Sex and the City 2: Sexist Reviews, O.K. Show.

by Meredith O'Brien


*Warning, minor Sex and the City 2 spoilers ahead*


Okay, so it wasn’t as bad as ALL THAT. It wasn’t Glitter for God’s sake. Geez film reviewers, hate much?


As I stepped into the theater to plunk my hard-earned cash onto the counter to pay for admission to see Sex and the City 2, I carried in my head the brutal reviews I’d read in newspapers and online journals lampooning the latest frolic featuring the four pampered ladies of Manhattan as they embarked on a well-heeled platinum jaunt to Abu Dhabi.


One review in my local newspaper set the tone for me before I even set foot in the movie house. The writer observed, “. . . [T]he once-fab foursome of Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte have gone from confident and independent 30-something women to neurotic, self-indulgent middle-aged shrews.” Just for fun, I looked up the definition of the word “shrew” in my dictionary; it read, “a nagging, evil-tempered woman.”


A writer for Salon took out his knife and hacked away: “This bloated, incoherent movie mimics a SATC episode in structure -- vague social relevance at the beginning and the end, conspicuous consumption in the middle -- with virtually none of the wit or panache, and seems devoted to destroying our affection for these characters . . . Big is something else, a shambling, half-dead ghoul enslaved to a demonic harridan.” My dictionary defined “harridan” as: “a nasty, bad-tempered old woman.” FYI, Carrie Bradshaw is in her 40s.


Okay, so I, personally, was not a fan of the trip to Abu Dhabi thing or the karaoke number the foursome did while at a posh Middle Eastern resort where they sang the 70s feminist anthem “I Am Woman.” (Cringe-inducing given the paucity of women’s rights in that region, but this is escapist fantasy, right?) I also wasn’t especially fond of the too-long wedding sequence at the beginning. However I didn’t expect SATC to be all dark and twisty and plumb the depths of my soul for the meaning of marriage, commitment and long-term romance. I expected sheer fluff and ridiculously out of touch clothing that I not only cannot afford but most of which I wouldn’t wear if all the clothing I owned had been set on fire.



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I'm sorry...I have to disagree with you. I thought that 75% of the movie was okay...but what the writers did with Samantha in Abu Dhabi was absolutely disgraceful (POTENTIAL SPOILERS HERE). I cringed thinking that people in the Middle East would be watching this movie. Samantha, albeit somewhat raunchy, is a sophisticated and successful woman. How would she continue to make such cultural gaffes (putting it lightly)? Fondling the architect in public...wearing inappropriate clothing ALL THE TIME...brandishing condoms in the middle of the street? Seriously. I really did think that the movie (at least as regards Samantha) was THAT bad. BTW - with all the nudity and humiliating/embarrassing scenes that Kim Catrall has had to play over the years, they better be paying her well (I never blamed her for holding out for more salary).


Thank you Meredith! I too had exactly the same reaction to the SATC 2. I had planned a night out with my girlfriends for weeks - and then could not believe the vitrol of the reviews. While I did not love the trip to Abu Dhabi (I missed NYC - and thought that the trip to a Muslim country might have been ill-placed. Rio instead?), I do think the movie felt true to the characters. Half way through when I realized that I was laughing and generally enjoying myself -- and taking the movie for what it was -- I thought about the reviews. To quote Carrie, "I had to wonder..." why is it that we demand so much more substance from a 'women's' comedy than say The Hangover or pretty much any Judd Apatow flick? (And I love those movies by the way too.) I do think there is some sexism going on here - like some strange underhanded attempt to undermine what the first SATC movie proved - that a 'women's' movie can actually generate strong box office returns. My friends generally liked the movie to varying degrees - but none of us hated it. We all also agreed (as working mothers with young children) that the Charlotte/Miranda plotline -- and their great conversation over drinks -- was the most honest and refreshing part of the movie. And the clothes were fabulous...