“Sex and the City 2” Movie Review

     I must confess before going any further with this review.  I was a big fan of Sex and the City during it's 6 year television run on HBO and when the first film came out I was first in line.  It should come as no surprise then that I thoroughly enjoyed Sex and the City 2 and with a two and a half hour running time, I simply view it as 5 episodes all rolled into one.

     Part of what has always attracted me to the series and now the films are the superbly rich and layered characters.  I feel good television shows which get made into movies sometimes benefit from the long character history we automatically go in with.  I mean, if you've watched the show you know Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha.  You are aware of their past relationships, their turn ons, their turn offs, and so on.  It is as if you know them and sometimes you will speak of them as if they are real.  I find this type of solid base to very useful when watching a film like SATC2, and I'm sure the filmmakers knew this going in.

     Whereas the first SATC film focused on Carrie and Big's wedding, this one focuses on being married.  Carrie and Big are looking for sparkle.  Miranda and Steve want to spend time with each other, but Miranda's budding law career gets in the way.  Charlotte and Harry have two young adopted children with Charlotte showing frustration as the stay at home mom, even though she has a nanny! Even Samantha has her issues as she grapples with the effects of menopause.  With all of the day to day marital challenges, the foursome are delighted when they are offered an all expenses paid trip to Abu Dhabi.

     The middle half of the film has the girls on this lavish vacation complete with a giant $22,000 per night suite, butlers, private cars, and the best of everything.  The setting allows for all sorts of comedic set ups which I won't go into here.  If you've seen the trailer, then you already know who Carrie runs into and the moral test that results.   Once the girls return from their trip, the various plot lines are all sewn up and all is well in their respective worlds which sounds like the perfect film, right?

     Well, not exactly.  The film moves briskly, but some may feel it is a bit over long.  While we are used to the characters showing emotion, some of the acting may be a little over the top, especially Kristen Davis' Charlotte.  While the main characters are truly front and center, the supporting players don't figure into this story the way they did in the first film.  After the opening act at a gay wedding, Steve, Harry, and Stanford are MIA and while the girls are great by themselves, it's always better when we have other characters reacting and playing off what they do and what they say.  The star of the show is once again Kim Catrell.  Her Samantha steals every scene and exhibits a sense of comic timing that ranks with the best.  She truly has taken her character to new heights.

     Overall, I feel SATC 2 is an excellent addition to SATC universe.  I say universe because I really can't believe there is anyone who really lives the lives these girls have.  They talk in the film about the economy, but you never see any of them penny pinching, what with their top of the line homes, clothes, and lifestyles.  It is truly fictional, but an alternate reality I don't mind venturing into now and then.  Who wouldn't? GRADE: B+