Time for Carrie Bradshaw and friends to hang up their Manolos

2010-05-31 00:00

WATCHING the new Sex and the City (SATC) movie is a little like meeting an old friend and discovering that you’ve both moved on and no longer have that much in common.

I’ve long been a fan of Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda Hobbs (Cynthia Nixon), Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) and the always outrageous Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), but this new film isn’t a patch on the original series. It’s not fresh or original and has too much Hollywood glitz.

SATC 2 kicks off with a flashback to how Carrie first met Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda in New York in the heyday of Studio 54 — cue some hideous fashion from the 1980s — before jumping to the present, two years after the events of the first film.

The fabulous foursome and their husbands are attending the world’s campest wedding. Stanford Blatch (Willie Garson) and Anthony Marentino (Mario Cantone) are tying the knot at a ceremony boasting white-suited singers, swans and Liza Minnelli officiating, before she hits the stage to belt out her version of Beyoncé’s Single Ladies.

However, beneath the smiles it’s soon clear that no one is living happily ever after. Samantha is swallowing pills and vitamins by the bucket-load to keep the menopause at bay; Miranda’s having hassles at work; Charlotte is a stressed-out mum of two with nanny issues; and Carrie and Mr Big’s (Chris Noth) marriage has hit what Carrie describes as “the terrible twos” and she is worried they’re losing their sparkle.

So when Samantha gets the chance to fly to Abu Dhabi to meet a prospective client, she agrees on condition that her best mates can tag along. What they discover there is luxury of an almost obscene nature and in Carrie’s case, old flame Aidan.

The film’s producers were clearly aiming to set up a culture clash between free-spirited American women and the conservative Muslim culture of the United Arab Emirates — and they succeeded, leaving me feeling distinctly uncomfortable and missing the female solidarity that was always at the core of SATC.

I’m not saying that the film is awful. It’s not and has enough charm and gorgeous frocks on show to keep hard-core fans happy.

But it’s not a great addition to the series, and when I left the cinema last week, I couldn’t help feeling the time has finally come for Carrie and her friends to hang up their Manolos.

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