Sex and the City 2 review: “I am woman!” shriek the four horsewomen of the menopocalypse during a boozy bonding karaoke session in the middle of a film as polished, savvy and calculating as Samantha Jones herself. A fitting rally cry for a movie that attempts to be all things to all women and succeeds in addressing only a handful of storylines satisfactorily.
Set two years after sex hack Carrie’s wedding, the gals now have high-class problems to face. Carrie (Parker) has a longer face than usual because her hugely wealthy hubby (Chris Noth) enjoys watching TV and eating takeaways. Lawyer Miranda (Nixon) wants a nicer high-paying job, while Charlotte (Davis) struggles with her kids and full-time nanny. PR cougar Samantha (Cattrall) worries about the edge coming off her legendary libido and douches daily with hormonal gels. When a five-star freebie trip to Abu Dhabi comes up the quartet are straight on the plane.
Sacrificing meaty story arcs for a checklist of universal girl grumbles, SATC2’s scattergun approach will connect to an audience escaping similar experiences – and on that level it works for core fans. Tweaked to waxwork-like weirdness, the foursome ooze fabulous, from the OTT fashion (seriously, how big are their suitcases?) and high-camp situations, to the run-ins with celeb cameos (Penélope Cruz, a doddery Liza Minnelli) and beloved series characters (welcome back, Aidan).
The uninitiated (ie: blokes) may struggle to relate to women who are never developed beyond seemingly vapid ciphers in an abridged version of the original show. Alice Eve’s tits and Noth’s world-weary bemusement at Carrie’s obsession with the minutiae aside, there’s not much here to charm a dragged-along chap. But that’s probably the way the girls like it.