Sex and the City 2

What a dog’s breakfast! And I don’t mean Sarah Jessica Parker. Or at least I don’t just mean her. The whole of Sex and the City 2 is a flagrant, farcical, wince-making attempt to cash in on the relative kudos of the previous film, and of course of the longer-running tv series.

This time round, under the flimsiest of pretexts, the spoilt, self-obsessed and increasingly unpleasant women head off to Abu Dhabi for a vacation of preening and falling about and whining and performing excruciatingly bad karaoke. In the process they do tremendous damage to the Emirate’s reputation as a tourism destination. And, like a fake Louis Vuitton bag – cheap, gaudy, inauthentic, dishonest and ugly – it wasn’t even filmed on location in the UAE. In spite of the efforts of the well-funded Abu Dhabi Film Commission, the production was wisely rejected by the censorship board and ultimately filmed in (an embarrassed and ashamed) Morocco instead.

The film’s utter lack of sincerity is literally gob-smacking and I found my mouth going “0” on more than one occasion – though the gay wedding scene is particularly, excruciatingly stomach-churning. Honestly – and this is from someone who liked the first movie – this film is utter, unadulterated rubbish. It may actually be an affront to Islam, but quite frankly, it’s also an affront to common sense, basic human decency and to anyone who ever bought a movie ticket.

Sex and the (New York) City

I need to admit something: I don’t think I ever sat through an entire episode of the Sex and the City tv series. Miserable old grump that I am, I never quite saw the point of the cartoonish caricatures, the jump-the-shark misadventures, the trivialised sexualisation of everything, and the truly, truly ridiculous clothes. I’m also not at all a fan of Sarah Jessica Parker, who has previously always reminded me of a yorkie on stilts. So I was trepidatious and somewhat nonplussed to find myself at Ladies’ Night at the V&A, one of three men in an audience of eleventy excitable womenfolk, watching the Sex and the City movie.

But here’s my guilty secret: I really, really enjoyed it. Yes, if you’re not into fashion, there are some slow and possibly bemusing bits. But then again, if you’re not into fashion, the shameless prostution of Designer product placements would also go right over your head. See? – this is a glass-half-full kind of post. 

SiC is well written, sweet, moving and funny. New York -commonly held to be SiC’s fifth character – also reappears, and there are sojourns in Malibu and Mexico. Manhattan of course steals the show; it’s all jaw-dropping apartments and stylish watering holes, honkingly busy streets contrasting with the green urban solitude of Central Park. And of course the tourists will go in droves.

“There could be no better advertising campaign for New York City,” says Chris Heywood of NYC & Company, the city’s tourism arm, (in USA Today.) “Sex and the City: The Movie promotes the city’s attractions “without costing us anything.”

On location in New York City

New York, apparently, gets better with age. And frankly, so do the cast. The women are radiant and marvellous, the men are able foils and Sarah Jessica Parker is absolutely fantastic; when she laughs it’s infectious. Sex and the City, the Movie, is an entertaining and very human celebration of friendship. NOW, I get it.