Sunday, January 9, 2011

Worst Films of 2010 No.3 - Sex In The City Two


An amazingly insightful movie, looking at the potential dangers of same sex marriages, the plight of women of the Middle East and of course, women suffering the horrible indignation of having their husbands not wanting to go out every night. The solutions?

Well its ok for gay married partners to cheat because they are gay and therefore utter whores. Women in the Middle East can reasonably afford and obtain the latest in fashion wear (which most people in Ireland can't afford or obtain btw). As for fears of your marriage going stale, why the cure is clearly an affair! Be sure to cheat on your husband to encourage him to both go out more and buy you expensive jewelry, which as we all know is the only thing the average woman cares about at all. This film highlights modern feminism perfectly. Theres even an Irish babysitter who doesn't wear a bra, go girl power!

Reasons it’s on the list:

I loved Sex In The City as a TV show, I really did. I know that isn't a macho thing to say but its true. It had amazing writing, relatable drama and despite being shown from a female perspective it never demonised men any more then it did women. But that was then, back between 1998 and 2004. Come 2008 and we saw the film of Sex In The City which was basically American Pie with G-MILFS (Go google it, don't blame me though). Puerile and low-brow where the TV series had been insightful and intelligent, the film was a pathetic medley of the stereotypes the TV show had fought against. Sex In The City 2 doesn't just continue this trend, oh no. Sex In The City 2 evolves it.

Right off the bat the film opens with an air-headed backstory to how the girls came to love New York. May I add that the city will not feature in this film after the first act, despite being in the title and indeed regarded by many as the fifth main character in the TV show. But aside from the largely absent New York (NY) city, what has changed with the other characters? For starters, Sarah Jessica Parker seemingly has forgotten not only what made her character Carrie likable in the TV show, but also who Carrie was at all (more on that later). Kim Cantrell at least tries to maintain her character Samantha's promiscuous nature but in doing so makes Samantha now something of an idiot, sex obsessed blonde (where-as in the TV show she was a highly intelligent sex obsessed blonde/baldy).

Charlotte (Kristen Davis) is afraid her husband Hank will cheat for no reason beyond the fact her baby-sitter has breasts. Also, Charlotte wears a vintage Valentino dress while making cakes with her two little children then cries about the dress getting ruined. Don't you hate how kids your supposed to be raising destroy your chances of looking fabulous while you bake? Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) throws away her career in Law to spend more time with her family, something that would have been unthinkable for the workaholic and somewhat removed Miranda in the TV show. Despite this she's not really shown to be a very caring mother or partner at all really, even after she quits her job. Who are these strangers I'm watching? Whats going on?

Ah. I Get It Now

This re-working of the main characters is bad enough but what the film does to its supporting cast is just cruel. For example, if you watched the show you will know that the two main gay characters, Stanford (Willie Garson) and Anthony (Mario Cantone) disliked each other. It was an interesting and funny play on the stereotype that if two people are gay they will obviously get together. So naturally they get married at the start of this film but not before we see Anthony freely admitting he plans to cheat because hey, he's gay and italian, Mamma Mia! Even if this scene is extremely insulting to whats come before in the TV show, its also sadly the best part of this film. It manages this in spite of featuring Liza Minnelli singing Beyonce's 'All The Single Ladies'. Yes that actually happens. The patron saint of homosexuality butchers an already awful R&B song and its still one of the best part of the film. Oh you have not known hell yet dear viewers.

For the most part the plot is thinner then the average super model. Samantha managed to impress a wealthy Sheik who flies the girls first class to Abu Dhabi. While there they manage to point out that Arab women being forced to wear abaya's (Muslin black religious veils) at least removes the need for Botox. I'm sure all the oppressed and downtrodden women of the Middle-East are declaring the girls prophets after that totally respectable comment. The girls also go to a karaoke bar and instigate more feminism with a rather tortuous rendition of 'I Am Woman'. Just so long as they don't sing it in public where they would be arrested by Arab laws, that would somewhat interfere with the intelligent and well thought out empowerment. Im sure the fundamentalists Arab leaders are shaking in their sexist boots now.

Carrie mets her ex Aidan (John Corbett) in a market-place. In Abu Dhabi of all places, what an amazing and not at all contrived co-incidence. She then proceeds to go to dinner with him, have an awkward, stilted conversation and then kisses him. Luckily, her husband Big (Chris Noth) not only forgives her but also buys her jewelry because her infidelity was Big's fault or something. This is the same Big that Carrie struggled to get with for almost 6 years? Did it hurt when she stuffed his testicles into her designer handbag I wonder?

Samantha later manages to break Muslin law by almost have sex in public (but its ok, she was hormonal, not disrespectful to an entire culture or anything) and they get sent home but thank god, they manage to avoid traveling... gasp... COACH! But before that they get aid from helpful Muslin women who show them that underneath their veils they are shallow and materialistic too, secretly wearing designer clothes even in plus 45 degree heat. The girls fly home, all get happy endings and no one is forced to learn anything, not even that dressing like a model for Anne Summers might be a tad disrespectful to a society with a deeply engraved moral dress-code.

Getting back to Carrie, the film alludes to strife in her marriage but its gotten to the stage where its impossible to take seriously. For one thing, Carrie has EVERYTHING. A loving husband who breaks his back to ensure her every whim is catered to, a loyal group of friends, more shoes and clothes then a dozen sweatshops could provide and two apartments, one decorated beautifully and one exclusively for her when she needs a 'break' from being a spoilt, precocious little madam. Yet all her husband Big wants to do is have nights in where they watch black and white movies. What an awful partner, life sure does suck for Carrie! Theres a two-tone problem here. Aside from Carrie being impossible to relate to on any level, she's impossible to like on any level either. You crave her misfortune and long for her downfall from her ill-informed ivory tower. This is not the Carrie from the show, just some ego-tripping alien who killed her and stole her identity.

The film is shot in a lifeless and dull fashion, with the camera static and the shots not showing us anything spectacular or unique about Abu Dhabi, the jewel of the Middle East. Mind you, that could be due to filming Sex In The City 2 in Morocco due to trouble getting into the United Arab Emirates (Gee, I wonder why?). Narration, such a core element of the TV show, is now used as an audio guide for the blind, with essential information such as "Later that day, Big and I returned home" relayed to us as the events occur on-screen. Thanks Carrie, I wasn't sure if you guys had teleported home and the film reel wasn't just lying to me. Speaking of lies, consider the name of this film. Not much time in the city (New York) or for sex (except when its used for comedy purposes at the start), it may as well have been called 'Washed-Up Old Bags In The Desert'.

The Result Of Anthony's Pregnancy Scan Was Surprising To Say The Least.

Watching this film feels like: : Your IQ is melting, running out your ears and ruining your designer shoes.

Down to the last two and still no one has guessed them properly, can you? See you tomorrow at 4pm for No.2, til then!

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