Blu-Ray Review: ‘Sex and the City 2’ Continues to Diminish Legacy of HBO Series

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CHICAGO – Those of you longing for a film version of “The Sopranos,” “Friends,” or “24” (all of which have been rumored at some point or another), should look no further than “Sex and the City 2,” which was recently released on Blu-Ray and DVD, for a cautionary tale. HBO’s “Sex and the City” was a fantastic comedy but both films based on it have been disastrous. Their only value is for filmmakers to learn what not to do with a creative property.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 2.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 2.0/5.0

Even after the mess that was “Sex and the City,” there was reason to hope that writer/director Michael Patrick King and his talented ensemble would reignite the magic of the show in “Sex and the City 2.” Every series has a few subpar episodes and perhaps that was all that went wrong with the first movie. Well, it happened again. After a reasonably-strong first hour, “Sex and the City 2” devolves into a horrible comedy that’s bad in nearly too many ways to count. Most importantly, it’s just completely useless with no comedy, character, insight, romance, or drama to disguise what plays out like a bad vacation movie of a few obnoxious Americans.

The first “Sex and the City” fell apart because of its complete ignorance of the real world. As the bubble was bursting, who wanted to watch Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) trying on multiple outfits in her pursuit of the height of fashion? None of the honest emotion or character development from the series made it to the big screen. It feels like King took those criticisms seriously. He disguises most of the excess in “Sex and the City 2” in two locations about as far away from the recession as possible — Abu Dhabi and a lavish gay wedding, which seems appropriately recession-proof. It was smart to move the action away from the areas that might hit closer to the economic bone for most Americans.

Sex and the City 2 was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 26th, 2010
Sex and the City 2 was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 26th, 2010
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

King also seemed to have taken into account criticisms that the ladies of the first film weren’t dealing with the honest issues of their age and so “Sex and the City 2” opens with discussions about how to keep a spark alive in a marriage, the complexities of parenthood, trying to maintain a life as a working mother, and even menopause.

The perpetually-horny Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) is working on a hormone cocktail in an attempt to feel thirty again. Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) has started to loathe the job that keeps her from her kid and husband (David Eigenberg). Charlotte is having difficulty with boith the terrible twos and their hot new nanny (Alice Eve). Carrie (Parker) and Big (Chris Noth) are finding themselves on different pages when it comes to going out at night or resting on the couch. These are plots that King and his writers would have knocked out of the park in the prime of the HBO series and the set-up for “Sex and the City 2” is promising.

Sex and the City 2 was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 26th, 2010
Sex and the City 2 was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 26th, 2010
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

Then it completely falls apart. It’s as if King decided he wasn’t interested in serious issues any more and needed a…road trip! The gang shuffles off to Abu Dhabi for a series of jaw-droppingly insensitive cultural moments and requisite cameos by Jason Lewis and John Corbett. There they sing “I Am Woman” in a karaoke bar, break the rules of Middle Eastern culture as they pertain to the female gender, and generally define the terms “Ugly Americans”.

After two films, it’s clear that King needed the 30-minute structure of HBO television to make his show work. The half-hour episodes were some of the best comedy of the last twenty years but he’s now made two films that run over 140 minutes and completely lose their pacing. Liza Minnelli singing “Single Ladies” as a gay wedding is funny but we don’t have to hear the WHOLE song. Same with “I Am Woman.” Almost every scene in the entire film could have and should have been trimmed and the film could have easily run an hour shorter overall. The excess on display in the first film has poisoned the entire franchise now as everything is simply “more” than it needed to be. It’s quality over quantity at every turn and the characters are buried in the superficiality.

Despite the failure of the film, fans of the series who feel some sort of obligation to watch or even buy it should be satisfied with the home release that includes the wonderful new trend of the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, typically-excellent-WB HD video quality, and several special features. It’s a better release than the film deserves. Maybe the third time’s the charm with Carrie and the girls, presuming they’re given the chance to make another “Sex and the City” movie.

Official Synopsis:

“The fun, the fashion, the friendship: Sex and the City 2 brings it all back and more as Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) come together to take another bite out of The Big Apple — and beyond — in a hilarious sequel. What happens after you say “I do”? Life is everything the ladies ever wished it would be, but it wouldn’t be Sex in the City if life didn’t hold a few more surprises. After all, sometimes you just have to get away with the girls.”

Special Features:
o A conversation with Sarah Jessica Parker And Michael Patrick King
o The Men of Sex and the City
o Styling Sex and the City 2
o Marry Me Liza!
o Audio Commentary With Michael Patrick King
o Revisiting the ’80s
o SATC2 Soundtrack: Behind the Scenes with Alicia Keys
o DVD Copy Of Sex And The City 2
o Digital Copy Of Sex And The City 2 For Portable Media Players

“Sex and the City 2” stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, and Kim Cattrall. It was written and directed by Michael Patrick King. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 26th, 2010. It is rated R and runs 144 minutes.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

David Smith's picture

Sex in the city 2

I found it lacking!

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