Sex and the City 2 [Blu-Ray] Michael Patrick King

Sex and the City 2 [Blu-Ray] Michael Patrick King
After two years of marriage, things just aren't the same between Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Mr. Big (Chris Noth). While Carrie longs for life on the town, Big is content simply to have dinner at home in their lavish midtown Manhattan apartment. Why, Carrie practically has to drag him off the vintage leather couch to be her date to a star-studded movie premiere, where Samantha (Kim Cattrall) is accompanying an A-list actor/sex friend. Later, when they get home, Carrie is frustrated that Big has retreated to the bedroom to kick back in front of their "state-of-the-art flat-screen," which, I hasten to add, he bought her as an anniversary gift. Yes, Carrie is feeling the middle-aged blahs and fears she and Big are becoming a boring old couple, so she does what any of us would do: she takes two days to herself and retreats to her old apartment. Yes, Carrie still has her old apartment, which means the Big/Bradshaw family own two midtown Manhattan properties, including one they seldom use. But wait, it gets better: their time apart leaves them feeling so refreshed that Big proposes they rent a third apartment. Suffice to say, when Samantha later makes an offhanded remark about "this bullshit economy," it's like a slap in the face. Of course, the Sex and the City franchise has always been something of wish-fulfilment fantasy, both regarding its heroes' glamorous NYC lifestyles (Carrie must be the world's richest freelance writer) and their sexual empowerment. But also key to its appeal has been that it's fundamentally relatable: women can project themselves and each other onto the Carrie/Samantha/Charlotte/Miranda archetypes, and be reminded of particularly powerful friendships in their lives. The previous TV show and movie always had at least one foot in reality, so it's much harder to relate to these ladies when, well into middle age and with families, they decide to drop everything and go on an all-expenses-paid trip to Abu Dhabi, where they go for a private camel ride in the desert while dressed in fashions that suggest a mix-up at the Laundromat between Mae West and Bob Mackie. Even if you're a fan, Sex and the City 2 is a disaster; it looks tacky and garish, with lighting, make-up and angles that only accentuate the women's ages; the 146-minute running time stretches the story very thin; the humour resorts to the creakiest, most abysmal sex puns (yes, Samantha makes a reference to "Lawrence of my labia"); and the image of several Middle Eastern women revealing that they are wearing New York fashions under their burkas does not strike me as a particularly profound statement of trans-continental feminine unity. But putting all that aside, consider that the main sources of the film's drama are Samantha's frustration at how menopause (which she describes in near-clinical detail) is limiting her sex drive (ditto), and Samantha's marriage being brought to the brink of collapse because she kisses an old boyfriend. I think the real problem with Sex and the City 2 is that it's hard to relate to women in a mid-life crisis if they refuse to graduate high school. Relentlessly self-congratulatory Blu-Ray extras are recommended only to irrational SatC fanatics. A 30-minute featurette where writer/director Michael Patrick King and actor Mario Cantone gush about the men of Sex and the City in the same tone as obsessed fan girls is particularly embarrassing. (Warner)