Saturday, June 12, 2010

SEX AND THE CITY 2 - Overindulgent and Overdrawn

SEX AND THE CITY 2 (comedy)
Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Chris Noth, David Eigenberg, Evan Handler, Jason Lewis, Mario Cantone and Willie Garson
Director: Michael Patrick King
Screenplay: Michael Patrick King
Time: 145 mins
Rating: * * (out of 4)

Cattrall, Parker, Nixon and Davis in SATC 2

PREAMBLE: When I first saw the four SATC women at the opening of this sequel, I thought, 'Gawd, they seem to have aged a decade since the first movie'. Despite all those make-up, the girls look like they are on the top side of middle-age.

Then, when Liza Minelli appeared (as herself, pictured below) ostensibly to spice up Sex And The City 2 with a song-and-dance, it almost looked like a cinema remake of The Golden Girls! Except for a handful of verbal gags, everything was so tried and tired that I would be surprised the franchise could go on to Number Three. And to make things worse, director Michael Patrick King has to drag the movie to almost two and a half hours long (as timed at a cineplex in Bloomington, Indiana, US).

WHAT'S IT ABOUT: Fashion, friendship, shopping, overcoming marital problems, motherhood, gay wedding, hormones, sex, braless maids and old flames. Yes, the same old things. Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) runs into former lover Aidan (John Corbett) in Abu Dhabi where Samantha (Kim Cattrall) takes her best friends, including Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis), on a luxury junkett. They kiss - and that becomes one of the many mini-crises for the four friends to tackle in this sequel where nothing much happens except endless images of dresses, shoes, jewelry, shirtless men and so forth.

And director King lingers the cameras on wardrobe accessories and other merchandise rather than the stars.

HITS & MISSES: When Sex And The City started on TV, it offered a fresh and witty look at the dating scene in Manhattan. It even managed to keep its wit and audience interest for many seasons until the usual 'aging' and casting problems crept in. Not so the movies. The first film was tolerable. It offered fans (like yours truly) a touch of nostalgia. This one is an overly indulgent and insufferable drag, intermittently peppered with a few verbal quips.

I like it when Samantha likens the dashing Dane she meets in the desert as "Lawrence of my labia"; when Carrie refers to "Jude Law" in a crack at hanky-panky with the nanny (played by Alice Eve) and a reference to Bedouin Bath and Beyond.

I hate it when they have to use the 'cameltoe' quip when Charlotte falls of a camel; when they get insensitive about local (Muslim) customs; when Samantha goes on and on about menopause; and when the four go ga-ga over the opulent hotel fixtures and staff in Abu Dhabi. This sequel smacks of sloppy writing, cultural stereotyping and lazy pacing. It goes on for so long but accomplishes so little.

THE LOWDOWN: Only for diehard female fans.


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