Sex and the City 2 (2010)

dir. Michael Patrick King

The Sex and the City TV series, for all its faults, was genuinely groundbreaking. It let women do, think and say things they’d seldom been allowed to on TV before, and some of the emotional beats were handled in an extremely affecting way. How sad, then, that the entire Sex and the City journey should have culminated in this sheer abomination. The four women travel to Abu Dhabi to avoid grappling with such immense problems as, respectively: Carrie’s husband buying her a TV; Miranda quitting work to see more of her family; Charlotte worrying her nanny is too hot for her husband to avoid having sex with; Samantha going through menopause. High stakes. The plot beats are beyond contrived – here’s Carrie’s ex-boyfriend, magically in a souk in Abu Dhabi! Here’s some strange dude in a jeep who materialises out of nowhere so Samantha can dub him “Lawrence of my labia”! – and the movie doesn’t even attempt to ease you into any of it. Yet it’s still, inexplicably, two and a half hours long, presumably to make time for all the insults and offenses aimed at Middle Eastern people. It’s hard to say whether the sexism, racism, or materialism is the most egregious; it’s difficult to decide whether the characters are most defined by their selfishness, shallowness, or deceit. Truly, you wind up leaving the movie feeling unclean.

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