Sex And The City 2: The Satire That Wasn’t

Posted in Film
By Laura Vevers on 26 Jun 2010

Being a huge fan of the TV show, I was vaguely looking forward to the Sex And The City sequel after the first film was, in my opinion, mildly entertaining and essentially inoffensive; a bit like watching four mediocre episodes from season four back to back. Except with less overpriced cocktails and more wedding dresses.

Not as cathartic as the show, but still a little bit fun in an embarrassing “you go girlfriend!” type of way. The discovery that the second film had netted a universally underwhelming 17% (now at 16%) approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes made me a little sad. Surely these overly-critical critics are just grumpy middle-aged blokes wishing to stick the knife into the now long-running onscreen fembition (my housemate’s term, he must be credited) of Carrie and co. I thought moodily, whilst angrily shoving a cupcake into my mouth and stumping out a Marlboro Light in my half-drunk Cosmopolitan…

Having finally managed to see the film, I can safely say that it is possibly one of the most disgraceful things I have ever paid to endure, and quite frankly the RT rating is generous. But what exactly is wrong with it? Numerous criticisms have been thrown around, from poor acting and characterisation to cultural ignorance and borderline racism. Defenders (people who haven’t seen it) claim that those who have attacked the previously single ladies are sexist (NB. the one good bit in this film involves Liza Minelli performing a bizarre version of Beyonce’s recent feminist classic). The question we should really be asking the (MALE) writer-director Patrick Michael King is what exactly is right with this film; the answer being a whole load of nothing. It has none of the warmth and wit of the TV series; whilst the programme jokingly alludes to Bradshaw’s obsession with Choos and Manolos, and the first film elevates this to a cringeworthy level with her girlish squeals over a gargantuan purpose-built shoe closet, this film is, essentially, a study in consumption, ostentation and the terrible after-effects of too much fake tan on ageing skin. It manages to reference every negative and ridiculous stereotype imaginable in its non-existent plot.

As a satire the film would work beautifully as a commentary on the attitudes of spoilt, rich Americans towards other cultures; one scene is dedicated to the gruesome foursome mocking a Muslim lady who has to lift her veil up to eat chips, whilst another is like an extended promo video for a luxury resort. Miranda and Charlotte cry over their stressful lives over cocktails in their seven star hotel bar, before raising a toast for those (obviously terribly poor) women who “don’t have help”. A perceptive friend pointed out that the portrayal of these supposedly liberated, educated and cosmopolitan women as patronising, money-hungry and downright nasty is perhaps quite accurate, but as I fan of the show I felt wholly embarrassed and depressed for it to carry the same name as what was a fantastic television romantic dramedy. Don’t wait for the DVD – simply avoid this horribly misjudged attempt at entertainment (or product placement) at all costs if you wish to maintain some semblance of a soul.

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