Sex and the City 2
dir-scr Michael Patrick King
prd Michael Patrick King, John P Melfi, Sarah Jessica Parker, Darren Star
with Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Chris Noth, John Corbett, David Eigenberg, Evan Handler, Jason Lewis, Willie Garson, Mario Cantone, Alice Eve
release US 27.May.10, UK 28.May.10
10/US New Line 2h26
Sex and the City 2
Short cut to Ishtar: Cattrall, Davis, Parker and Nixon

noth corbett cruz
See also:
Sex and the City (2008)
R E V I E W    B Y    R I C H    C L I N E
Sex and the City 2 Once again, Michael Patrick King packs four movies into two and a half hours, and yet there's not quite enough substance for one film. There plenty of snappy one-liners and silly situations, but it will severely test the patience of any non-fan.

Two years later, Carrie and Big (Parker and Noth) are settled into a rather dry married life, Samantha (Cattrall) is carrying on like a single girl, and Miranda and Charlotte (Nixon and Davis) are grappling with work and family, respectively. Their men are patient to a fault, even when attending the uber-gay wedding of Stanford and Anthony (Garson and Cantone). Then Samantha gets a freebie luxury holiday in Abu Dhabi and the girlfriends are off for madcap adventures involving camels, sand dunes, morality police and old boyfriends.

This is essentially a fantasy in which Western women flaunt their wealth and their well-preserved bodies in a Muslim country, changing costumes every few minutes while the local women are hidden behind burkas. Yes, there's a female-empowerment theme to each subplot, but the film never gets very deep into the issue, opting instead for farce and sass, plus fabulous outfits and more double entendre than you can shake a hookah at.

We also have snappy cameos from Liza Minnelli singing Single Ladies to Penelope Cruz cracking some decent jokes, plus superb actors like Art Malik and Omid Djalili, who presumably agreed to play Arabs for easy money. Meanwhile, the women muster up the chemistry that made the TV series such a success. And this extends to scenes with the men, even if most of them are barely on screen. Although come to think of it, Davis and Nixon hardly register either.

The main problem is that after that flaming wedding, some dramatic scene-setting in Manhattan and the zany arrival in Arabia, the film stalls badly, churning through one corny set piece after another. After another. And another. It feels like it will never end, and yet there have been so many clumsy set-ups that we know what has to happen before they can all head back to New York and leave us alone for another two years. Maybe Big has a point: we need the break.

cert 15 themes, language, sexuality 27.May.10

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