Dir. Michael Patrick King. USA. 2010.

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SATC as a series was fortunate – like ‘Friends’ in its timing: both of these uber-successful works were essentially about camaraderie in the big city environment in a time when the family became less reliable in helping resolve life’s quandaries than those we hang out with.  Both series were at their best at the beginning, sagged in the middle and became tiresome at the end – not forgetting the badly drawn flaw of having the audience believe that the priciest lifestyles and tastes in the world can be bought with the tiniest amount of work by pontificators in a constant state of moderate angst. 

 HBO produced SATC – the worst of its otherwise stellar output and it is a good job for this great paragon of the best telly of the world that this series did have its male fans even though the four main leads seemed to be drawn from the lives of gay men. The best of the seasons would focus on often thought or pondered about issues: Samantha finding a perfect man who had the tiniest of willies was given fine treatment, as was her finite but fine bout of lesbianism with an Hispanic hysteric. Miranda was always good value for money as the hard core full on professional, the character of Charlotte less attractive as the tiresome prissy missy – although hers was the funniest response to the episode covering the issue of ‘depressed vaginas.’ 

The first of the movies eluded this writer – there is always the need for the viewer to cruelly sap the best of television and abandon at the first sight of wilting. Rare is the case that a fine concept can survive a flogging to the extent that this concept has and it shows in this sequel regardless of the amount of screaming fat girls crowding Leicester Square last week at the premiere. The women in this film do not look good – physically or come over well as people. The shame of it is that it opened very well – in a way that did spawn some degree of excitement: Carrie is in voiceover and is talking her way through the intro explaining when she first met the other girls and we are given flashbacks to those times. More of this reminiscing would have been great. We could have had the pre-SATC characters for the first third and it would have helped justify the appallingly ill-judged length.

Instead the worst first act ever in the history of film (since ‘irreversible’) was given the viewer in the form of a truly nasty, extravagant gay wedding. This was unspeakably awful with all dud gay guy jokes being dragged kicking and screaming out of the grave to be put in this expensive, tasteless blingathon. Liza Minnelli deserves the Jackie Stallone award for ‘mindless disfigurement through plastic surgery’ (the women couldn’t speak – her mouth unable now to form words). Then she did a number that had the embarrassment factor of watching Tom Jones’ rendition of ‘Kiss.’(You know the bit when he says ‘I think I’m gonna dance now’)

The second and third acts are really about four spoilt women with men they don’t deserve being given a trip they wouldn’t get to a place they really wouldn’t want to go to and wouldn’t have them. A better idea would have been to lock these women in a very gruelling survival boot camp without their creams, gyms and shoes. That would have been a film worth watching. It has been exceptionally annoying to be female and have this film and the latter third of the series being put across as a manifestation of modern woman and her social mores. At best SATC used to depict through its pontificating the fact that the whole premise the particular episode resided on was much ado about nothing. It tried to takeover the realm of Woody Allen but without the good acting and with endless self absorption.
This sequel though should really have been banned on the grounds of mis-representation. Women (Middle-Eastern, Western, Menopausal, New Yorkers) Professionals (Please can someone in PR complain about how the profession has been depicted in this show for the past decade?) Men (Professional men are toxic bachelors out to hurt women – their use of dating sites belies this) Gays (all are blinged up clichés with no taste and icon followers with fag hag mates) It is all here. Why, how? There was an opportunity to have the Middle-Easterns realise how awful they are at marketing. There was an opportunity for Samantha to learn humility and embrace a calmer time in her life as opposed to the really cringe-making moment when she is giving an audience of Abu Dhabians’ a slagging off shaking condoms at them. Previously she was arrested for indecent conduct. Off course she then loses the contract all of them are out there for. In an episode of Sex and the City Samantha had to shag a fireman at his place of work and of course made herself look an idiot when an emergency took place. What started out as an exercise in depicting the liberated woman is now making us look like prostitutes. Miranda and Charlotte come out better than the other two – but the real stars in this film are the men – who by rights would have all packed off to get it on with ten years younger women with less real and imagined baggage.

The only, and really only reason SATC 1 & 2 were made is money. This film, as with its predecessor is set to take millions – the same sad idiots that bought tickets for the last will buy tickets for this. It would appear that no amount of cultural stereo-typing can keep a particular form of girl with any values from parting with her cash.

Sitting in the cinema there was a group of teen to early twenties girls – the same sort of crowd that were queuing to see the feminisation of vampire films in Twilight last year. It is difficult to see what it is doing for them – apart from suggesting that parties, shoes and pretty or attractive men will rescue and love them without having to go the trouble of being and doing something substantial. In this, SATC 2 and movies aimed at the female market in general are to be avoided by anyone with an atom of intelligence.

Gail Spencer

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