no way it would get a US release. As Wahajat Ali writes in Slate:
“Michael Patrick King’s exquisitely tone-deaf movie is cinematic Viagra for Western cultural imperialists who still ignorantly and inaccurately paint the entire Middle East (and Iran) as a Shangri La in desperate need of liberation from ignorant, backward natives.”
What makes it even worse is that this tone-deafness is in a film that is meant to represent New York, a city that prides itself on tolerance and multi-culturalism.
The series managed to deal with real issues, such as Samantha having breast cancer or Miranda not wanting to tell her law firm that she was pregnant, with style and panache while still making you laugh. So it is a shame they did not use the same skills to deal with real problems that Muslim women can face but, according to this movie, they can wear the latest designer clothes under their robes so all must be right in their world.
Even Western women don’t come out looking so great. The film implies their greatest freedom is the right to have sex with complete strangers whenever and where ever they want.
Miranda’s character illustrates the vast gulf between the series and this travesty of a film. She used to be a high-powered intelligent New York attorney but her one office scene in the film shows her being silenced by her male boss. Ironically, the movie then silences Miranda even further by cutting away when she confronts him so the audience does not hear what she actually has to say.
Unbelievably, Miranda then quits her job and spends most of the time in Abu Dhabi displaying the same level of intelligence as a teenager on spring break. Anyone who has only seen Miranda in this movie would not recognise her as being the same woman in the series telling Carrie not to give up her job so she can move to Paris with a man.
I really hope the movies stop here before they ruin my memories of the series. If I haven’t convinced you how truly terrible this film is then feel free to read other opinions:
– The Village Voice has a round-up of the 10 best slams;
– but came out with its list before a truly vitriolic review from Lindy West in The Stranger which is very funny but also very rude – so don’t look if you object to very strong language ;
+ from Twitter via @robbiereviews: Our genius TV critic Ian Hyland’s verdict on SATC2: “This year’s worst release since the BP oil spill, with just as many f***ed-up birds.”