Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

Sex and the City 2

It would not be an exaggeration to tell you that thoughts of how bad Sex and the City 2 was kept me awake all night to the point of a stress-induced headache.

Here’s the thing: I find the Sex and the City movies deeply disheartening because they’ve taken everything that was good about the show and tossed it right out the damn window. Whether or not you believe it, the show was good – at times, it was even GREAT. The characters were all women I could identify with, there were equal parts humor and heartbreak, and most importantly, we got to see each of them grow and change as the seasons passed.

Contrary to that, the movies have stripped out anything that makes the characters likeable have reduced them to the worst caricatures imaginable. It used to be kind of endearing when people matched your personality to the women on the show. But if we were to go by how the women act in the films now (especially this one) – we’d have to interpret such comments like this:

“You’re such a Carrie!” = “You’re a self-absorbed mess who acts crazy and deliberately sabotages everything good in your life” (via EVERYTHING she does)
“You’re such a Miranda!” = “You’re a ladder-climbing bitch who ignores her family in favor of her career” (via her son sniffing back tears as she tells him she has to work instead of coming to his science fair)
“You’re such a Samantha!” = “You’re a youth-obsessed whore who refuses to act her age” (via her wearing the same dress as Miley Cyrus)
“You’re such a Charlotte!” = “You’re a neurotic, suspicious housewife constantly on the verge of a nervous breakdown” (via the fact that her nanny is hot and she can’t deal with her 2 kids, even with said nanny)

You might think I’m being too harsh, but that is honestly what I took away from Sex & the City 2….but I digress; let’s move on to the “plot” of this thing (SPOILERS ahead). Even if you’re able to ignore the fact that Carrie’s best gay friend Stanford is marrying Charlotte’s best gay friend Anthony (you know, those guys who HATED each other for the entire length of the show) in a ceremony featuring a men’s choir singing show tunes, swans, and (WTF) Liza Minelli singing Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”, you can’t ignore the vicious dig a couple makes at Carrie & Big, wherein they are treated like lepers because they declare they don’t want to have children. 

Though I’ve actually seen that sort of thing happen at weddings, both my friend & I thought it was a lame ploy that would lead into Carrie having babies (!!!), but actually it’s just a device wherein the dig spirals into an issue Carrie can’t deal with: her and Big staying in and ordering food every night, in lieu of hitting parties and fancy new restaurants in Manhattan. Instead of handling this with any grace or maturity, Carrie demands that Big go to a fancy movie premiere with her, and then promptly drags him home the second he starts having any fun (hey, who WOULDN’T flirt with Penelope Cruz?).

Then in an almost unbelievable series of events, Samantha is invited to bring her friends to Abu Dhabi by a rich Sheik so they can tour his hotel. While Carrie is still worrying about Big & her being too boring, Charlotte frets that her hot (“Erin-go-braless” ha. haha) Irish nanny has been left alone with her husband, Samantha complains constantly about hot flashes, hormone shifts, and having no sex drive (there are several jokes involving hummus and yams), and Miranda seems to be the only person who realizes that showing some respect to another country’s culture is required.

And then something even more unbelievable happens: while shopping at a spice market (why the hell is Carrie buying spices anyway?), she runs into Aidan who promptly sweeps her off her feet and invites her to dinner….wait a tic. This IS the same Aidan who had his heart splattered all over NY by Carrie not just once, but twice, right? Which is why when he kisses her, it makes total sense. Um. What.

Despite the apparently dramatic “should Carrie tell Big or shouldn’t she” tension (whatever), the real horror starts with Samantha’s indiscretions: public sex on the beach – something you should probably know is NOT ok in the Middle East – or well, anywhere really.

I feel like I’m a pretty liberal girl when it comes to humor, so I tried to overlook the countless jokes about Berkas (calling a woman “The Real Housewife of Abu Dahbi and referring to swimsuits at “Berkinis”), but were the constant snide references to the call to prayer necessary? And do we really need to see Samantha go ballistic after a group of Muslim men yell at her for being scantily clad and dropping a purse full of condoms in the middle of the market – followed by her dropping the F bomb and flipping them off repeatedly? Really, Michael Patrick King? REALLY.

Worse yet, the vast majority of the audience I saw this with seemed to think that was HILARIOUS. “OMG you guys! Samantha is showing those men what’s what! AMERICANS RULE! Everyone else can SUCK IT!!!”

Don’t worry – it all turns out okay thanks to a group of women who hide them in a secret room and then strip off their Berkas to reveal NY couture. What. Take two. And also: are you f’ing kidding me?

Of course, as soon the women make it back home, each “problem” is wrapped up in the shortest way possible, as if none of it ever mattered – complete with another shot of Samantha’s dog humping a pillow (because that never gets old) and the revelation that Charlotte’s nanny is a lesbian, so it’s totally okay that she’s hot and braless because Harry never had a chance! What. The third.

I’m not even sure why they bother writing a script anymore. They should just string together montages of the ladies parading around in couture and expensive shoes, drinking and eating to popular music in exotic locations. It would be better than what they’ve come up with so far, that’s for sure.

I am writing this down so y’all can hold me to it: FULL ON BOYCOTT of Sex & the City 3, which is probably already filming. Excuse me while I go throw up…

{Sex and the City 2 opens Thursday, May 27 in Seattle and is playing at The Guild 45th, Uptown Cinemas and Pacific Place}