Sex and the City 2 Criticism

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For the six years that the HBO comedy was on the air, Sex and the City was perhaps known best for two things: the series’ candid portrayal of the life of a single, thirty-something not-quite-everywoman in New York City, and the breathtaking wardrobe of said thirtysomething.

After last weekend’s release of Sex and the City 2, though, the decade-old franchise has fielded widespread criticism for something other than the costume changes. Not only has the sequel fielded criticism for its utter lack of timeliness (as it turns out, watching Carrie Bradshaw and co. strut down 5th avenue in $500 Manolo Blahniks was a lot easier on the eyes back when Uncle Sam was actually running a surplus), but also for its blatantly stereotyped depiction of life in the Middle East.

For those who have yet to plunk down $9.75 for the two-and-a-half-hour glimpse at the high life: this follow-up to the original 2008 film adaptation finds the ladies on an all-expense-paid trip to Abu Dhabi. Yet writer-director-producer Michael Patrick King — evidently not content to accept Samantha’s insistence upon bearing cleavage as culture clash enough—takes the girls’ clichéd American inconsideration to new heights.

Tired pun after tired pun (Bed, Bath and Bedouin? Really, Carrie?) grates on for so long that it’s no wonder the United Arab Emirates Media Council made a public statement against the film’s portrayal of the region. Filming, for what it’s worth, didn’t even take place in Abu Dhabi, but thousands of miles away in the North African nation of Morocco — making any bid at cultural sensitivity all the cheaper.

While Sex and the City has certainly never purported to be any kind of purveyor of political correctness, there’s still a certain degree of social responsibility that any film of this degree of popularity ought to maintain—but King, evidently, doesn’t value that sort of responsibility over a “Lawrence of my Labia” joke. Insulting humor or not, though, it’s sad for this onetime diehard fan to see just how far the mighty have fallen. I guess Carrie and her partners in crime were never cut out for responsible, recession-era comedy.

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