The critics were smoking crack...

...at least a little bit of the time that they were watching Sex and the City 2.

Yes. I know. It is a guilty pleasure. I actually saw the first episode the night it premiered. I had just graduated from college and moved into my own apartment. I was dating an older, detached man (a'la Carrie)...yes, just as pathetic as it can be: we all thought we were Carrie Bradshaw.

When the show first appeared, it was so different, so amazingly up front about things in a way that I had never seen. I loved it. I became addicted and stayed with it through all of the lameness that it became for a while. However, I loved the final episode with all of its old Hollywood beauty and glamour. Of course, it isn't real. But, as I am still friends with my Mr. Big, I find the outcome amusing. No, I didn't marry my Mr. Big, but our relationship does contain some parallels with the on screen couple to this day (something, oddly enough, he agrees with as well...and they said men didn't watch!)...and that was why I was totally disappointed with the first movie and so amazed at the new movie. I guess it is a personal thing.

As time went on, the real appeal to me was the fact that even this woman who seemingly had it all could be so entirely clueless about negotiating relationships successfully. It happens to all of us. It is just human nature.

Absolutely--the critics are correct in their disgust with the kitsch portrayal of the Middle East. Nearly everything about that part of the new movie should be taken out. Their criticisms about there being very little "city"...equally valid. Surprisingly, though, most of the critics have been lamenting the lack of sex in the movie. I think it says a lot about their intellectual analytical abilities if that is the only thing that drew them in the first place. The actual sex in the series wasn't the reason people watched the show for six years (just as there are more complicated things going on in Weeds). The reviews (and there are some very valid criticisms) are shallow, for the most part. I don't understand movie critics. (My favorite: one critic that was excited because Miranda wasn't "obnoxious" and "bitchy" anymore. Geez. We are such an advanced society. Does this person listen to Dr. Laura or something?

On to the show, however. The acting between Chris Noth and Sarah Jessica Parker is great in this film--the old chemistry is back. It fixed everything that was wrong with the last movie (See old blog post). In short, my gripe with the last film was that if Big had finally made up his mind to commit to Carrie, nothing would have stopped him. That really came out in this movie--as did the fact that Carrie has to realize that she married someone not only older but of a different world view. For all of his sexy shenanigans of the past, Big (sorry, John) grew up in a different time with different expectations. He isn't a cave man, by any means, but he wants a comfortable domesticity. That may offend certain viewers/critics...but it is reality, right or wrong. And, right or wrong, Carrie loves it. It is clear from this movie that her issues are still there and that the relationship, regardless of what people might think of it, is the right one for her. I might have fought this interpretation in the past, but I am sick of the judgment. People need what they need...and that is that.

I also enjoyed the much criticized conversation between Miranda and Charlotte about the complications of motherhood. YES--the writers ruined the moment with the comment about mom's with no outside help. However, like everything else that happened in the fictional Middle East in this film, I will forget that remark. I think that the conversation was one of the best moments.

As far as Samantha: wasn't impressed. I feel that either Kim Cattrall isn't stretching herself OR that the writing for her character really sucked. I was never really a Samantha fan. For all of her craziness and freedom, she lacked depth (with the exception of a very few episodes...and, in those, she was fantastic). Therefore, it is my conclusion that the most likely scenario is that the writers screwed her.

The men didn't really factor in at all. The movie was really about the women this time around. A lot of critics bashed it for having no sex and no city. True...but in other ways it really returned to basics.

So...no. It wasn't perfect or award winning or even likable, perhaps, by those who haven't been there for the ride all along. And, I have to admit, my fascination has always been with Carrie (and, perhaps, with Miranda). So, if you were never a fan...well, then, yes, you will probably hate it. However, I also believe that most of the critics out there don't really think things through correctly and miss the bigger picture.

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