A particular idea of New York City is still pushed as a character itself — "Empire State of Mind," Carrie comfortably ensconced as Park Avenue princess. There are giggles over the restaurant table, a shot of that famed closet. Charlotte is surrounded by pink cupcakes. Samantha shoots a practiced flirtatious look at a guy. Big is on his cell phone in his towncar. Miranda... walks purposefully.
But just as the first movie took the New York City-centric girls to Mexico (not that it added much, narratively speaking); this one takes them to the desert, filmed in Morocco. Possibly it managed to wring out the last New York truisms. One hopes that they'll be more inventive with their inevitable camel jokes than the Montezuma's Revenge plotline of the first movie.
One of the best essays on that movie, I think, came out before anyone even saw it. Emily Nussbaum wrote in New York in 2007, "The sitcom terraformed the city in its image, turning Manolos and Cosmos and those damned floppy flowers into icons, then something so clichéd as to be oppressive, almost regimented. Three years later, the Zeitgeist, having writ, has moved on: to milfs and grups, among other things. And Brooklyn."
But it turned out there were still plenty of women, in New York and elsewhere, who were happy to fall in line with the SATC regimen, Zeitgeist be damned. I saw them nearly cut each other to get a seat at an advanced screening, dressed in their best approximations of what it meant to be a successfully glamorous woman in New York. And it made $415 million.
"God, how we need this movie and need it to be good," Nussbaum wrote in her pre-release piece. By its end, the show had lost its early idiosyncrasy — the characters became more caricatured and almost kitschy, the fashion became more self-conscious and brittle, and everything became slicker. It became less light social commentary, more prescription for a particular sort of femininity. The first movie did that trend one better. It wasn't good, really — not at all as it turns out. But I wouldn't mind if this one were.
Sex And The City Official Trailer [YouTube]