Sex and the City, as a show, was a guilty pleasure; a 22 min. bon-bon of silliness and fun with the occasional bit of gravitas and a whole lot of Kim Cattrall. Their first movie was entertaining, if over-the-top, and wrapped up the story lines that had been left swinging in the wind when the series wound down.
I agreed to watch this sequel, however, only for my wife, who is in the fashion business. I expected to really dislike it given all the reviews. I was surprised, and it had us examining why the reviews and box office were so bad, but more on that in in a minute.
The opening of this flick is worth seeing, just for the utterly outlandish and overblown wedding–self-consciously so and it even manages to keep topping itself. The story goes from there to life choices and real aspects of marriage. It is an enjoyable romp.. much more so than I expected.. despite its silliness and forced situations. And, of course, there is the fashion. One aspect of note: their make-up and lighting people should have been shot. Parker in particular, but all of the women generally, looked awful. The words “old hag” were used a couple times from our couch. They aren’t, but boy did the make-up and lighting not do them any favors.
So, if this movie was enjoyable, why did it fail so utterly at the box office? Three reasons I could identify:
- It’s a movie about opulence during one of the deepest parts of the recession. The Gold Diggers failed during the Great Depression for similar reasons. It was just too much of what people didn’t have.
- On a global front, it is a bit of a polemic against the middle-east and how it treats women. Frankly, it felt rather honest and, in its weird way, empowering, but definitely not favorable.
- It takes on the subject of couples who choose not to have children and doesn’t flinch. Frankly, it was probably this nail in the coffin that was the strongest and it says a great deal about our own society and its biases.
Overall, this is a solid 3 star movie, which I write with as much surprise as you read. The fact that we saw this as a double feature with Megamind… and the latter did not come across the better, shocked me, but there you have it.