Dec 11, 2010

Why Sex and the City 2 went so horribly wrong

I adored HBO's Sex and the City. Newly single when the series came out, I could related to the trials and tribulations of single working women. There were aspects of all the girls in their personal and professional lives that I had experienced. So when the series ended, I felt a pang. Then the films were announced, and while the plot of the first one was a bit strange, it didn't matter, for it gave me the opportunity to visit with Samantha, Carey, Miranda and Charlotte once again.
The girls in Abu Dhabi
Sex and the City One was such a hit that a second film was ordered up almost immediately. I wish they hadn't bothered, for this sequel finally killed any desire on my part to see any Sex and the City movie or episode ever again.

This is what this train wreck of a film has taught us:
  • That Carey, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte are vain, selfish, predictable and boring. They have become their own cliches.
  • The rich are not brighter, smarter, or more interesting than us, they just happened to be brand-loving, over-privileged consumers.

  • No amount of restaurants, vacations or fabulous clothes will make up for internal emptiness or shallowness of character.
  • Choosing the setting of Abhu Dabi in these economically challenged times was not only an idiotic move, it was suicidal. What American living in Detroit wants to be reminded that oil rich nations are living so high off the hog that hotel suites cost $22,000 for the night? What American, for that matter, wants to see the physical evidence of how our money to purchase gas is being spent? And what American woman wants to watch a film whose sole point of suspense reminds us how oppressive the United Arab Emirates are towards women? Stupid move. Moronic idea. The irony? The scenes were shot in Morocco when the United Arab Emirates failed to give the crew permission to film in their country.

Even the fashions were all wrong
  • The ladies are no longer funny. There was no humor. None.
  • The script writers forgot the most important reason why people come to see a film: You need a reason to sit and keep watching, or you'll feel that Hollywood fat cats have once more ripped your hard-earned money from your wallet. Not once did I care what would happen to these shallow characters. Note to the script writers: Whining does not take the place of deep, meaningful conversation.

    A truly cringe-worthy and pointless moment in a film crammed with them
  • Last but not least: Don't insult the intelligence of your audience. Carey, who hardly ever showed her cleavage in New York or Paris (but regularly flaunted her fabulous legs) was Miss Boobs in Abu Dhabi. Samantha, no matter how horny, would not grab at a man's crotch in public in Abu Dhabi. Only Miranda made some sense – but just barely.
Carey summarized this film best when she said to Samantha: “You're exactly the same as when I met you.” Yes, but the ladies are now in their forties. They need to disappear and grow up.

Now, I would have paid to see this version. See spoof below.

Post note to the producers: Yeah, I understood the Hollywood-Depression Era associations in this film, the big Busby Berkeley-staged wedding at the beginning of the film, the "It Happened One Night" hitchhiking ploy cleverly tied into the end of the plot, the "romance" of the Middle East so frequently showcased in 30's movies, and the fact that the blatant materialism in films of that bygone era did help people to leave their economic woes behind for the length of the film.

But we live in a different time and century. We are inundated 24/7 with images and videos the world over, we travel more, and exotic foods and customs have infiltrated our own cities. Today, the magic of Hollywood does not make us forget our economic realities. If anything, the blatant materialism in Sex and the City2 forcibly reminds us of the free wheeling financial ways that many of us have so very recently lost.