Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis
Director: Michael Patrick King
Running Time: 146 mins
Sex And The City 2 is an American film and the sequel to Sex And The City: The Movie. Now married and beginning to settle down, Carrie Bradshaw encounters troubles in her relationship with Mr. Big, and soon finds herself jetting off for a luxurious holiday in Abu Dhabi with her friends.
This is one of those legendarily awful films that really takes a lot of courage to actually sit through. At almost two and a half hours long, you’d think that Sex And The City 2 would have some kind of story to tell, but as far as I can see, next to nothing happens in this movie.
But first, a bit of background. I’ve never seen the original TV show, and I never saw the first movie. This sequel is so bad, however, that I can tell having a footing in the original series isn’t all that necessary to enjoy it, because enjoying Sex And The City 2 seems frankly impossible.
Complete with vulgar sets, costumes and an astonishing lack of irony and self-awareness on its characters and setting, the film seems woefully out of touch with reality from the start, attempting to endear you to four very dull, whiney women who have more money than sense.
The first hour of the film, set in New York, is nothing but a tedious procession of meet-ups and ladies’ lunches that somehow builds to Carrie Bradshaw berating her husband for buying a television, and then jetting off to Abu Dhabi with her friends.
As I’m sure you can tell, there’s no shortage of nonsensical storytelling in this movie.
So, after an hour, the film finally lands in Abu Dhabi in what seems to a very showy tourist advert for all the vulgar luxuries the city has to offer. The characters spend what seem like hours being shown around their thousand-star hotel, but with seemingly very little purpose in the context of the story.
When I say the story, however, I don’t really know what I’m referring to. As far as I can tell, the only thing of consequence that happens between the characters landing in Abu Dhabi and leaving an hour and a half later at the end of the movie is a extramarital kiss. And that’s it.
Sure, the movie tries to make a bit of Hangover-style fun as the ladies let loose in Abu Dhabi, but that too comes up against some hilarious and poorly thought-through obstacles. Firstly, the characters aren’t particularly likable, so it’s not fun to pretend that you’re there partying with them.
Secondly, Abu Dhabi isn’t the best place in the world to let loose of all your inhibitions, and it’s something Sex And The City 2 touches on in the most hilariously confused way.
While their trip starts off like a tourist ad for Abu Dhabi, as the movie progresses it begins to show all of the cultural restrictions, particularly on women, when in the city. The film rightly criticises many of these, although it’s done in a rather superficial attempt to bring in some feminist themes rather than out of any real anger or passion.
As far as I can tell, and having read about the film’s production, Sex And The City 2 was basically meant to be a big tourist ad paid for by the Abu Dhabi authorities, but as the nature of the show and what the movie wanted to do became apparent, the movie lost its filming licenses.
So, the movie then moved to shoot in Morocco, where it somehow intended to show off all the great things that Abu Dhabi has to offer while criticising the city out of what feels more like a personal vendetta than any real critical commentary.
It all smacks of a poorly-made movie that prioritises glitzy sets and glamorous outfits over anything of real consequence. The film is two and a half hours long, and I could count the significant events during that time on one finger.
I can’t say that I hold any particular nostalgia for the show or its characters, but I certainly didn’t enjoy spending so much time with them on this occasion, as the film fails desperately to provide a fun, loose-moralled holiday story in its attempts to blend social themes and upmarket glamour together.
Overall, Sex And The City 2 is a terrible film. Make no mistake about it. If you liked the show or the first movie, then maybe you’ll like it, but for anyone else out there, it’s two and a half hours of tedious, inconsequential, vulgar and poorly-made drivel with next to no humour or even interesting story lines. So, that’s why I’m giving the film a 4.3.