Let me say this right from the jump: I am obviously not the demographic at which Sex and the City 2 was aimed. Or the first SATC movie. Or the TV series. Or Candace Bushnell's books. Or her newspaper column.
And yet I would hope that, if this film had merit as a movie -- whether as fluffy romantic-comedy or trenchant social satire or even just as a guilty pleasure -- well, I'd like to think that I could see it for what it is.
What it is, unfortunately, is not very much. The TV series may have tapped into a zeitgeist, but it rarely made me laugh. And neither did this movie.
And at two hours and 23 minutes, that's a lot of not laughing. Between the outré fashions and the conspicuous consumption (whose sour taste is unmitigated by a couple of lines about how bad the economy is, obviously pointed attempts at vaccinating this film against charges of tasteless irrelevance) and the just plain dull writing, I find it hard to imagine that anyone will find this funny or entertaining.
Indeed, at the screening I attended, which was more than 50 percent women, the moments of actual out-loud laughter could be counted on one hand. The verbal grumbles about the clothes or the lameness of the jokes outnumbered the expressions of mirth.
Yes, I know: This is a fantasy, meant to take girls and women out of their lives and plunge them into a dreamworld called New York, as imagined by Darren Starr, the series creator, and Michael Patrick King, who has taken over the movie franchise. Every moment of these women's lives is supposed to be a fashion show. How fabulous.
But honestly: When Sarah Jessica Parker, as Carrie Bradshaw, goes shopping in a souk in old Abu Dhabi -- and comes flouncing out of her hotel in a designer outfit of Dior t-shirt and mammoth flouncy skirt, well, I mean, come on.
And really: Who is laughing at Kim Cattrall's jokes about menopause and "Lawrence of My Labia"? Or jokes about cameltoe, both real and figurative? I love vulgar humor, but there's a difference between actual vulgar wit (i.e., The Hangover) and just plain crude. These women are like little kids who know they can get a rise out of the adults by saying "poop." Or "fuck."
Still, the first SATC film was such a downbeat snooze that one assumed it couldn't get worse. But it can -- and it does.