Sex and the City 2

Sex and the City 2

****

 

Despite how influential it is and how many imitators it has spawned, there is still nothing like Sex and the City.

There is a bold spirit of honesty and independence to Sex and the City that no other chick flicks even try to match.

You can almost hear writer/director/producer Michael Patrick King proclaiming: “I am going to set my 2 ½ hour, R-Rated comedy in the United Arab Emirates and you are going to see it, anyway, because it is great!” Yes, sir.

The movie IS great. After all of these years, they have managed to stay true to what makes Sex and the City special.

First, the four lead characters are terrific. There just aren’t women like this in movies. Each character is truly, fully human. They each have virtues, and they definitely have flaws. They are capable of empathy, generosity, and camaraderie; but also selfishness, erratic behavior, and wanton materialism.

Frankly, I don’t particularly care for Miranda, Charlotte, or Samantha and I flat-out loathe Carrie sometimes. But that is good. It is such a welcome change from the usual situation where female characters are one-dimensional and the movie is entirely based on what happens to them rather than who they are as people.

Second, the picture is great because it is incredibly honest about the way the world works. For example, the story begins with a gay wedding. It is a lovely, happy affair, but one of the grooms goes around reporting the fact that he has been given the right to cheat on his soon-to-be husband.

Definitely a naughty and immature thing to do at one’s wedding. But it is not shocking that one member of a gay couple would bristle at the idea of embracing an institution that that been a hurtful thorn in the side of gay people since time immemorial.

Supporting gay marriage is all well and good, but pretending that gay marriage is exactly the same as straight marriage is politically correct nonsense and Sex and the City isn’t having it.

When Charlotte arrives at the hotel in the United Arab Emirates where most of the movie takes place, she sensibly checks in under her maiden name Ms. York rather than as Mrs. Goldenblatt.

Is this an insult to her husband? A dig at the Muslim community? No, not at all. It’s simply an honest acceptance of one of the unfortunate realities of our world. To IGNORE the truth would be insulting.

My favorite aspect of the film is Carrie’s relationship with her husband of two years. Carrie was never really the marrying type, and the burden and boredom of eternal domesticity weighs on her emotionally.

In an absolutely realistic manner, Carrie passive/aggressively takes out her subconscious negative feelings on her mature husband, who is more prepared for the decades of watching TV on the couch together that most marriages are based on.

I’m sure some audience members were put off by what an insufferable, nagging witch Carrie is. Meanwhile, I was appreciating the brilliantly thought-out, perfectly consistent characterization. Carrie has great fashion sense, but she’s no hero. She never has been.

I think that’s the entire idea behind Sex and the City: women are complex, emotional, imperfect human beings. That’s the way it is. And that’s fine. AND it is interesting enough to warrant serious movies to be made about them, instead of about their husbands.

“Sex and the City 2” is an inspired, sophisticated, intelligent, feel-good movie. It seems like nobody else loved it, but I did!

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