Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sex and the City Too (Much) by Tiffany Li

2/5 stars

I’m not sure what’s more annoying, Sex and the City 2 or its reviews. The crime of the former is excessive ditziness when dealing with topics that ought to be taken seriously; the crime of the latter is excessive self-righteousness when dealing with a film that no one should take seriously. Let me put it another way: plenty of people who might actually have enjoyed the film may skip it because some cackling reviewer got carried away, whereas I doubt Hillary Clinton is taking her diplomatic cues from Samantha.

The truth is that SATC2 bites off more than it can chew. Repression of women in Islamic culture? Sex trafficking? This in a series famous for using the phrase “funky-tasting spunk.”

As a result of taking on bizarrely weighty topics, the film is unable to do them justice. In fact, the attempt to mash small-font issues into a film promoted with the giant, glittering letters S-E-X actually ends up distracting from what this film does do well: dress its character in pretty clothes, send them to pretty places, and occasionally allow them to have pretty funny conversations, notably Miranda and Charlotte’s woes-of-a-wealthy-mother talk.

The film is stretched so thin that the act 2 climax is the threat of flying on coach. And that’s the real problem: not that the film is elitist or recession-blind, as reviewers complain, but that the fans always saw that behind the luxurious setting and big-name labels, real, profoundly relatable pain was at stake. Roger Ebert might have laughed, but women empathized in the millions with Carrie’s 30 minute funk in the first film. SATC2 spends too much time criticizing burkhas to make a convincing case that Carrie and Charlotte’s marriage, Miranda’s career, or Samantha’s sex drive is at stake.

Consequently, those who cared most about this film had little to care about, and those who care least for this series had far too much to say.

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