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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
There are empowering messages in the film, for sure, but they are buried by the narcissism and consumerism that runs rampant through the film. Also, there's an insensitivity to Arabic culture. Plus, and this is a big plotline, there are expectations that marriage ought to be glamorous all the time. It's later debunked, but only just.
Positive Role Models
For so long, Carrie and her friends have pushed boundaries in a good way, and portrayed interesting, complicated women. But they just seem so superficial here. And the men are barely seen or heard. Nevertheless, their friendship is still admirably open and giving and supportive -- always great to see.
Violence & Scariness
Men scream and menace four women in a market.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lots of cleavage. A woman cops a feel of her date's genitals (above his clothes) at a restaurant in Abu Dhabi, scandalizing other diners. A woman gets accidentally splashed, and her T-shirt reveals her nipples. A slow-motion scene of a braless woman jumping up and down with male ogling. A woman is shown having sex a couple times; her partners are naked, their backsides visible and thrusting. A married man kisses a married woman (and they're not married to each other). Lots of double entendres.
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A few occasions of "damn," "hell," and "f--k." Plus "God" used as an exclamation.
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Products & Purchases
Persistent and over-the-top; labels named-dropped and flashed everywhere: Maybach, New Yorker, Vogue, Bulgari, Rolex, Valentino, Dior -- ad infinitum. Women constantly ooh and ahh over products.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Beer, champagne (lots of it!), and hard liquor imbibed at social occasions; some characters get drunk. Two characters smoke through a hookah. Two humorous mentions of drugs: cocaine and peyote.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this comedy, an extension of the HBO series beloved by adults (and teens thanks to DVDs and edited reruns in syndication), is a sequel to the first Sex and the City movie and features all the usual elements that made the show so famous: naughty jokes, serious label-dropping, and sex scenes (though slightly muted this time around). While essentially still a warm story about female friendship, this film layers on the familiar raunchiness, with Samantha driving the sexual humor through quips ("Lawrence of my labia!"), and two vigorous sex scenes that show thrusting male bottoms. Several close-ups of barely clothed body parts also make the cut; there's the braless nanny whose white shirt is accidently sprayed while giving kids a bath, providing a slow-motion wet T-shirt situation with fully revealed nipples; a poolside male rugby team gets some big-screen attention on their bathing suits; and in one scene, Samantha's date stands up with a full erection, much to the dismay of the traditionally clad Arab bystanders. Much is made of the Arab world's treatment of women and sexuality, and it's not handled very sensitively. There's also some swearing ("f--k," "ass," etc.), social drinking that looks very glamorous, and heavy angsting about the three m's: marriage, motherhood, and menopause. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
HBO's Sex and the City shifted mountains of paradigms, so it's no wonder it's considered groundbreaking; that's why it's such a disappointment to say that SEX AND THE CITY 2 is decidedly not. Though the foursome's enduring friendship remains -- a mindful conversation between Miranda and Charlotte about motherhood recalls the show's best sisterhood moments -- there's not much here that's particularly radical. In fact, it feels like the women -- Carrie especially -- have all taken a step back. Are we to sympathize with a Carrie who complains about a husband who'd rather cuddle and watch old movies than work the scene at an overheated club? (This, by the way, is the man she yearned to see settle down.)
Are we to believe that Samantha would now envy a twentysomething nanny? That they'd pick a Helen Reddy song to sing karaoke at an Abu Dhabi bar? That Carrie, a writer, doesn't know what a souk is? The film is all sorts of tin-eared, from its relentless consumerism (after a quick nod to the recession); annoying quips ("Lawrence of the labia"); and appalling arrogance about other cultures, to its insistence that we care about women who once seemed wise and bold but who now, alas, seem sad.
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Our Editors Recommend
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