Sex and the City 2
Lasting 146 minutes and bopping from New York to Abu Dhabi, writer/director Michael Patrick King's sequel to his entertaining 2008 Sex and the City movie manages to be both gratingly shallow and indulgently overstuffed, aiming to empower the sisterhood while making its four leads naïve. Picking up two years after Big (Chris Noth) and Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) got married, the emotional stakes and--what has always defined the show--the women's friendships get shortchanged in an effort to be more stylish, extravagant, and decadent. Carrie feels her marriage is in a rut, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) want to feel like they're more than mothers, and Samantha (Kim Cattrall) is fighting off menopause with a battery of natural salves and unguents. And thanks to an Emirate hotel magnate, they get whisked off to Abu Dhabi for a much needed change of pace, where they can reconnect with themselves and each other and sing "I Am Woman" as a playful political statement. Or something. Sex and the City has always explored a fantasyland, but it had the sense to make its leads real women with real problems. Here, they not only feel out of touch, they come across as frivolous and banal. Fantasy fun shouldn't feel so desperate.