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All grown up!
Before They Were Stars!
May 27th, 2010
The long awaited sequel to 2008′s Sex and The City has arrived and it was sadly not worth the wait. The infamous Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, begins the tale of a sequel gone meh with the promising line “It’s been two years and a lot of amazing things can happen in two years.” It’s true. An amazing series and great first film can be turned into an unfunny, emotionless, subpar sequel that tried to mask it’s averageness with an over-the-top budget on location and wardrobe. Entertaining? Yes. SATC quality entertaining? NO.
Straight up, I’m a long time, card carrying SATC fan. I have defended this program to many people who said they would never watch. “It’s hilarious! It’s so smart! These women are sexy as hellz!” I stand by those comments. Just not when it comes to the sequel. I sat my booty in the theatre trying to Jedi mind trick what was about to appear on the screen in front of me to be mind blowing. It was barely a breeze.
First of all, the location. Abu Dhabi? One look at Samantha’s bare leg and we know that this film could not have actually been shot in the conservative Emirates. Instead, the movie was filmed in Morroco, as Abu Dhabi. Fine. But, what about New York? Barely half of the movie takes place in NYC. It’s hard to imagine Sex And The City without the City.
There are some creative liberties that you have to accept when watching SATC. All the main characters have a seemingly endless supply of money and clothes. This is somewhat more believable now that Carrie and Big are an old married couple. Carrie’s brownstone apartment and collection of $400 Manolo’s didn’t add up to her weekly wage for writing her column during the six years the show aired, but now she’s got big money. As in, Big’s money. And yes, the outfits border on ridiculous (Couture while watching TV at home? Of course!), but this is how the ladies have always rolled.
Secondly, Carrie. Actually, Carrie should be first, because she is always first. Carrie Bradshaw is the self-obsessed (I said it! Debate me if you want, but it’s true!) lead character in the series. She is a show stealer, as exemplified by her ridiculous Lady Gaga headwear attempt while acting as the best man in Stanford and Anthony’s wedding. Just because there technically isn’t a bride doesn’t mean you get to steal the show, sister. She is a self-sabotoger, as we see when Carrie meets up with her ex Aidan. Note to writers – why’d you have to make Aidan jerky? He was the perfect man in my memory and now he’s tainted. Damn you.
As much as Carrie believes that she is a forward thinking, independent, liberally minded person, she’s only about half way there. Carrie flips her lid when her anniversary present from Big is a flat screen TV to be used by the couple to watch TV in bed together. Um, hands up if that sounds awesome! I’d like one in the bathroom for Christmas, please! But, nooooo. Carrie says that she wanted jewelery. And she doesn’t want to eat take out more than twice per week, instead eating out at restaurants. And she doesn’t want to sit home and watch TV. Wow, Carrie. You’re so understanding and easy going and not at all difficult to please. Not!
Finally, Samantha has always been the most outrageous of the four when it comes to her sexual prowess and humour, which is why she is a favourite character for most. Sadly, and I do mean that, the writers gave Samantha, played by the fantastic Kim Cattrall, a script full of ridiculous, too over-over-the-top-to-be-funny one liners about her new chapter as a woman in menopause. She ignores local customs to the point where she is arrested. Realz? I think she would be smarter than this. Gone is the image of a strong, sexy woman owning her power, replaced by the barely believable characiture of who she used to be. RIP Samantha.
Here’s the plot run down. The movie opens with Stanford and Anthony, friends of the ladies, getting married in an extravagant wedding. Liza Manelli performs, because all gay men know Liza? Whatevs, she looked dang good. Miranda, played by Cynthia Nixon, hates her job and her sexist boss. So she quits. Charlotte, played by Kristen Davis, is a stay at home mom with two young girls, and is worried that her husband Harry is attracted to their Irish nanny who is allergic to bras. Samantha gets a call from her ex Smith Gerard to attend his movie premiere. *Note – anyone else notice Smith making the call on his cell from the middle of the freakin’ desert? I can’t get a call in an underground parking garage and he gets service in the freakin’ desert? Someone find out who his carrier is and lemme know.
Anywho, at the film premiere Samantha gets an offer from one of the financiers for Smith’s movie, who is also a Sheik, to stay at his hotel and do its PR in the US. Samantha agrees, as long as she can take her three besties, and off we go! The women arrive in ‘Abu Dhabi’ and the next hour and half looks like a promotional video for a country that they’re not actually in. Weird. Carrie runs into her ex Aidan, stuff goes down, don’t want to ruin everything. Samantha gets arrested, the women have to flee the country and once back in the US, everything is magically sorted out with a diamond ring, a new job, less severe laws on public nudity and a conveniently gay nanny.
So, here are my real beefs with what could have been a great film:
*While shopping Samantha has a ‘Pretty Woman’ moment when a sales associate tells her that she might be too old to wear a particular dress. First off, commission! I’d sell a mini skirt to Hulk Hogan if it meant a few more beans on my paycheque. Secondly, have y’all seen Kim Cattrall? Good lawd. The only thing people are telling her not to wear is a turtleneck.
*During the wedding scene a couple introduce themselves to Carrie and Big. The woman states that she’s read all of Carrie’s work, loves it, and thinks she is Carrie. She and her husband then inform the Big’s that they are adopting and are shocked that Carrie and Big aren’t having children. Then they make squishy noses and turn away. Um, you’ve read all Carrie’s work and are a) surprised that she isn’t having kids and b) rude enough to say that? Don’t think so.
*While in Abu Dhabi the four women perform I Am Woman in karaoke and get the entire dance club on their feet, cheering! You know who wasn’t cheering? Everyone in the theatre. Awk. Ward.
*The Jason Lewis tease. He was in the film for what, two minutes? Boo.
*I barely laughed. Even the cast looked like they were struggling to laugh during the ‘funny’ parts. Insert sad clown face here.
* The plot. It might have been good for one 40 minute episode, but not a multi multi million dollar film. None of the subplots for Samantha, Charlotte or Miranda were even close to being fully developed. Even the main story behind Big and Carrie’s marriage in a rut seemed pretty small potatoes after the first film’s heart wrenching, emotional journey in their relationship. The lack in quality of the plot can’t be blamed on poor acting, unqualified writers, lack of studio support or a small budget. The film had all those elements, which makes it’s lack luster result even more disappointing.
I was entertained for the full movie and I’m sure most of the audience will be as well. But, knowing what SATC is capable of, I couldn’t help but wondering, why wasn’t this film way better?Tweet