(Sex and the City 2, Michael Patrick King, USA, 146 Minutes)
You can safely assume I am a SATC addict. Box-set? Check. First film? Check. Astounding knowledge of the series bordering on freakish obsession? Check. That board game they brought out? I was the QUEEN of – seriously, no question went answered incorrectly. But, after its hyped-up release on the 28th May 2010, the much anticipated Sex and the City 2 has left us, well, empty (I am such a fan of the show, it almost hurt to write that).
To be fair, the fashion screamed success, but a film can’t be based on fashion alone (although I wouldn’t mind staring at an hour-long edit of the dress Carrie wore to her dinner with Aidan). What happened to the witty one liners, the hilarious facial expressions that left you breathless and possibly in need of a ventilator? As I slumped in my uncomfortable cinema chair, ignoring the growing numbness of my bottom, it struck me that it wasn’t just my bottom that was left numb, it was me.
After the hyped-out rumours circulating before its release, we were hopeful that between Carrie’s (Sarah Jessica Parker) obsession with her marriage ‘sparkle’ and a certain bedroom plasma TV, Charlotte’s (Kristin Davis) ‘terrible-twos’ and a bra-less nanny-nightmare and Samantha’s (Kim Cattrell) pill-popping (of the hormone type) and menopause-mayhem, some type of arresting plot-line would emerge, but unfortunately not. Our only parachute for our plummeting hopes was Miranda (Cynthia Nixon). The lawyer come Mother’s, newly built in, high-definition, psyched-out persona was a snippet from the old SATC, the SATC we know best. Alongside her chiq wardrobe, and sharp dialogue ‘Abu Dhabi-doo!!’ you’ve got to admit – as the Americans would say – this lawyer has spunk. And Charlotte’s drunken whimpers of ‘I don’t knoooow’ provide a squeeze of laughs as well (thank god).
What about the political content of the film? Set supposedly in Abu Dhabi (although really filmed in Morocco) should it not have been the rejection of their plans to film in Abu Dhabi that suggested they were getting a bit ‘carrie-d’ away with the condom-bag-explosion and Sam’s giving of the finger? Between this and her yelling ‘BITE ME’ at a group of on-looking locals, I found myself between the lands of Cringe-Worthy and Uncomfortable. This is what one calls: comedy gone awry. The film almost bordered on some type of bizarre cartoon, with a too large, too fake-comedy boner and Scooby-Doo action, in which the Manolo-wearing crew escape from a glowering crowd of men wearing Burkas and tip-toeing as if they really need the toilet.
In true-fan-obsessed style, I told myself that I might have been tired, or in some type of bad, pick n’ mix induced mood during the first showing – or maybe it was the woman’s, five seats down, irritating laugh that had really put the downer on it. Only five days later, I attempted round two, but this only served to identify the flaws further. Firstly, as any true SATC fan would know, it is common knowledge that Samantha ‘doesn’t do’ Karaoke (in fact, I insist I remember her saying this to Smith in the series (Season 6, Disc 2). But there they are, on stage, Carrie in an outfit worth oh, only about $50,000, and Samantha taking full lead over that microphone with a voice that is hardly erm…easy on the ears. Arguably, one may be able to forgive her, seeing as the karaoke was in fact a ploy to attract Mr. Hot and Sweaty from the desert, but still. What we can’t forgive is the absence of Carrie’s Mac. Where the HELL has it gone? It’s now a HP PC. A PC! I hear you yell, A PC! Carrie Bradshaw is a Mac user! End of. The recent ad for HP PC and their advertisement for SATC 2 I caught before viewing 60 Minute Makeover, explained things explicably however.
In a nutshell – this is your average chick-flick with a too-long 146 minute runtime and a dusting of celebrity acts, including Liza Minnelli and a pair of sparkly hot pants. We are treated to a brief glimpse of Smith Jerrod (Jason Lewis) and Aidan Shaw (John Corbett), and are all set for regular girly-crush movie entertainment, if, and only if, you haven’t seen the box-set or first film that is. If you have, it is with heart rending grief that I have to write the words: just don’t go. On a happier note, you’ll be able to get it when the DVDs in the half price bin at the supermarket.
Ps. Don’t be concerned when you see Carrie on the plane, a giant oyster hasn’t really eaten her head, it is actually a hat.
By Sarah Tippett