First Review: Sex and the City 2

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What a way to see Sex and the City 2, in Manhattan’s Paris Theatre, followed by cosmos at Bergdoff Goodman in the presence of Manolo, Coco and Valentino. Tee reports back from NYC with this first review of the Sex and the City sequel, featuring the fab four; Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) transported to Abu Dhabi, an anti-recession oasis of decadence, opulence and turbulence…

Highlights? The wardrobes. Both in the sartorial and the actual phyiscal wardrobe sense. After three years living in Auckland character houses with everything but a wardrobe, Carrie’s walk in spaces give me butterflies. Amazing work once again by Patricia Field, so many mental notes taken; I need Carrie’s turquoise heels and fancy pants turban, Miranda’s green outfits, Samatha’s power shouldered red blazer… et al. One nameless (and apparently tasteless) gossip blogger reported back after the premiere the night before that the fashion was dull and disappointing. To that I say, stick to your knitting honey. We obviously didn’t see the same film as the outfits I saw were anything but akin to their barren dessert setting.

The music. Unlike a friend of mine, my time in Manhattan has been relatively unpunctuated by the beat of Jay Z’s ‘Empire State of Mind’, but it and a number of iconic songs with a girlie twist earnt their way onto the soundtrack. I can see this (and some of the gems I heard at the afterparty) featuring on high rotation at nzgirlHQ. Only one track, that I SO wanted to love and get caught up in (you know how I love an epic song), didn’t quite work for me.

The humour. It’s not Saturday Night Live. It’s not always politcally correct. But oneliners such as Samantha’s “He could be the Prince of my Labia”, or Miranda’s childlike glee at screaming “Abu Dhabi Do” are the ladies we know and love.

Then there’s the storyline, hidden under the frocks, heels and gorgeous setting. Despite Liza Minnelli’s rendition of a certain iconic Beyonce number in the opening scenes, you quickly realise this movie isn’t actually soley for ‘all my single ladies’, but it’s as much for those loved up, coupled up women, looking back on that other, sometimes greener side of the fence, while trying to make it work in the paddock they’d always dreamt of.

It reminded me a lot of Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest book Committed for its frank, heartfelt take on modern relationships and what it means to be a woman juggling your own identity, friends, partners, children and your career. Knowing that you’ve got the words of the fabulous four to echo in your head at times of need, like parenting second guessing (I loved the scene with Miranda and Charlotte at the bar and I don’t even have kids), career meltdowns or relationship fizzles is welcomed.

The film’s received mixed reviews – mainly from old men and women who just didn’t get it- in the same way, that I did. To my stauncher, older, feminist sisters, those moments you detest as being bad role models for women; Miranda weighing up her now demoralisng job and spending time with her family, Charlotte finally getting everything she wanted and then wanting it to disappear again, Carrie reaching the comfort point of her relationship and wondering whether it’s enough to be “me and you, just us two” forever after, Samantha freaking out over menopause and her waning sex drive, they’re all still the very real conflicts that we as women deal with, especially as a generation who’ve been told they can have it all, but now have to figure out how to make it work. So stop trotting out the same argument you used to pick apart the last movie and just enjoy the film for what it is.

At over two hours, there were times prone to excess and indulgent storylines that could have made the cutting floor. Did it really need the 6th twist? Did she really say/do that? But then you remember extravangance is the bonanza’s middle name and all is forgiven – and you realise the two hours have flown by and can’t you have that time all over again please?

Which I will be. Can’t wait to do it all again on Monday at the NZ Premiere!

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