Sex and the City 2

 
Shopping, sex, and stereotypes merge in trite sequel.
  • Review Date: May 19, 2010
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 146 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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

Men scream and menace four women in a market.

Sex

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.

Language

A few occasions of “damn,” “hell,” and “f--k.” Plus "God" used as an exclamation.

Consumerism

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.

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.

What's the story?

Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte (Kristin Davis), and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) head to Abu Dhabi, where a sheik who might very well hire Samantha to launch his hotel welcomes them to his decadent -- butlers and chauffeured Maybachs for everyone -- property. They need the break, too: sweet Charlotte’s at wit’s end raising two daughters, one of whom won’t stop crying, ever; Miranda’s boss is a chauvinist of the 1950s order; Samantha’s battling menopause with hormones and a Suzanne Somers book; and Carrie’s fighting to maintain the “sparkle” in hers and Big’s (Chris Noth) marriage. They’re ready for Abu Dhabi, but is Abu Dhabi ready for them? And what happens when Carrie unexpectedly runs into Aiden (John Corbett)?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the lifestyles of the famous and fabulous foursome: How do they afford all those clothes and fancy furniture? If you had as much money as they do, how would you spend your money? Can you imagine spending $22,000 per night on a hotel? What do you think Carrie's butler thinks about the foursomes' spending habits? What message was the movie trying to send by telling the butler's story?

  • What are Carrie’s feelings about marriage? Do they seem realistic? Do you have empathy for Carrie's situation? Why or why not?

  • How does the film handle the cultural differences between America and the Arab world? Did you notice any stereotyping? What are your feelings about the movie's approach?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 27, 2010
DVD release date:October 26, 2010
Cast:Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker
Director:Michael Patrick King
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Comedy
Run time:146 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:some strong sexual content and language

This review of Sex and the City 2 was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 12 years old October 20, 2010
age 17+
 

stay away

why do people again and again pay money for this JUNK !!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 8 years old April 9, 2011
age 16+
 

for 16 and up

love it sex is life thats how we were all made its not gross but it might be kinda bad
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written byElla Bramwell July 3, 2014
age 14+
 

Mother and daughter bonding

Good for another and daughter bonding session. Because, let's be honest kids these days already know about sex. I'd make sure your child was at an appropriate maturity level though.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass