Friday, May 28, 2010

Sloppy Seconds for SATC 2

A Guy Tries to Understand “Sex and the City”

It is useful to bring along a true fan when considering something you don’t quite understand.
Such was the case with “Sex and the City 2,” the eagerly awaited sequel to the 2008 film based on the successful 1998-2004 HBO television series.
As a fashion-impaired guy, I am at a distinct disadvantage in gauging the effectiveness of this chic urban romantic fantasy about four best female friends in New York City. I brought my friend Beth, who is such a fan she has the entire original series on DVD.
The story is set a couple years after the first movie version, based on characters in a book by columnist Candace Bushnell.
The once carefree single career girls are married. Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) have children. Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) is with the man of her dreams: John James “Mr. Big” Preston (Chris Noth), with no plans for motherhood.
Only sexy Samantha (Kim Cattrall) remains resolutely single at age 52.
Alas, all is not perfect in marriage land. Charlotte has two girls, one who cries constantly, and a buxom nanny who makes her nervous and insecure.
Miranda has quit her gig as a high-powered lawyer, and she is finding being a housewife not as fulfilling as she hoped.
Even the perfect Mr. Big seems more interested in his new flat screen TV than his wife of two years.
When one of Samantha’s movie star discoveries decides to pay her back with an exotic trip for her and her three best friends to attend the premiere of his latest film, the girls say go for it.
The exotic trip is to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, and the Sheik who has sprung for the trip has insisted on first class all the way.
My guy mind is no more impressed with absurdly expensive 5-star hotels than it is with costly designer dresses or ridiculously expensive Manolo Blahnik shoes.
I must admit the four matching white Maybach limousines with uniformed chauffeurs are pretty cool.
Writer-director Michael Patrick King has thrown in some roadblocks along the way. Charlotte can’t stop stressing about her children back home. Carrie runs into Aiden (John Corbett) the hunky boyfriend she almost married. Samantha pushes her blatant sexuality too far in the ultra-prudish Muslim country.
All these complications push the air time to a draggy 160 minutes. Beth missed the carefree highjinks of the younger, less complicated single girls of the original adventures while admiring the hunky qualities of Chris Noth and John Corbett.
As for me, a movie that begins with an elaborate gay wedding with entertainment by Liza Minnelli no less is just too, too much… of what I am not sure.

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