VOD film review: Sex and the City 2
Jo Bromilow | On 01, Aug 2015
Director: Michael Patrick King
Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall
Watch Sex and the City 2 online in the UK: Amazon Prime / TalkTalk TV / Apple TV (iTunes) / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / Google Play
Another film about celebrating one of the greatest friendship groups in popular culture? We were more than happy to be in the company of my good friends Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha again for Sex and the City 2. After the seemingly conclusive happy-ever-after of the first film, we were excited to see everyone’s favourite quartet deal with marriage, babies and growing older. But within 10 minutes, we felt that we, like millions of other women, had been outgrown as a friend, ousted unceremoniously from the girls’ circle and replaced by their shallow desire to take my money.
The title sequence effectively sets the tone for the rest of this sequel: glitzy, glamourous, and without any obvious soul. Once more, Michael Patrick King has attempted to drag an episode format into an overlong feature. It had a certain success in the first outing, but where that had a clearly defined story arc, this relies on one-liners (most of which were in the trailers) and a rapid assortment of potential plots thrown in to punctuate Carrie’s life, which are then randomly discarded. Considering a large portion of the Abu Dhabi sequence is the girls singing “I Am Woman” in a karaoke bar, the decision to throw away any story lines about female empowerment is hard to fathom – why, exactly, did Miranda choose to leave her dream career after years of hard work?
But let’s not forget the first film was the ‘serious one’. This one is just an entertaining romp for a group of pre-menopausal women to help them forget their troubles. And it’s here, on the romp taking place on the other side of the world in a luxury hotel, that the screenplay verges from the cliched to the crass. The girls are on the offensive, crushing the Middle Eastern culture beneath their giant carbon footprint, as they drive around in huge limos, claiming Louboutins on the hotel expenses, and debating wearing a Halston turban as a mark of respect. Combined with a truly ridiculous scene where the girls all don burkas to slip unnoticed through the Souk – better reserved for a dodgy Steve Martin film – the visit to Abu Dhabi is just an excuse for the film’s team, particularly Patricia Field and her credit-crunch defying staff, to rub decadence in the face of the real world.
There are flashes of possible brilliance before the sequinned, over-accessorised burka is drawn back across any sensitivity the film pretends to possess. But you lose any sympathy you have for Carrie when you see her complaining about her married life, while changing couture gowns to walk around her $22,000-a-night hotel room. And don’t get us started on the stereotypical Irish bra-less nanny (played by Alice Eve). Do the writers think die-hard fans will be won over by pointless celebrity cameos? (Liza Minelli? Dancing to Beyonce? Please.)
Distractions aside, these ladies no longer understand, or fit into, the real world. Sex and the City 2 is nothing more than a two hour gimmick. Whatever happened to ageing gracefully? Clearly, we’ll just have to wait to find out.
Sex and the City 2 is available to watch online on Amazon Prime Video as part of a Prime membership or a £5.99 monthly subscription.