Sex and the City 2
- Directed and written by Michael Patrick King
- Starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis
- Classification: 18A
Just a few reasons why Sex and the City 2 deserves one-half a shining star:
(1) It's got a title punctuated by a number
Hey, that little digit, 2, is a sturdy pillar of the franchise going forward and such an imaginative, yet nonetheless practical, extension of the Brand.
(2) It's got sex
Actually, it doesn't, but I'm guessing that No Sex and the City wouldn't have promoted the Brand quite as well. Admittedly, the horny blonde, the cougar of the franchise's female quartet, does her libidinous best, but, having warded off cancer and now battling the encircling demons of menopause, the odds and those damned hot flashes are decidedly against her.
(3) It's got cities
Yes, plural. New York, of course, was always the foursome's home base in those distant days when the Brand was a TV series and worth watching, when the gal-pal bonding acted as a sometimes intriguing mirror for the collective bond among Manhattanites themselves - in both cases, so urbane and yet so touchingly provincial too. Anyway, here on the large screen, the Big Apple is as shiny and wormy as ever. So it's nice to see the girls leave their smug nest, flying off to Abu Dhabi at the behest of a filthy-rich Arab apparently keen on terrorizing the world with his ostentatious wealth. Why Abu Dhabi? Far as I can tell, so that one of those suave New Yorkers can touch down and shout, "Abu Dhabi Do!"
(4) It's got clothes
Yep, and shoes too. I do believe the outerwear and the footwear all boast labels from designers whose names I should know but don't. Forgive my ignorance, but rest assured that the brands within the Brand are all present and accounted for and proudly displayed.
(5) It's got clothes horses
That would be the Gang of Four, whose job it is to model the aforementioned apparel while, as they gracefully age, continue their cultural role as touchstones for an entire generation. Some members of that generation may be pleased to know that horny Samantha remains lecherously single but, well, see above. The others, one might recall, are all married now, although with different clouds on their respective horizons. The judicious Miranda has just banged her head on the glass ceiling in a prestigious law firm. The preppy Charlotte is worried that she's less perfect than her perfectly braless nanny, and that her hubby may have an imperfect pair of wandering eyes. The bouncy Carrie, a.k.a. the leader of the pack, is wondering what comes after happily-ever-after. Wedded for two years, her heart has its desire but, damn, desire is an insatiable beast.
Problems, always the problems. Sounds like it's time for a girls' getaway to Abu Dhabi Do.
(6) It's got little
In the way of a distracting plot, that is. Instead, that veteran of the franchise, writer-director Michael Patrick King, is a wily button-pusher, ever careful not to press so hard as to contaminate the perfumed concept with anything resembling actual content. Nope, the Brand sells itself. Presumably, those shoes and frocks will do just fine too.
(7) It's got big
147 minutes worth of big.
(8) It's got Mr. Big
Or, if you prefer, Mr. Carrie Bradshaw, who's still in the mix. Really, though, all the male characters are essentially just window-dressing in this franchise, but, since that decorative job has traditionally been women's work in the movies, suck it up guys - turnaround is fair play.
(9) It's got a big wedding
Right at the start too, with a choir and Busby Berkeley dancers and more swans than Stratford and two besotted grooms. Yep, the franchise does to gay guys precisely what it's always done to single women - benignly caricature them.
(10) It's got Arabs
(11) It's got Miley
Miley Cyrus, to be precise, who pops up ostensibly to play Miley Cyrus but really as a sop to that more callow generation of women who might just look at this Gang of Four and wonder, "Like, who are these middle-aged narcissists, and did they used to be somebody?"
But the best, most irrefutable reason why Sex and the City 2 deserves one-half a shining star
It's worse than Sex and the City 1, and that alone is a remarkable achievement.
Sex and the City 2 opens in select theatres Wednesday and across Canada on Thursday.