Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Sex and the City 2 - FAIL.

I like my films like I like my food - Not incredibly fancy, but nonetheless satisfying.

I don't want to spend two hours trying a new recipe only to find out it tastes like paste, neither do I want to waste two hours watching a new film that leaves a decidedly bad taste in my mouth.

I'm not ashamed to say that I liked the first Sex and the City movie. I think I was just surprised that it didn't completely suck, as so many TV to movie transitions do (*cough* SIMPSONS) I'll save that rant for another day... After skimming through some very bad reviews whilst trying not to ruin any major plot points, I didn't expect it to be good, but I didn't think that after nearly three hours I would be as ("I'm not angry, just...") disappointed as I was. It was bad. Very very bad, on so many levels.

It started bad, but at least forgivable. Why? Why would Stanford and Anthony get married when they've never even liked each other? They did it so well in the series. The whole misconception that just because "my friend's gay, he'll want to date your gay friend, because they're gay" was done so well. Why ruin it!?

After the sticky start, and Liza's grandma rendition of (Single Ladies) "Put a ring on it..." (although the lady can still move!) there were some interesting character story arcs that could have made for a really great film. Charlotte had been a domestic goddess throughout the series, and now she has a child who won't stop screaming and she has to lock herself in a cupboard to cry! Carrie's storyline was also looking good, her and Big were representing couples who get married, and don't want kids. Not Ever. No surprise pregnancy in the end that makes them realise they wanted kids all along (A possible storyline for SATC3 methinks), it's "Me and You, Just us two." Samantha's going through menopause, also potential for meaningful yet comedic storyline goodness. And Miranda... well hers is clearly tacked on, but could have been interesting had they concentrated on her character's struggles with the fact that she's a mother who loves to work, and not made her a walking exposition guidebook for all things Abu Dhabi, including religion they blatantly disrespect, and a dress code they repeatedly ridicule.

Think Borat, but without the satire, written by Paris Hilton and with lots of pretty clothes.

Seriously, they spend about fifteen minutes staring at a woman on the next table marveling on how she can eat french fries under her veil. A conversation more suited to a bunch of Reebok wearing fifteen year olds in a Burger King! Then there's the karaoke. Oh dear god! In what seems to be an effort to empower the women of Abu Dhabi into shirking their veils and silly religion, all five of them get on stage and sing "I am woman, hear me roar". The most blatant shove-it-in-your-mouth ridiculous attempt at faux-feminism since the Spice Girls first screeched "Girl Power". To borrow a response from a very well written article in The Guardian, "Sorry, I think I just burned my fingers while retrieving my bra from the fire."

After Samantha gets arrested for indecency and down right disrespect, the girls return to a market where Carrie has left her passport, and Samantha then proceeds to piss off a load of men heading to prayer by flapping around in shorts, dropping her bag containing condoms on the floor and then giving them the finger while thrusting her hips shouting "Yes, I HAVE SEX!" Not surprisingly they give chase, and the girls are forced to follow a group of veiled women into a shop. Long story short, they too are reading a very vacuous book on menopause and take off their robes and veils only reveal designer labels. The message here clearly states that these women may seem repressed, their beliefs archaic, but it's OK they're wearing Prada.

Not since the film He's Just Not That Into You (A phrase coined by Sex and the City writers and then completely ruined), have I ranted for so long on a film that hails itself as empowering. The series was something to be proud of, it finally represented women truthfully, ignoring all of the outdated models that have existed on screen for decades. It's sickening that one of the biggest selling franchises aimed at women reduces them to no more than marriage crazy, fashion crazy airheads. It's like the last few decades of female liberation never happened and the only female role-models left on screen are nothing but living barbies that come with their very own accessory kits. Weddings, Fashion shows, Parties, Domesticity and if you're lucky, Work.

The tagline for the movie should have perhaps read-

Sex and the City 2- autonomy not included.

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