Kyle Smith of the New York Post goes nuclear over Sex & the City 2, in a hilarious, most-read review:
As tasteless as an Arabian cathouse, as worn-out as your 1998 flip-flops and as hideous as the mom jeans Carrie wears with a belly-baring gingham top, “Sex and the City 2” is two of the worst movies of the year.
The transformation of the girls from winsome wisecrackers into whiny bling-obsessed chuckleheads is complete.
After an endless 20-minute prologue at a gay wedding where Liza Minnelli croaks out “Single Ladies,” Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) complains that her hubby (Chris Noth) puts his feet on the furniture, watches too much TV and won’t go to parties — then throws a fit when, at a premiere, he chats up Penelope Cruz.
Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) remains a corporate bore while Charlotte (Kristin Davis) frets, for no reason, that her husband might have an affair with their hot Irish nanny and bursts into tears when her daughter stains her Valentino skirt — while making muffins. Samantha (Kim Cattrall) gripes about hitting menopause, as 53-year-old women so often do, yet finds herself swarmed by muscled hotties.
She soothes everyone with a free trip to an Abu Dhabi resort where the rooms are worth
$22 grand a night. Carrie actually delivers the line, “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore!” and writer-director Michael Patrick King’s pun dependence becomes as unbearable as the gilt décor. “I’m going to turn this inter-friend-tion into an inter-fun-tion!” . . . “Bedouin, bath and beyond” . . . Blah, Blah, Blahnik.
The girls aren’t interested in anything except shopping, drinking and strutting through the desert in slo-mo, but what’s most appalling is that they vamp to “I Am Woman” in this land of sand Nazis. A veil “cuts back on the Botox bill!” chirps Samantha. Har. In Abu Dhabi husbands can legally beat their wives — and Carrie thinks this place is Oz, a cure for her boredom with a zillionaire husband who, she complains, eats too much takeout. (She won’t cook because she’s more “Coco Chanel than Coq au vin.” Waiter: one divorce, please).
Complications? Carrie loses her passport when distracted by shoes. (Did Lindsay Lohan contribute to this script?) We nearly lose Charlotte when she chases a watch. Native women bond with our heroines — over shared love for the books of Suzanne Somers. A major problem gets solved in the end when Carrie gets more jewelry.
Despite its “Lawrence of Arabia” length, this film — the Sexless and the Self-Pitying — is as unfunny and shapeless as another famed desert epic. Just think of it as “Bitchtar.”
On the other hand, John Nolte of Big Hollywood sorta, kinda dug it:
The only way to explain my admiration for “Sex and the City 2” is to unfortunately reveal key plot moments and lay out much of the final act in spoiler-iffic Technicolor. This is not about justifying myself but instead to defend writer/director Michael Patrick King, who’s currently being savaged in certain parts of the media over this, his second feature based on the popular HBO series. A series I was not a fan of.
Some of the criticism is fair. Some of it is not. But we begin with a sentence I never thought I’d write: “Sex and the City 2” is a subversively patriotic, anti-Islamist fairy tale that ultimately comes down on the side of traditional values, and its creator, Michael Patrick King, has more guts than most everyone working at his level in the film industry today.
And naturally, when it comes to Hollywood versus traditional religion, you know which side of the equation our famously liberal media falls on, right?
Wrong — only if it’s Christianity. This time around, as Newsbusters notes, “Media Defend Islam from ‘Sex and the City’ Jibes:”
There are some review snippets that likely won’t end up as movie poster taglines:
“an affront to Muslims” – USA Today
“breathtaking cultural insensitivity” – Washington Post
“cinematic Viagra for Western cultural imperialists”- Salon.com
Of all the criticisms that could likely be launched against Warner Bros.’ new “Sex and the City 2” movie, the media have latched onto the film’s reported depictions of misogynist policies in Muslim nations.
It was USA Today that called the movie “an affront to Muslims.” Reviewer Claudia Puig wrote that director Michael Patrick King “is out of his league attempting to comment on the inequitable treatment of Muslim women. He ends up mocking religious beliefs and making Carrie and her friends appear insensitive.”
Many reviews are quick to defend Muslim culture, or at least Abu Dhabi, which does seem a less-than-compelling example of a society out-of-touch with modern notions of gender equality. (Some reviews do take on the other questionable material including the sleaze and rampant materialism, but the media loved the first big-screen adaptation of the HBO series.)
The criticisms of “Sex and the City 2” as “blatantly anti-Muslim,” as The Hollywood Reporter described it, may be perfectly valid. But where were these defenders of the faith when moviemakers attacked other religions?
Hey, the other religions don’t create “one of those moments that captured the world’s imagination” with quite the same vivid style and forcefulness, a level of showmanship that film critics can truly respect. And the state-run media want to do everything they can to shield America’s de facto state religion from any unneeded controversy.
Roll over H. L. Mencken, and tell Finley Peter Dunne the news.
(But still, unlike 300, when it teed off all the left people, I think I’m going to sit this one out, having never watched the original series on HBO.)
And speaking of Hollywood and the media, as the leftwing L.A. Times attempts to smear equally leftwing Tinseltown as racists, when the racialist left deploys the circular firing squad against each other, does there need to be a winner?