Sex and the City 2

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Sex and the City 2
Sex and the City 2 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMichael Patrick King
Produced by
Screenplay byMichael Patrick King
Story byDarren Star
Based onCharacters
by Candace Bushnell
Starring
Music byAaron Zigman
CinematographyJohn Thomas
Edited byMichael Berenbaum
Production
company
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures[1]
Release date
  • May 27, 2010 (2010-05-27)
Running time
146 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$95 million[3][4]
Box office$294.6 million[4]

Sex and the City 2 is a 2010 American romantic comedy film written, co-produced, and directed by Michael Patrick King.[5] It is the sequel to the 2008 film Sex and the City,[6] based on the HBO series of the same name (1998–2004). Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon reprised their roles as friends Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda, while Chris Noth co-stars as Carrie's husband Mr. Big. It features cameos from Liza Minnelli, Miley Cyrus, Tim Gunn, Ron White, Omid Djalili, Penélope Cruz, Norm Lewis, Kelli O'Hara, and Ryan Silverman.

Sex and the City 2 was released theatrically on May 27, 2010, in the United States and the following day in the United Kingdom, grossing $294 million from a $95 million budget. It received seven Golden Raspberry nominations, and won in the categories of Worst Actress (for Parker, Cattrall, Davis, and Nixon), Worst Screen Ensemble, and Worst Sequel. The film was nominated for Worst Picture, Worst Screenplay, Worst Director, and Minnelli for Worst Supporting Actress. A third Sex and the City film was announced in 2016, but it was cancelled the following year.

Plot[edit]

Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda meet up. In flashback Carrie is depicted arriving in New York City in 1986, meeting Charlotte in 1987, Miranda in 1989, and meeting Samantha, when she was a bartender at the music club CBGB.

In the present, three of the four women are married but Samantha, aged 52, is desperately trying to keep her libido alive with the help of "Suzanne Somers and her team of doctors" to keep her menopause at bay. The four of them attend Anthony and Stanford's wedding, where Carrie serves as "best man". Miranda quits her job after her firm's misogynistic new managing partner disrespects her once too often. Charlotte's two children are a handful (mostly her two-year-old daughter Rose's extreme and constant crying), and she is worried that Harry is attracted to their buxom Irish nanny, Erin. Carrie's marriage to Mr. Big has settled down, although they differ on how to spend their spare time. For their anniversary, Carrie gives Mr. Big a vintage Rolex watch engraved with a romantic message, while he, much to her dismay, shows her a new TV in their bedroom as his gift, which Big says they can use to watch old films together, something they did at the hotel at Anthony and Stanford's wedding and seemed to enjoy. Carrie, however, is disappointed, as she had hoped for jewelry as a gift.

Meanwhile, Samantha has been approached by an Arab sheikh to devise a PR campaign for his business. He offers to fly her and her friends on an all-expenses-paid luxury vacation to Abu Dhabi. The girls happily accept, although Carrie is worried about the separation from Big, and Charlotte is worried about leaving her husband alone with the nanny. Only Miranda, unfettered by a job for the first time in her life, is enthusiastic. Upon entering Abu Dhabi, Samantha's hormone-enhancing drugs are confiscated under United Arab Emirates law. This renders her devoid of estrogen, which hinders her libido. Charlotte tries to call Harry every few minutes; Miranda revels in the luxury surrounding her; and Carrie befriends her manservant, Gaurau, who is an underpaid temporary worker from India.

Carrie runs into her former lover, Aidan. He proposes dinner à deux at his hotel, and she decides to accept. The dinner is very enjoyable, with the two discussing old times. Aidan remarks on the ways Carrie is "not like other women". In a moment of remembered passion, they kiss. Carrie runs away in panic and returns to her hotel.

Back at their hotel, Miranda and Charlotte have drinks together and discuss the difficulties of motherhood. Carrie arrives, tells her friends about the kiss, and asks them whether she should tell Big, as they have no secrets between them. Miranda reflects on the events of the previous film, when her husband, Steve, told her about his affair. Samantha counsels Carrie to wait before deciding anything. Carrie opts to call Big to tell him. Big is silent upon hearing the news, and after saying a few words, hangs up.

The four women find their style and Western attitudes contrast with Muslim customs. For example, while on a date with a handsome Dane, Samantha is arrested for public indecency after fondling him at a restaurant and making out with him on the beach. With the Sheikh's intervention, Samantha is released but is left with a permanent police record. To make matters worse, the Sheikh decides to cancel the PR meeting and ceases paying for the remainder of the women's luxurious stay. They are told they have one hour to either pay $22,000 a night for the rest of their stay or leave. They quickly pack their bags and leave, but must return to the souq to find Carrie's passport. When Samantha's flamboyance nearly incites a riot among the locals, the women are rescued by a group of Emirati women who share their sense of style under their black robes.

When Carrie returns home, she finds the bedroom television removed and Big gone. She passes an anxious day, at the end of which he returns. Big tells her that although he was "pretty torn up", he realizes that what she needs is something to remind her at all times that she is married. He hands her a jewelry box, which reveals an engagement ring set with a black diamond. When Carrie asks him why a black diamond, he says, "Because you're not like anyone else", echoing Aidan's earlier comment.

Big and Carrie combine their interests; Charlotte's nanny, Erin, turns out to be a lesbian and no threat to her marriage; Miranda finds a new job at a more laid-back and diverse law firm where she is appreciated; and Samantha remains unchanged, and even meets for sex on the beach with the Danish architect she met in Abu Dhabi, this time in the Hamptons.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Sarah Jessica Parker at the movie set.

Development[edit]

After months of speculation, the cast confirmed in February 2009 that a sequel was in the works. Filming began in August 2009.

The sequel is noticeably different from its predecessor, and includes more exotic locales than the original. King credits this to the experience he had promoting the original film in such locales. He was also inspired by the recession to write something bigger more akin to the extravagant adventures and escapist comedies of the 1930s.[1] The location of Abu Dhabi was chosen because of its high fashion culture (although the authorities later revoked filming clearance) and also that it was a location relatively free from the recession.[1]

All four stars, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis, and Kim Cattrall, returned in the sequel; Chris Noth also signed on to reprise the role of Mr. Big.[7] Evan Handler returned as Harry Goldenblatt, John Corbett as Aidan Shaw, David Eigenberg played Steve Brady once more, Willie Garson returned as Stanford Blatch, and Mario Cantone again played Anthony Marentino, making the original cast almost complete. In addition, Michael Patrick King wrote and directed again, and Patricia Field once again took charge of the costumes and wardrobe. Hats were once again created by Prudence Millinery for Vivienne Westwood.

Entertainment Weekly confirmed that the budget for the film was US$95 million,[8] exactly $30 million greater than the budget for the first film. Sarah Jessica Parker was paid US$15 million plus residuals for her dual role as a producer and starring as Carrie Bradshaw.[9]

Filming[edit]

Filming in New York City was postponed to the end of July as Emirati authorities refused clearance for filming in the United Arab Emirates. Consequently, the Abu Dhabi segment of the film was filmed in Morocco.[10][11] All four leading actresses and other cast and crew were photographed[12] filming scenes in Morocco in November 2009, where they had originally planned to shoot for 13 days, which had to be extended to almost six weeks. Filming took place at several locations including the seaside town of Sidi Kaouki,[13] and Amanjena, outside of Marrakesh.[14]

The sequel officially began filming on September 1, 2009, and continued until the end of the year.

Casting[edit]

In September 2009, American singer and actress Liza Minnelli confirmed to several media outlets that she appeared in a cameo role. Singer and actress Bette Midler had been photographed on set, but does not appear in the film. Penélope Cruz appears briefly as Carmen, a banker.[15] Miley Cyrus appeared in one scene where she appears at the premiere of Smith Jerrod's new film, wearing the same dress as Samantha. On October 17, Oceanup.com posted several pictures of Cyrus filming the scene.[16]

John Corbett was seen on location in Morocco, confirming his speculated involvement in the film as Aidan.[17]

Release[edit]

Promotion began in December 2009, when the official teaser poster was released online, featuring Carrie in a white dress and gold sunglasses which reflect a Moroccan backdrop, and the tagline "Carrie On", a similar pun of the lead character's name as "Get Carried Away" from the first film.[18] The same image and tagline was used for the launch of the official Sex and the City 2 website, also launched in December 2009.

The teaser trailer premiered online on December 22, 2009.[19] In March 2010, new promotional stills were released, predominantly featuring scenes from the Moroccan portion of the film.[20] Also in March, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon attended ShoWest 2010 in Las Vegas to premiere the full length trailer and discuss the film (Kim Cattrall was in London performing on stage in the West End, and joined the rest of the cast for promotion when her stage run ended on May 3).

The full theatrical trailer premiered on Entertainment Tonight and online on April 8, 2010,[21] featuring the New York City-themed single "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, as well as Australian singer Ricki-Lee Coulter's song "Can't Touch It".

A full-scale promotional tour with all key cast members—including television, press conference and print—commenced in early May 2010, and continued throughout the film's release, encompassing many different countries and cities. The New York City premiere of the film was held on May 24, 2010.

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 16% of 206 critics have given Sex and the City 2 a positive review; the average rating is 3.7/10.[22] By comparison the first film received a score of 49% based on 172 reviews and has an average score of 5.5/10.[23] The critical consensus is: "Straining under a thin plot stretched to its limit by a bloated running time, Sex and the City 2 adds an unfortunate coda to the long-running HBO series."[22] Metacritic gave the film a score of 27/100 based on a normalized average of 39 reviews indicating generally unfavorable reviews.[24]

The film was criticized for its portrayal of the Middle East. Stephen Farber of The Hollywood Reporter called it "blatantly anti-Muslim"[25] and Hadley Freeman of the UK broadsheet The Guardian described the trailers as "borderline racist".[26] Andrew O'Hagan of the London Evening Standard wrote that the film "could be the most stupid, the most racist, the most polluting and women-hating film of the year".[27] Roger Ebert gave the film one star out of four; he wrote that the characters are "flyweight bubbleheads" and the visual style "arthritic", and criticized the voiceover narration as redundant.[28]

Lindy West wrote a noted[29][30] review of the film, saying that "SATC2 takes everything that I hold dear as a woman and as a human—working hard, contributing to society, not being an entitled cunt like it's my job—and rapes it to death with a stiletto that costs more than my car. It is 146 minutes long, which means that I entered the theater in the bloom of youth and emerged with a family of field mice living in my long, white mustache. This is an entirely inappropriate length for what is essentially a home video of gay men playing with giant Barbie dolls."[31]

Toronto academic Mitu Sengupta said the film exploited women's and gay rights and "pitifully" turned them into "badges of national honor" and "smug patriotic pride". She wrote: "What's really worrying about Sex and the City 2 is not its Orientalism or crass materialism, but how easily this seemingly benign bubble-gum flick ends up fighting a very macho war of global one-upmanship on the bodies of women and gay men."[32] British critic Mark Kermode declared it the worst film of 2010,[33] saying he could think of nothing "more poisonous, more repugnant, more repulsive, more retrograde, more depressing than Sex and the City 2".[34] Time named it one of the 10 worst movies based on TV shows.[35]

Sex and the City 2 received seven nominations at the 31st Golden Raspberry Awards including Worst Picture.[36] It went on to win three awards, including a joint worst actress award for Parker, Cattrall, Nixon and Davis.[37] David Eigenberg expressed interest in receiving the Worst Couple/Screen Ensemble Razzie, which was awarded to the entire cast. According to Razzies founder John J. B. Wilson, "[Eigenberg] said that he had never won an award of any kind and if this was what he won, he would accept it." Eigenberg then collaborated with Wilson to make a humorous acceptance video which was posted on the official YouTube channel of the Golden Raspberry Awards.[38]

Box office[edit]

Sex and the City 2 opened in 3,445 theaters on May 27, 2010, setting a record for one of the widest release for a R-rated romantic comedy film. Playing in 2,000 theaters, the film grossed $3 million from its midnight premiere.[39] On its opening day, the film topped the box office grossing $14.2 million,[40] for a projected $60 million for a 4-day opening weekend, plus $75 million for a 5-day Memorial day weekend.[41] But it debuted in second place behind Shrek Forever After with $31 million, and its total to $45.2 million, for its 4-day opening weekend, plus $51 million on its 5-day opening weekend (Memorial Day).

Internationally the sequel topped the charts in Germany for five weeks, Britain for three weeks, Australia for two weeks and exceeding the original in Japan and Greece. Sex and the City 2 sold more tickets than the first part in many other markets. As of August 19, 2010, the film's total US gross stands at $95.3 million. As of August 1, 2010, internationally it has grossed $199.3 million—giving it a worldwide total of $294.7 million. Although 27% lower than the first film, it was 2010's highest-grossing romantic comedy.[42]


Criticism[edit]

Sex and the City 2 had come under fire for the depiction of the Middle East. The movie takes on a very Orientalist point of view. The term was coined by Edward Said in 1979 and is used to describe a way of seeing the oriental undeveloped East in comparison to the developed West. “Orientalism is a style of thought based upon an ontological and epistemological distinction made between "the Orient" and (most of the time) "the Occident.[43]” The following quote encapsules this point well - after Carrie learns about their visit to Abu Dhabi she expresses her excitement: “I’ve always been fascinated by the Middle East. You know, desert moons, Scheherazade, magic carpets. Just like Jasmine and Aladdin – but with cocktails!” The film follows the four main characters as they visit Abu Dhabi to which they continually refer to as “the New Middle East”. This is not only a reference to their fashionable hometown of New York but it also suggests that this Middle East is somehow different from the “old” or “the rest of” the Middle East. The writers and the audience the film is intended for both share the conception of the Middle East as an archaic, even dangerous part of the world that hasn’t yet been penetrated by Western ideals. Regardless of the fact that Abu Dhabi is more progressive and modern, the ladies still don’t feel completely safe in this foreign land. This is illustrated when upon first arriving at their hotel, the character Charlotte, who has taken on her Jewish’s husband last name Goldenblatt, introduces herself by her maiden name York. When questioned about her strange decision she explains that they’re in the Middle East after all. The audience understands that the girls don’t feel safe in this potentially dangerous strange land.

A large portion of the film deals with the position of women in Muslim society. A lot of focus is put on their fashion (or the lack of it) and how this is a manifestation of their low status in society. After seeing a veiled woman eating a meal, Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda observe her like you'd study an animal at the zoo. Carrie admits she’s completely “freaked out” by the veil and comments: “it’s like they don’t want them to have a voice”.(01:10:53) In western society, especially within the feminist discourse, nudity symbolises sexual freedom. A woman bearing her naked chest is a way of breaking free from patriarchal constraints. This is a very post-colonial, imperialist feminist perspective: the hijab is a metaphor for oppression.

Another strong theme in the movie is sexual oppression in the Middle East. The main characters continuously remind each other of the importance of covering up their bodies and restraint from any sort of physical contact with men in public. This proves especially hard for Samantha, a character known for her sexual exploits. The movie reaches a sort of a comedic climax when she spills out the contents of her purse on a busy market street. Besides her personal belongings, her purse is filled to the brim with condoms. This upsets the large male crowd who is present at the market at the time. Instead of collecting her belongings and continuing on with her day, Samantha starts screaming at the top of her lungs about her sexual exploits. This obviously highly agitates the men to the point where they start chasing after the four women. The Arab men are presented as the savage Other who threatens their sexual freedom. They only escape with the aid of local women wearing niqabs who provide them shelter at a flower shop. After a short introduction, they learn that the four women are New Yorkers and the local women, one by one, remove their niqabs, shedding the skin of their oppression, revealing that underneath they don the same expensive brands as the four protagonists. This is the first and only time the American characters are able to connect with these strange exotic women; what connects them is their love for Western fashion and the notion that clothing is only acceptable if it’s Western. “Underneath hundreds of years of tradition was this year’s spring collection”.

Home release[edit]

Sex and the City 2 was released on DVD, Blu-ray, and iTunes on October 26, 2010, in the US[44] where it entered the chart at number one selling almost one million copies in its first week.[45] It was released on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK on November 29, 2010, also entering the sales chart at number one.[46]

Soundtrack[edit]

Sex and the City 2: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
various artists
ReleasedMay 25, 2010 (2010-05-25)
Length64:25
LabelWaterTower
Producer
Sex and the City soundtrack chronology
Sex and the City: Volume 2
(2008)
Sex and the City 2: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
(2010)

Sex and the City 2: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released on May 25, 2010, by WaterTower Music.

The score was recorded and mixed by Dennis S. Sands and Steve Kempster and performed by a large ensemble of the Hollywood Studio Symphony conducted by Stephen Coleman who orchestrated Aaron Zigman's score. Patrick Kirst also orchestrated.

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Rapture" (performed by Alicia Keys)Salaamremi.com4:47
2."Everything to Lose" (performed by Dido)
4:28
3."Language of Love" (performed by Cee Lo)T-Pain3:59
4."Window Seat" (performed by Erykah Badu)
  • Badu
  • Poyser
4:50
5."Kidda" (performed by Natacha Atlas)Reynolds4:56
6."Euphrates Dream" (performed by Michael McGregor)McGregorMcGregor3:37
7."Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" (performed by Liza Minnelli)
  • Salaamremi.com
  • Billy Stritch
3:13
8."Can't Touch It" (performed by Ricki-Lee)KNS Productions2:51
9."Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down" (performed by Alicia Keys)3:33
10."Love Is Your Color" (performed by Jennifer Hudson and Leona Lewis)Salaamremi.com3:41
11."I Am Woman" (performed by Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon)
2:07
12."If Ever I Would Leave You" (performed by Sex and the City Men's Choir)Aaron Zigman2:19
13."Sunrise Sunset" (performed by Sex and the City Men's Choir)Zigman3:42
14."Till There Was You" (performed by Sex and the City Men's Choir)Meredith WillsonZigman2:01
15."Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" (performed by Shayna Steele, Jordan Ballard and Kamilah Marshall)Salaamremi.com3:26
16."Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye" (performed by Liza Minnelli with Billy Stritch)Cole PorterStritch4:23
17."True Colors" (performed by Cyndi Lauper)
  • Lauper
  • Lennie Petze
3:45
18."Divas and Dunes" (performed by Aaron Zigman)ZigmanZigman2:46

Notes

  • ^a signifies an additional producer

Sample credits

Not included on the soundtrack

  • "Songs Remind Me of You" by Annie appears in the background of the after party scene, but is not included on the soundtrack.
  • "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys appears in the background of the Smith's film premiere scene, and official trailer, but is not included on the soundtrack.

Charts[edit]

Chart (2010) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[47] 7
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[48] 13
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[49] 73
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[50] 12
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[51] 17
French Albums (SNEP)[52] 160
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[53] 12
Greek International Albums (IFPI)[54] 1
Irish Compilation Albums (IRMA)[55] 2
Italian Compilation Albums (FIMI)[56] 15
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[57] 20
Mexican Albums (Top 100 Mexico)[58] 41
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[59] 22
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[60] 69
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[61] 18
UK Compilation Albums (OCC)[62] 7
US Billboard 200[63] 13
US Soundtrack Albums (Billboard)[64] 2

Cancelled sequel[edit]

In December 2016, Radar Online reported that a script for the third film had been approved.[65] On September 28, 2017, Sarah Jessica Parker announced that the third film was not going to happen: "It's over, we're not doing it." She said, "We had this beautiful, funny, heartbreaking, joyful, very relatable script and story", and that "It's not just disappointing that we don't get to tell the story and have that experience, but more so for that audience that has been so vocal in wanting another movie." [66] The Daily Mail claimed that Kim Cattrall's "outrageous demands" to Warner Bros. are to blame for the third film's cancellation.[67] Cattrall responded, "The only 'DEMAND' I ever made was that I didn't want to do a 3rd film.....& that was back in 2016."[68]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2010 National Movie Awards Anticipated Movie of the Summer Sex and the City 2 Nominated
2011 People's Choice Awards Favorite Comedy Movie Nominated
Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Picture Nominated - lost to The Last Airbender
Worst Actress Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, and Sarah Jessica Parker Won
Worst Supporting Actress Liza Minnelli Nominated - lost to Jessica Alba for The Killer Inside Me, Little Fockers, Machete and Valentine's Day
Worst Director Michael Patrick King Nominated - lost to M. Night Shyamalan for The Last Airbender
Worst Screenplay Michael Patrick King Nominated - lost to The Last Airbender
Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel Won
Worst Screen Ensemble Won

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