Cons:"Single Ladies;" overlong; no plot; shallow, disrespectful characters
The Bottom Line: Sex and the City 2 shows that it's not Carrie and Big, but the series itself that has lost its sparkle.
Sex and the City 2 is stale and devoid of fresh ideas or plot, and even fans are likely to be bored or embarrassed for the characters.
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Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Mr. Big (Chris Noth) have settled comfortably into married life, but then a random straight couple at a gay wedding chastise Carrie and Big for deciding not to have children. "So it's just going to be you two?" they ask, aghast, and Carrie decides she and Big have to work on their "sparkle" if it's just going to be those two for the rest of their lives. She tries to accomplish this by criticizing everything he does. When they stay in, she complains about eating take-out food. When they go out, she's jealous of Big's socializing with other females.
Meanwhile, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is working too hard and missing out on her son's big moments, Charlotte (Kristin Davis) fears that there may be something going on between her husband and her nanny, and Samantha (Kim Cattrall) is on a steady diet of hormones to combat menopause. But all of these subplots are glossed over, forgotten, or solved within minutes. For example, Miranda's husband tells her, "You're working too much. You should quit that job," and in the very next scene, Miranda quits her job and runs to her kid's school just in time to see him win a first place trophy. Nothing more on the subject is said. The film becomes a bloated, two and a half hour montage of the ladies jetting to exotic locations, buying shoes and clothes, and changing outfits.
A sheik who's producing Samantha's old beau's new movie flies the women to a $22,000 a night hotel in Abu Dhabi. Why? So the gals can party in the desert and flaunt their sexually liberated ways by flashing cleavage, suggestively sucking on a hookah pipe, and singing "I Am Woman" in a Muslim karaoke bar. But it's the protagonists, rather than the residents, that come across as shallow, materialistic, and disrespectful of other cultures. Carrie, after all her pining for Big during the TV series, can't be happy staying in watching TV with him one night a week. When Charlotte moans, "Being a mom is hard, and I have full-time help. I don't know how the women without full-time help do it," I wanted to throttle her and scream, "Oh, grow up already!"
The four women do have good chemistry together, but the film, especially in the Abu Dhabi sequence, paints them as whiny, offensive caricatures. It turns out it's not Carrie and Big, but the series itself that has lost its sparkle.
If, for some reason, you still want to see this in the theater, don't arrive late. I had to sit in the third row as I watched Liza Minnelli struggle through a performance of Beyonce's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)," which killed any plans for an after-movie dinner.
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