Liza Minnelli singing ‘Single Ladies’ is the highlight of Sex and the City 2. Although there are other entertaining moments in the film, there are also a number of troubling issues.
The film is set two years after the first Sex and the City movie. Carrie and Big are in somewhat of a rut, whilst Samantha is trying to defy the aging process. The four friends decide a trip to Abu Dhabi is just what the doctor ordered…
Minnelli’s appearance is entertaining, but her reason for being in the film is disconcerting. She sings at the wedding of Stanford and Anthony, the gay best friends of Carrie and Charlotte, respectively. Which sounds exciting, except for the fact that the two main gay characters detested each other in the series. Whilst Miranda brings up this point in the movie, it is quickly dismissed. The relationship between Stanford and Anthony contradicts everything about these characters in the series, and acts more as an excuse to stage a wildly extravagant set-piece, rather than to serve any other function. The marriage of the only two long-standing gay characters, despite their feelings in the series, acts as an insult to fans of the television show, both gay and straight.
Elsewhere, jokes about Middle Eastern tradition fall flat and come across as offensive rather than cheeky. Sex and the City 2 very much focuses on the relationship between the four female leads. What seems to unite them with their Middle Eastern counterparts is not shared values or strong female bonds, but fashion. It is sad that a show that used to put relationships and the human condition at its heart has degenerated into something so unreservedly shallow.
Samantha is really the only saving grace, with her outlandish behaviour and innuendo still as characteristic as in the series. Elsewhere the film looks polished, although Sarah Jessica Parker often looks haggard; surprising considering she is an executive producer and presumably would hold some sway over lighting and camera angles, not to mention post production.
Sadly, there will probably be another sequel, which will further desecrate the much-loved show. Michael Patrick King needs to learn that you can’t replace what was the very crux of the series solely with what were formerly just the added bonuses (the extravagance, the fashion) of the television show.