The early word is out on the second “Sex and the City” movie, and according to at least one former-fan-turned-reviewer, the franchise has officially gone to Hades in a Birkin bag, taking what she believes was once a series with a warm heart beating under all those pricey threads and turning it into a hot mess replete with “misogynistic” and “borderline racist” undertones.
Says The Guardian’s Hadley Freeman: “I’m not asking for much. I just don’t want to be sick in my mouth.” Ouch. —KA
Then there’s the issue of race. The TV series was, quite rightly, criticised for rarely featuring non-Caucasian characters. The first film’s nervy response to this was to include a black character, but as Carrie’s assistant, played by Jennifer Hudson, who is cravenly grateful for Carrie’s designer cast-offs, and then returns in the end to the south, where black people belong. The second film goes even further, because King sends the characters to Abu Dhabi. Not since 1942’s Arabian Nights has orientalism been portrayed so unironically. All Middle Eastern men are shot in a sparkly light with jingly jangly music just in case you didn’t get that these dusky people are exotic and different. Even leaving aside the question of why anyone would go on holiday to Abu Dhabi, everyone who has ever watched a TV show knows that the first rule is: don’t take characters out of their usual environment. The term “jump the shark” was even coined about the series-destroying episode of Happy Days in which the characters go on holiday and Fonzie water-skis over a shark. This rule was repeatedly proven in the TV series of Sex and the City as the weakest episodes always involved the women leaving New York (two forays to California, one to Atlantic City) and it is roundly proven here because the film-makers’ knowledge of the Middle East begins and ends with Lawrence of Arabia, whereas part of the fun of the show was the in-the-know details about Manhattan. And speaking of Manhattan, the only ethnic minorities you see there are waiting behind counters to sell the women expensive handbags.