THE GAY JOYS OF "SEX"! "Sex And the City 2"

“Sex And the City 2”
There’s not as much “sex” in “Sex and The City 2” as we’d like. After all, just how many sexual adventures do we expect Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) –now married with small children– to get? Presumably, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Big (Chris Noth), married two years, are still getting it on– but it’s all off camera. Luckily, Samantha (Kim Catrall), 52 and proud, still gets enough action for all the girls. But there’s many more thrills in this flick than just the carnal variety. Hell, I heard a lot of orgasmic gasps from the audience. They were the reactions to, among other scenes, the sights of Carrie’s shoe collection, Patricia Field’s wild fashions (Love that dress Miranda wears to the gay wedding!), and a Speedo-clad Australian rugby team that joins the New Yorkers for a dip in the pool in an opulent Middle Eastern hotel. Welcome to the gayest mainstream movie of 2010… so far. After the perfunctory shot of Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie (lit up like a princess, natch…) in her native Manhattan environment, we move on to happily wedded Carrie and Big preparing to go to the big gay wedding of Stanford (Willie Garson) and Anthony (Mario Cantone) in Connecticut. With a blindingly white color scheme, an all-male chorus, swans, and more queens than an book of medieval history, someone asks, “Can it get any gayer than this?” Yes, it can, and it does! Liza Minnelli (Yes, Liza Minnelli.) appears to perform Beyonce’s “All the Single Ladies”, flanked with two Liza lookalike dancers.
By now you may be wondering about a plot. OK, if you must… The girls leave New York and tag along with Samantha on an all-expense paid luxury business trip to Abu Dhabi, a city where cash apparently flows like milk and honey in the Promised Land. (Think of Disneyworld in the desert.) Before the quartet even leave for the Arabian Peninsula, however, there’s plenty of “Sex and the City”-esque vignettes to keep the fans happy: Carrie fears that she and Big are going to become a boring married couple, using Big’s purchase of an HD TV and his increasing desire to “eat in” as evidence. Big makes a rather renegade proposition as a solution. To add insult to injury, Carrie gets a bad review of her new book. Charlotte is stressed out about the demands of motherhood, and worries about her pretty blonde super-nanny who refuses to wear a bra. Miranda gets fed up with being treated poorly at her job and abruptly quits. Samantha gets invited to walk the red carpet at her boyfriend’s new movie and finds she’s wearing the same dress as teen pop tart Miley Cyrus. And, ladies and gents, this is all before the quartet head off to Abu Dhabi. A Muslim city, where many of the women wear burkas and public displays of affection are not allowed, may seem like an odd choice for a setting for the second half of a movie that has “Sex” in the title … but it definitely serves for some nice culture clash later on. Plus (more gasps ahead…) the girls enjoy $22,000 a night suites; their own private cars, drivers, and personal butlers; camel rides; shopping; lounging by the pool; former lovers (Oh, forget I said that! It’s supposed to be a surprise…), etc. Later on, the culture clash I mentioned before kicks in when Samantha’s sexual antics piss off an group of conservative Muslim men. The girls manage to escape the angry mob and get to the airport, thanks to a group of kindly, fashion-loving Arab women. Sisterhood through designer clothes is a worldwide phenomenon, isn’t it? Well, it is in the fantasy world of the Sex and the City girls. This is the world, after all, where Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte get on stage in a kareoke bar in Abu Dhabi and break into Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman (Hear Me Roar)”. Of course, they all sing in perfect synch with perfect pitch– and of course, they are a big hit. (This scene rivals the Liza scene for camp value.) The movie throws in about a million one-liners and in-jokes that should delight “SATC”‘s diehard devotees… and the flick even cajoled more than a few moments of pleasure from the straight guys in the audience.
As my friend Jan said, “The movie was painted with very broad strokes!” He’s right, of course. But with Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte as the Mona Lisas, who’s complaining?! Actually, many of the reviewers have complained so far, and they have been vicious in doing so…. But I am here to say that this movie was bona fide, pure cinematic fun. Fuck the critics. And if they’re hot, I WILL fuck them. Samantha Jones would be proud…

“Sex and the City 2” is now playing.


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