Rated R for some strong sexual content and language, 146 minutes
Overlong, vapid “SATC 2” is enjoyable – only for fans of the TV show
Much like the first “Sex and the City” film, if you’re a fan of the popular HBO TV series, you’ll enjoy this sequel, which reunites the cast for more erstwhile big city (and now global) adventures. For the rest of us, the overlong comedy can be a 2 hour and 20 minute beatdown, particularly in the opening chapters, which features a leggy Liza Minnelli performing an energetic version of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” at a gay wedding no less. Even for fans, all of this seems remarkably tepid and redundant, and “SATC,” much like the lines on character Miranda’s face, seem tremendously stretched.
Two years after the first film, the swinging ladies of the Big Apple are continuing their escapades. Author and columnist Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) is happily married to Big (Chris Noth) and the two are beginning to settle in as an old married couple, content to lay in bed and watch TV. Charlotte (Kristin Davis) has her hands full with two precocious, small children, while career Mom and attorney Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) feels taken advantage of at her law firm and ferocious cougar Miranda (Kim Cattrall) continues to manage her PR firm and her sexuality, refusing to grow older. Miranda gets an all-expense trip to Abu Dahbi by an Arab sheik and potential client, and she takes the girls with her on a much-needed vacation, which take some unexpected turns along the way, including running into one of Carrie’s old flames, Aidan (John Corbett).
Overlong, colorless and mildly enjoyable, “SATC 2” is showing its age. Director and writer Michael Patrick King is seemingly running out of ideas: his thin story lacks a fresh approach or bold appeal. It all has a “been there done that” feeling with a few bright spots, such as amusingly and briefly seeing the 1980’s versions of the ladies. As long as the action stays centered in New York City, the film pleasantly plods along until it takes a misguided trip to the Middle East, a bad move on King’s part: it just doesn’t belong here. Carrie meets an old flame, Aidan (Corbett) and – gasp – they share a kiss. King and Parker treat it as something earth-shattering but really, absolutely nothing happens between the two old lovers.
More cameos are to “SATC 2” but it only shows up the weak, meandering story. Watch for Tim Gunn, Heidi Klum, Penelope Cruz (very pretty but blink and she’s gone), Miley Cyrus (amusing), Mariah Carey and of course, Minnelli, who nearly steals the show with her energetic number at the beginning. The girls chat on about this and that, nannies, wayward husbands, fashion, blah blah blah. Nothing new. As usual, the New York sights and the stylish clothes look fabulous and highlight an otherwise tired film.
The overrated Parker is looking longer in face than normal, my personal favorite Davis has little to do, and Nixon is at times creepily chatty, while Cattrall looks nice but is still too old for this. The Middle East episode (actually filmed in Morocco) goes on far too long as the girls get tied up in one stale episode after another. However, “SATC” fans will still be pleased as it all comes together predictably in the end, seemingly leaving it open for even another film.
Fans will get excited and rightfully so, as the ads state “Carrie on.” They will get their fill of Carrie & Co. in “Sex and the City 2” but even they may wonder what the point is. Harmless enough, but for fans only.