Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Sex and the City 2 won’t go away.

The time has come when, much as we might wish things otherwise, we are forced to consider the looming sequel to that frightful Sex and the City movie. I must guiltily admit that, two years ago, when I reviewed the …

Sun, Apr 25, 2010, 21:48

   

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The time has come when, much as we might wish things otherwise, we are forced to consider the looming sequel to that frightful Sex and the City movie. I must guiltily admit that, two years ago, when I reviewed the first picture, I expected a barrage of emails from female readers accusing me of being chromosomally unqualified to appreciated the blasted thing. For the record (the review now being behind the pay-wall), here’s how I opened my tirade.

“In anticipation of the inevitable letters of complaint, let me first acknowledge that I am, in several senses, not The Right Sort of Person to review Sex and the City. I am not the sort of person who believes that feminists fought gender wars purely to enable their successors to wallow in guiltless, lobotomised materialism. Unlike Ms Carrie Bradshaw, Ms Ally McBeal and Ms Bridget Jones, I am not the sort of person who thinks that women must have a man – and a man they can marry, at that – in their lives to achieve proper fulfilment. I am, moreover, not the sort of person who can listen to Kim Cattrall’s bizarre impression of Leslie Phillips in a 1950s sex comedy without feeling faintly nauseous. Why on EARTH, does she TALK like that?”

A bit defensive, you will agree. As things happened, I entirely misjudged the female readership and, perhaps — okay, okay, don’t be mean — the gender as a whole. Every single mail I received agreed with my position on the film. Every woman I know found the film to be as vile as I did. A glance at serious reviews confirmed, in fact, that the distaff critics were (understandably enough) more annoyed by the reactionary tone of the film than were their male colleagues.

Now, it goes without saying that one inevitable conclusion from the above is that I live a very sheltered life. After all, not only did the film make a staggering amount of money, but a disproportionate amount of that loot was taken in this territory. Those pundits who feel that critics are all pompous elitists are welcome to use this post in any future argument of their case. However, I will not, just to seem like a man of the people, pretend to tolerate the racism, snobbery and sheer Philistinism of Sex and the City: The Movie.

All of which unnecessary background mumbling finally brings us to the new trailer.

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For just about the first time in my life, I find it hard to think of anything to say. The trailer promises that things will happen that “you never thought would happen in a million years”, but contents itself with showing us the usual cretinous images of cupboards, kisses and synchronised sashays down adored and adoring boulevards.

There is now a longer trailer, but it so depressed me the first time I saw it, I genuinely can’t bear to place it on this “blog”. For the record, some reference is made to Samantha going through “the change” and there is a hint that — despite the characters’ thinking of little else in the first film — marriage may not be all it is cracked up to be. The core of the film appears to be a jaunt to Abu Dhabi for more shopping and applied ignorance.

Now, there is an interesting story here. You might, quite reasonably, wonder why Abu Dhabi, rather than the more vogueish Dubai, has been picked for the final celebration of materialistic indulgence. Well, that was the original plan, but it seems the authorities in that latter emirate didn’t fancy the idea of the film being made there. At first, I felt moved to immediately reconsider all my preconceptions about that millionaires’ playground and book a holiday instantly. Looking closer it seems, alas, that prudishness about the word “Sex”, rather than any objections to the stupidity of the material, was the driving force in the burghers’ decision. The movie then moved to Abu Dhabi, but, after pressure from their pals in Dubai, that locale’s city fathers eventually drove the shoot to Morocco.

Here’s the thing. Isn’t it ironic that a franchise with such a conservative, retrograde attitude towards women has, for reasons of propriety, been driven from a country like the UAE (if you get my drift)? Of course, the new film (which I will approach with an open mind) may prove to be a progressive, intelligent, witty improvement on its monstrous predecessor. After all, things will happen that “you never thought would happen in a million years”. We’ll find out on May 28th.

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