It’s mighty hard to justify my purchase of Sex and the City 2… but I’m a compulsive completist, and the DVD was going cheap in a charity shop, so I’m afraid I let my curiosity get the better of me (for a worthy cause!). Considering the critical drubbing that this (blatantly unnecessary) sequel took when it was first released, I didn’t exactly go in with very high expectations… but I still found myself profoundly disappointed by the cringe-worthy depths to which this stinker sank. It is without a doubt the nadir of the series, and a total insult to the witty, snappy, sexy TV sitcom that spawned it. As far as I can see, this movie basically takes an episode’s worth of plotlines and character development, and pads them out to (well beyond) feature length with another spectacularly insulting and ill-conceived overseas jaunt. In what kind of bizarro alternate universe did this story need to be told at all… let alone spun out to 140 minutes!? GAH!!!
There was one brief scene between ‘Miranda’ (Cynthia Nixon) and ‘Charlotte’ (Kristin Davis), where they discussed the hardships of motherhood, that actually came off as quite sweet and funny, and almost recaptured the spirit of the original show… but it was abruptly interrupted by the arrival of a distraught ‘Carrie’ (Sarah Jessica Parker), demanding that everyone gather around and listen to her sophomorically stupid relationship woes. Somewhere along the line, her character has devolved from a sweet, sassy pixie into a detestable, humourless narcissist… which is kinda weird, considering how much sway SJP clearly has over the production. Heck, none of the other cast members were even allowed to appear alongside her on the DVD cover! And don’t even get me started on the random appearance of ‘Aidan’ (John Corbett) in a “souk” marketplace in Abu Dhabi… because words cannot express how aggravating that was, both from a plausibility stand-point, and because of all of the memories of aggravations-past that it dredged up. I assume from all the slow-motion, we were supposed to find this scene magical and touching… but, no. As Aiden himself so eloquently puts it: “What the…? Abu Dhabi? What? You? Why?” Amen, brother. I was also pained by the way they paired ‘Samantha’ (Kim Cattrall) with a playboy businessman named ‘Dick’, despite the fact they’d already exhausted that particular double entendre the last time she hooked up with a playboy businessman named ‘Dick’ (back in Season Four). Feh.
Now, instead of trying to summarise the rest of the story, or ranting on like a crazy person about character consistency, I’d like to shine a spotlight on the innocent, ill-served Desi and Arab actresses who appeared in minor, mildly racist roles throughout the movie. The various Afdal Air Flight Attendants were played by: Melanie Kannokada, a former Miss India America, who has also had guest spots on Parenthood, Rules of Engagement, and The Daily Show… Marjan Neshat, who has appeared in Fringe, Law & Order, and Rescue Me… Chriselle Almeida, who made her TV debut in an episode of Gossip Girl, and has also appeared in Body of Proof… Deepa Purohit, a Welsh actress, who has appeared in Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Six Degrees and The Sopranos… and Nicole Shalhoub, who’s also appeared in Law & Order: Criminal Intent, as well as The Good Wife and The International.
Suffering even more onscreen indignity than the flight attendants were the burka-clad women who rescue the movie’s “heroines” from an angry mob of shouty men, then shed their black, baggy outer-garments to reveal that they were secretly wearing garishly colourful, multi-layered Western outfits under their robes all along! Ack! Anyhoo, the actresses in question were: Raya Meddine, who apparently has a recurring role as a ghost on The Young and the Restless (!), and has also appeared in Touch, Rizzoli & Isles, and CSI: Miami… Goldy Notay, a Brit who has appeared in Doctors, Holby City, and It’s a Wonderful Afterlife, as well as voicing a character in the Noddy TV series… and Anoush NeVart, who has previously appeared in 90210, Fame, Southland and Nip/Tuck.
Finally, the character referred to as the ‘Real Housewife of Abu Dhabi’ (by Carrie), was played by Najat Kheir Allah… who’s only other credit is a controversial French/Arabic-language film titled Amours Voilées, which has been described as “a Moroccan-style Sex and the City, [following] the lives of five young women living in Casablanca, struggling to forge meaningful relationships in a world divided between the powerful and contradictory forces of tradition and modernity.” Wackily enough, SatC2 was also filmed in Morocco, because Emirati authorities refused clearance for filming in Abu Dhabi itself… presumably on the grounds of lewdness and offensiveness, rather than because they hated the way that Charlotte’s long-established interest in Art and Culture had been forgotten in favour of a shitty sub-plot about a bra-less “Oirish” nanny.
[Deep, cleansing breath]