I saw “Sex and the City 2” and I liked it. That’s right, you heard me.
It wasn’t as good as the first “Sex and the City” movie in 2008 and certainly not as good as the best of the hit HBO TV series, but I still laughed plenty and enjoyed the wild (if completely over the top) romp.
So what’s the big deal? Why are so many reviewers, and various other smug cultural hangers-on, having such a good time hating it?
Yes, yes I get that it’s a different time in our country than it was two years ago, as Manolo, er Manohla Dargis pointed out in The New York Times last week (and her piece wasn’t really The Times review, it was more of a pop cultural temperature-taking of SATC then and now.)
She’s smart, of course, and made some good points — there are bad puns, and I think we’re all in agreement that the world at large could have done without Liza Minnelli‘s nothing-at-all-cool-about-it performance of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” at the gay wedding. But even Dargis concedes there are some good, subtle moments in the film, too. Also that — and this point is important — the characters and show aren’t rooted in reality, and aren’t meant to be. The girls’ glamorous New York City existence is one of fantasy and “breezy entitlement,” as Dargis calls it, is part of the privileged deal. (No apology necessary.)
Even so, it’s blatantly clear Dargis was never a fan of the series in the first place, and that seems true of the SATC2 detractors in general — this movie isn’t without flaw, but the big-time haters just don’t get it and never did.
Roger Ebert called the character of Mr. Big “loathsome” in his review. If you find Big loathsome, you are way beyond being able to understand or appreciate these characters. Ebert finds their whole world trivial, and the clothes and shoes are completely lost on him (why are they always changing outfits? why do they bake cupcakes in vintage Valentino?). That’s really too bad, because stylist Patricia Field‘s genius looks are as important as any of the characters or plot twists. SATC2 is all about spectacle — and sparkle — and those fabulous costumes are a key part of the confection.
At least Ebert‘s review is *sort of* an actual review, as opposed to what some angry lady named Lindy West (never heard of her before this) wrote for Seattle’s The Stranger. I’m actually sorry I read it — she mocks the appearance of Cynthia Nixon‘s real-life female fiancee, which is beside the point and below the belt — but since West reports that SATC2 takes everything she holds dear as a woman and “rapes it to death with a stiletto,” maybe this means she’s out of axe-grinding commission for good and we’ll never have to hear from her again.
As for the common criticism that the movie is offensive to Muslim culture…. I can’t say I’m looking to my summer blockbusters for enlightened political correctness. Sorry — I have two young kids, I don’t get to too many movies and, when I do, it comes with a financial commitment of $15/hour plus the price of admission. I got nothin’ against escapism.
I’m in it for the girlie-fun and the clothes.
If you’re not, and it’s all lost on you, too, then by all means, go see “Shrek!” I hope it makes you feel like a better person.