Thursday, May 27, 2010

S&TC 2: smaller audience, limping plot

Okay, I went (along, with, count ‘em, possibly three other guys) to S&TC 2 last night at Windsor’s Silver City. I thought there would be such a crowd (as there was with the original film) I purchased tickets online. That was a first, and a relatively easy experience. And when you print out the confirmation there are even “tickets” with bar codes you give the ticket taker and bypass the box office crowd clutter......But I didn’t need to do that. There were only a few people (okay, women) at 9 pm prior to the 9.30 first screening. Which made me wonder: has the S&TC franchise declined in popularity, partly because film audiences are younger and S&TC’s demo keeps rising? Or maybe it was the multitude of advance screenings Wed. night that spread the audience around. Or perhaps the hot weather was keeping people at home. In any case the theatre got maybe two-third’s full.....So how was it? Long, at 2 hrs 27 mins. Of course it was good to see the gals again and their male hangers-on (Chris Noth as Big, David Eigenberg as Miranda’s husband Steve) and even Carrie’s old flame Aidan (John Corbett).....The picture opens with an over-the-top gay wedding – well, what else? - with Stan (Willie Garson) marrying Anthony (Mario Cantone) officiated by Liza Minnelli. And  the rest of the movie is about, well, the humdrum of everyday lives. The characters (except for Kim Cattrall’s Samantha) have now long been married, even at two years for Carrie and Big, who are falling into boring domesticity. For Charlotte (Kristin Davis) it’s not so much the pains of coupledom but the aggravation of raising screaming children (even with a nanny – ah, the plight of the rich!). For Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) child-rearing is fine with sensitive Steve, it’s the jerk of a boss at her law firm who is driving her crazy.....All the gals need an escape. And they get one when Samantha lands a PR job with an Abu Dhabi sheik. He flies them to the “new” Middle East – the land of Emirates’ skyscrapers and pleasure palaces, one in which they stay. (It’s a tired cliché that these girls always land the most fabulous perks).....The foursome’s desert adventure is fine until Samantha, being Sam – and in what turns out to be still the old Middle East - gets them in trouble....Some reviewers have criticized the movie for its jibes at religious conservatism. But I found them hilarious. What other movie has the courage (here it’s more like outrageousness) to criticize anything to do with that part of the world?.....And there were a few good jokes, mainly from Samantha - her “Lawrence of my labia” got the most audience laughs. But the movie was too long, dragging in parts, and had a melancholy air, as if all these domestic arrangements (Samantha excepted but her issue was menopause) were weighing them down.....It will be interesting if the series makes a third movie. There’s probably still enough fan interest and residual story line (“now they’re entering the primes of their lives”) to eke out one more picture. But after that, time to stick a fork in it.....

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