Sex and the City 2: The Dry Desert Years

Okay so it’s Friday night & we are determined to stay home and do absolutely nothing.  It feels awesome.  Caught up on Bones (aahhh season finale!) and Glee.  Took a nap on the floor (I was playing with Zoe, closed my eyes for a second and next thing I knew, Jay was waking me up & telling me that apparently it’s not okay to sleep on the floor).  Made some new friends on Facebook (totally loving seeing all the great pictures on Facebook from the Lost Finale Party last weekend).  Watched a thunderstorm, had a Samuel Adams Summer Ale.  All things that are the opposite of being on/supposed-to-be-on an airplane.  Sigh.  Yay 3 day weekends.

Since I’ve been in a writing mood lately, I figured I’d do a quick little review as to why I’m betraying female-kind and openly disliking Sex and the City 2.  I normally don’t really do too many reviews and crap on here but my brain still hurts from the last 14-21 days which if you haven’t heard, have certainly been jam packed.  I promised my friend Brian for his birthday yesterday that I would do a post with pictures and stories from LA/Jay & Jack’s Lost Party last weekend but I’m not ready to embrace that it’s all over yet!

[In case you haven’t seen the movie yet, I’m putting the rest of this post after the jump.  I know it’s just SATC2, but I’m a learned Lost fan, so I am well-trained in the “Spoiler Alert” game.  Spoiler alert if you JUMP!]

SO. Sex and the City 2.  I haven’t read any reviews in detail yet but I do know that it got pretty bad ones.  Then again, so did Iron Man 2 and I really enjoyed that movie regardless.  I went to see SATC2 with Sara, Kristin & some of their friends who I didn’t know.  We had mojitos beforehand and Kristin brought water bottles filled with some blue drink called a “Desperate Housewife” (it tasted pineapple-y) for the 6 of us to pass around.  Just like we’d do back in the day when Sara, Sarah, Amanda & I were 19, 20, 21 and catching up on all of the SATC seasons of television on DVD during college!  Turns out that not even a Desperate Housewife could make that movie better.  Though pretending you were younger than you are was the theme of the movie too.  Oh, also being a tacky, rude American was also a good theme of the movie.

The basic premise is that Carrie is unhappy with the fact that Mr. Big is finally actually settled down with her like she bitched and whined about for 6 seasons.  He likes to do things like (spoiler alert) order take out and watch TV in bed together.  They talk about some stupid expensive couch for a while.  It’s great and all and I’ve certainly had my moments when I wanted to go out & Jay hasn’t but I haven’t sulked about it to the point of freaking out over how now we’re obviously going to break up because we have no more “sparkle.”  Yes, sparkle.  Big wants to do this thing where they take 2 days off a week from their marriage and do their own thing that involves basically anything but getting it on with someone else.  So that’s where Carrie is.  Miranda hates her new boss and has an adorable ginger kid who looks exactly like a cross between her and Bartender Steve who I still love even though he (spoiler alert) f*cked someone else in the first movie.  She ends up quitting her job.  This I also can somewhat relate to as if you knew what I went through between Feb 2007-Feb 2008, you’d have supported Miranda quitting that bitch too.  Charlotte, who spent 6 seasons crying about being a wife and mother, now has two little girls, a hot Irish braless nanny and likes to cry in a cupboard about how hard her life is every chance she gets.  Samantha is “50-f*cking-2 years old” and still enjoys rubbing one out under her desk at work where she has windows instead of doors.  Basically, nothing but menopause has changed for Samantha.  In an unsurprising move, everyone’s favorite gays (Stanford and Anthony) get married and Liza Minelli shows up.  Cliche BUT it’s awesome solely on two facts:  1) She’s Lucille 2 and 2) Miranda’s line, “It’s a law of physics. Every time there’s this much gay energy in a room, Liza materializes!”

Let me speed things along because I’m boring myself even typing up the set-up for this movie.  Samantha goes to see the always-hot Smith Jerrod at his movie premiere and she’s invited to go to Abu Dhabi on an all-expenses-paid trip in order to promote it for tourism.  The rest of the girls go with her.  Once in Abu Dhabi, Carrie manages to lose her passport and encounter my all-time favorite Carrie boyfriend Aiden.  Despite being a grown woman, Carrie has a temper tantrum after her new book gets a bad review from the New Yorker and decides to go to dinner with Aiden.  I bet you have NO IDEA what I am going to say next.  Well spoiler alert! They kiss.  It’s nothing Kate & Jack Lost finale level but it’s enough to then have her freak out and call Big to confess.  Meanwhile, Charlotte spends the ENTIRE movie trying to get service on her iPhone (silly AT&T) so she can check in on Harry to make sure he’s not pulling a Jude Law on the braless Irish nanny (who ends up being a lesbian).  Miranda plays the part of my dad and has their entire sightseeing schedule planned out for them.

Shit hits the fan when Samantha decides to blatantly disrespect Abu Dhabi’s conservative Muslim population over and over and over again and finally gets arrested for grabbing her date’s balls and then making out with him in public.  It gets even worse when Charlotte ends up following some black market watch salesmen into their forbidden upstairs room (think the Abu Dhabi version of the street vendors in NYC who sell fake Fendi purses).  There’s a mix-up and Samantha’s purse ends up getting ripped open as – CONVENIENTLY – the Muslims are being called to prayer.  So. Do you think Samantha acts like a grown woman and shuts the eff up during the call to prayer?  Or do you think she decides to flaunt all of her condoms and spin around in a circle giving all of them the double bird?  I bet you don’t even need me to tell you the answer.

Sara and I knew before the movie started that it probably wasn’t going to be as awesome as the TV series and as great as the first movie was.  I expected cheesy jokes and poor writing, to be honest.  What I wasn’t expecting to find was so many stereotypes of a rude ‘n’ crude American to be played out on screen.  I saw this quote online from costume director Patricia Fields:

“I read some bad reviews,” Field said. “They don’t get it. Men don’t get it.”

Um, I’m a 26-year-old woman and I get it.  Honestly, the movie DID have really cheesy dialogue in the first 30 minutes but all of Carrie’s monologues were always cheesy.  That wasn’t it.  Charlotte’s constant worry about her iPhone service wasn’t even as annoying as you’d think.  Hell, when I’m away without Jay for more than a weekend, I’m constantly checking to see if my phone has service too.  I get that.  It wasn’t even Miranda & Charlotte’s bonding over the difficulties of motherhood that bugged me.  I don’t have any children (except for Zoe the kitty) so I’m not going to judge someone who stays home full-time, has a full-time nanny and still cries in a closet over how overwhelmed she is.  However, Carrie’s temper tantrum that led to her kiss with Aiden was a little bit ridiculous.  If you read my blog or follow me on Twitter or are friends with me on Facebook or even have met me in real life, you’ll infer that I am the queen of mild temper tantrums (it’s from anixety, I swear).  Even I would never read a bad review and then go out on a date with someone who wasn’t Jay (exhibit A: the hurtful Ramblecast reviews in Oct 2007 or my dreadful NuNews reviews from March – Dec. 2009).  Sorry, but that’s a sign of insecurity and being desperate for attention.  It’s not the fun, witty and slightly-insecure-but-always-learning Carrie that we know.

As for my biggest issue with Sex and the City 2: Samantha’s behavior.  I know 4 women who are in menopause right now and absolutely none of them act like Samantha did.  It wasn’t funny when she continually refused to cover her cleavage up despite Miranda’s constant pleas that she be respectul for the culture of the city they were in and it wasn’t even remotely sympathetic when she got arrested for making out in public.  It was flat out uncomfortable, unprofessional for a woman of her career stature to do and just plain rude.  Americans don’t exactly have the best image out there for the rest of the world and to portray a grown woman waving around Trojan condoms and giving a bunch of Muslim men the finger while they were trying to pray crossed a line.  It was offensive for both sides.  I am utterly embarrassed that as an American woman, my demographic was represented in such a manner.

I think that I would have liked SATC2 a lot more if it had been strictly kept to a girls trip to Abu Dhabi – even with the unnecessary Aiden drama (she should’ve picked him anyway) – and they had hijinks along the way, like with the missing passport.  Making a joke of the sexual differences between the two cultures could’ve been kept to one small exchange and then moved on.  Instead, the movie just came across as some rude Americans making fun of and disrespecting a whole other culture and society.  Sex and the City is actually a very similar show to Lost in that it’s all about the characters and their experiences that bring them to where they ended up right before the start of the first movie.  If these characters are going to always stay the same age as when the series started, that’s one thing.  However, once they aged on the show and started to settle down with husbands, children and nannies, then the characters’ behavior should’ve adapted a little bit better too.  I’m not talking about Samantha wearing the same dress as Miley Cyrus because she’s trying to dress younger than she is.  To each her own there.  I’m talking about behaving more maturely and dealing with plotlines in more down-to-earth ways.  Come on, production team! Your audience is growing up and if someone who first watched the show religiously in college can look at the cheesy lines now and roll their eyes while sipping some strange blue pineapple-tasting drink, then something really truly needs to give.

Oh and PS, the fact that a movie called “Sex and the City” took place in a dry desert is definitely parody enough itself.

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