sex_and_the_city_2_web.jpgI am a huge fan of the HBO TV series “Sex and the City.”  I have all six seasons on DVD and I have watched every episode, at least 50 times.  I know all of the story lines.  I know all of the fashion.  I know all of the characters and their evolutions.

With the show getting the film treatment, I didn’t think it could get any better than the first film.  Then, Michael Patrick King, the show’s and film’s writer, producer, director, decided to do a second film.  How could he not when we women rushed to the theaters for the first film?  He’s made my year.

The ladies are back! They’ve all grown up, except for maybe Samantha, and they shine a light on married life, motherhood, and getting older in ways that women will identify with.  King has evolved the lovable “Sex and the City” characters and dropped these sexually liberated women in the heart of the Middle East; a desert where women are subject to men and made to be seen as dark figures, covered from head to toe.­

In Sex and the City 2, Carrie (played by Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), Samantha (Kim Cattrall) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) are all living their “happily-ever-afters.”  Carrie and Big (Chris Noth) are settling into their new apartment with Carrie as a haute couture decorator.  Samantha is still Samantha plus 40 vitamins and tons of cream.  Miranda is realizing that, while she may have a fabulous job as a lawyer, she’s not happy.  And Charlotte is feeling the effects of real motherhood, with two small children.

King wrote this latest film as a way for the American audience to escape from the doldrums of the recession. Wanting the 2 hours and 26 minutes of Sex and the City 2 to be like a luxurious vacation of decadence, he sent the ladies to Abu Dhabi, where Samantha was checking out the place to provide PR services for a wealthy sheik.

The subplots of the film are Charlotte being weary of her nanny, Erin (Alice Eve), who is gorgeous and doesn’t wear a bra.  Carrie is afraid that her relationship with Big is becoming boring.  Samantha just wants to stay young and keep menopause at bay.  And Miranda appears to be the glue that keeps everyone together.

I have to touch on the decadence of this film.  The trip started with a long plane ride in first class, where the women enjoyed their own cabins and several outfit changes, with a full bar.  The ladies are then whisked away from the airport in four white Mercedes of their own.  They are taken to the Jewel Suite (replete with its own elevator) of a hotel where they are introduced to their own individual butlers.  Then, they spend a few days riding camels, enjoying delectable food in different locales, and exploring their singing talents in a karaoke bar/night club.

I give credit to Patricia Field, the costume designer du jour, who has outdone herself, yet again.  The clothes are just wonderful. 

I was excited to see that King brought back Aidan (John Corbett), Carrie’s ex-boyfriend. I was wondering what happened to him and if he knew that Carrie had married Big, his arch nemesis.  He did.

What I love most about this film is that King not only puts a spotlight on marriage and parenthood with all the relevant quirks; but he also shows that women can still be friends and have girl fun, despite being married and having children.  The overall message is that not everyone has to be traditional in their lifestyles.  You have to live for yourself.

The other men of Sex and the City, Harry (Evan Handler), Steve (David Eigenberg), Stanford (Willie Garson), Anthony (Mario Cantone), and Smith Jerrod (Jason Lewis) make their requisite appearances in the film as well.  But, this time around, SATC is all about the ladies, who have left the men home and are having a good time. 

Because all these actors have been playing these characters for a long time, it’s tough to critique their skills. Their performances were probably like riding a bike.

All in all, Sex and the City 2 is a total escape from the ordinary into great fashion, great locales, and great friendship.  It’s a celebration of women that I hope never ends.