Last night I saw Sex and the City 2, starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Chris Noth.
I never counted the television show Sex and the City as a guilty pleasure because in the years that it aired it was considered a smart, sensible enterprise that gave thirty-something single women a voice.
When the first movie based on the same characters opened a few years ago, watching it was like reconnecting with long-lost friends. Sure, it was kind of dark for a group of characters that became famous for talking about sex and fashion, but it still captured the spirit of the show and stayed faithful to the clever writing.
You know what? So did this one, which is why I'm so incredibly baffled by how badly my fellow critics are reviewing it. Was anyone really expecting Gone With the Wind? Sure, it's silly and no, it's not the least bit unpredictable, but it's still enjoyable, and really, that's all it set out to be, right?
The story centers on the dulling marriage of our heroine Carrie (Parker) and her husband-of-almost-two-years, Mr. Big (Noth). True to form, when Carrie does something she wants and her man follows suit wanting to do the same, she becomes offended and wounded and whiny--ready to make a big mistake, which she may or may not do about 2/3 of the way into the film. Luckily, we have the return of Aidan (John Corbett, looking particularly sexy) to complicate things.
Oh, and the girls get a free trip to the Middle East courtesy of Samantha (Kim Cattrall), who wins the award for being the most annoying cast member in this installment. The menopause jokes got old very fast, as did most of the clothing they draped her in. That said, she still had the best sex scenes (though I dare say SJP took the cake for cleavage).
The most interesting story was that of Charlotte (Kristin Davis), our Polyanna, Jewish wife who is miserable living the perfect life she always dreamed of. If you take away the million dollar apartment and designer wardrobe, her situation is the most realistic, as a mother who wants to hide in closets and cry because her children drive her nuts.
It's not the smartest comedy ever written, but it's fun to watch the ladies wear 30+ outfits in the scope of 2+ hours, and gawk at the men who are still at the top of the sexy meter.
To straight men who hate this film: I ask, what were you doing there? If you only came to see scantily clad women and juicy sex scenes, you can't have been too disappointed.
To gay men who hate this film: I know Liza singing Beyonce was scary, but you have to admit it was appropriate for a Stanford wedding.
To women (lesbian or straight) who hate this film: You must be incredibly bitter about life not to crack a smile at the drama of other women. We've all known (or been) characters like the four drawn here, whether we're proud of it or not.
Take solace in chick flicks from time-to-time, folks. Consider it a beach read and get over it.