‘Sex and the City 2’
Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall, Chris Noth, David Eigenberg, Evan Handler
Rated: R for some strong sexual content and language
Running time: 146 minutes
Bottom line: Not fashion forward but still vintage
We are fortunate to live in a time when actresses older than 40 are no longer considered "over the hill." Diane Lane, Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep and many others have proven once and for all that women don’t suddenly lose their beauty or their ability to act and draw audiences when they reach a certain age. And there was much rejoicing.
However, the Sex and the City girls are not aging well.
Oh they look just fine, even great at times, but the characters themselves are feeling very dated. Let’s face it, the problems of four extravagantly wealthy women don’t add up to a hill of beans during a time when many of us are worried about losing our jobs and homes.
And while Samantha (Kim Cattrall) was once the model of ’90s sexual empowerment, she seems irresponsible and ridiculous these days. I’m not sure we’re all still laughing with her rather than at her as she flaunts her sexual hyperdrive with the subtlety of a jackhammer.
But here’s a truth I must acknowledge: I am not this movie’s target audience. As a straight male moviegoer, there are inevitably parts of this movie that fall flat for me yet thrill others. I saw the movie in a room half full of the target demographic, though, and they clearly enjoyed it.
And no wonder. "Sex and the City 2" comes in at a whopping 2 hours 27 minutes and is less like a movie than like three episodes shown back to back. It’s good that they want to give us our money’s worth, but the story slows down far too often, and five or six scenes are purely self-indulgent.
We begin with Stanford (Willie Garson) and Anthony (Mario Cantone) and their over-the-top wedding, then we learn that the ladies are each having problems.
Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Big (Chris Noth) have settled into married life, which Carrie finds very boring. Despite having a nanny, Charlotte (Kristin Davis) is struggling to raise two children. Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is still a workaholic and now works for a firm that consistently demeans her. Samantha has herself on a strict regimen of creams and vitamins (the Suzanne Somers plan) in a desperate attempt to look young.
When Samantha is invited to Abu Dhabi on business, a road trip seems to offer the break all the girls need. So for the second movie in a row, "Sex and the City" spends significant time away from the city that served as the fifth character throughout the show.
Like last week’s Shrek sequel, "Sex and the City 2" is made for fans and not to widen its audience.
This movie targets its gay audience more aggressively than any time in the history of the franchise. The trailers reveal that Liza Minelli shows up — during a gay wedding — and there is a steady diet of gay-themed jokes throughout.
You fashionistas might leave happier than everyone else, though. Every scene offers a new set of couture, usually shown to us in the familiar (and over-used) slow-motion shot of the foursome walking side by side. If you follow the series to play spot the designer, good luck keeping up.
While the movie isn’t made for me, I’m willing to cut it a lot of slack because it pleases audience members who just don’t get a lot of wide-release movies that try so hard to make them happy.
For those of you paying attention, though, I mentioned that the screening was only half-full. The movie is garnering much less hype than the series finale or first movie, and the popularity of the characters is clearly on the wane, even among die-hards.
Which might be another reason for fans to make sure you catch this movie. You might not get the chance to see the ladies in all their silver screen glory again.
Jeff Marker is a media studies professor at Gainesville State College.