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Movie Review: Sex and The City 2 Lacks Sex Appeal

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It’s so easy to review a book or film that offers inspiration. Director Michael Patrick King took my breath away with Sex and the City 2, but in a bad way. I also thought it would be more fun to review something you hate. I was wrong. I mean you can try pounding out frustrations with invectives about a film or book that is too churlish or girlish but it's no fun. Yes, over-the-top vulgarity is woven into Sex but found in all the wrong places — the costumes. Did this costume designer pitch a low-ball bid?

There was much ado about the outfits from early reviews. As I recall, "criminal" is how one reviewer described them. And I concur. The movie is a veritable nightmare with four women running around in flannel nighties fit for a blind harem master. Beside the distraction of multiple outfit changes there is the non-sex.

Really, Sex and The City 2 would not satisfy even a minimalist appetite with its pseudo-sexual responses wherein the climax is an interrupted beach tryst by the sex police. When the highpoint is a run through Abu Dhabi in clothes fit for a rag vendor, sex appeal is a problem. There is no story here. It is a weak attempt at armchair international travel. I should have stayed home.

The movie-goers are taken — nay, kidnapped — to the United Arab Emirates for flimsy reasons on the wings of a tony airline. Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) acts as tour guide through the perils of being a woman in Dubai. We hear the call to prayers and go on a shopping jaunt with Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) where she finds, what else, shoes.

The opulence is obvious but on the other hand, the raison d’etre for this film is not so obvious. There is no passport or visa required, just suspension of reason because unbeknownst to the audience traveling first class to the sands of Arabia, they will find veritable camel manure that amounts to, well, stupid stuff. Miranda is the brains of the outfit and a lawyer at a New York firm. She offers streaming cultural narrative. But her help seems more patronizing than the culture she describes.

Carrie Bradshaws's Mr. Big (Chris Noth) has a small role. So we get the big short-change because there is no angst or romantic lines spoken between them as they arrive at the end of the official newlywed timeline of two years. She seeks adventure in Arabian culture because Carrie hates the flat-screen TV and the flat marriage vows. But before the Islamic junket the girls attend the fairy-tale wedding of two gay men who started out hating each other. In sum, Carrie and friends are bored with life when a "wow” factor comes knocking.

Male eye candy doesn't save this film either and the only thing worse than Sex and the City 2 would be Sex and The City 3, perish the thought. It’s your money — save it. Buy the DVD, watch the series or the first movie, Sex and the City.

Finally, with everyone looking for a breath of fresh air and clean sandy beaches preceding the dog days of summer, we are handed staleness at the door instead, served up with a shameless spreading of ignorance by the producers of this film. Running nearly two and a half hours you have to wonder if we saw a Sex and the City sequel or Hex and the Sand — only a classic cliché comes to mind: sequels suck!

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  • Stephen Hunter

    I totally agree with you, movies made from long running popular series, never live up to the hype and are usually a rather cynical cash in by the film studios, the X-files movies for example were a let down and could have been easily aired on TV, these cash in films leave a rather bitter taste in the mouth and ruin the original entertainment of the series, god forbid they do a movie of the sopranos or friends.