Things I Learned from Movie X:
Sex and the City 2

By Edwin Davies

December 24, 2010

The red carpet on an opening night for a movie this awful is always awkward.

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Due to the very nature of this column, I tend to focus on movies as a source of information and learning at the expense of all other options. Whilst I stand by that idea - I learned more about the American West from watching Blazin' Saddles in my GCSE History class than I did from any book - I feel it is occasionally worth tipping my hat to other educational outlets. For example, this week I have been teaching myself how to read braille using a book from my local libarary. Why, you ask? Because I am giving serious thought to gouging my own eyes out just to make sure that I never, ever set eyes on another frame of Sex and the City 2 in my OH GOD THERE'S A STILL FROM THE FILM AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE!? I'm having flashbacks! I'm just going to curl up into a ball for a few minutes while I calm down.

That's better. Yes, Sex and the City 2: The Skankquel (as our own Reagan Sulewski dubbed it) is every bit as terrible as everyone says it is. It's a uniquely punishing and soul-destroying experience, and I say this as someone who has willingly sat through both Pier Paolo Pasolini's Salò, or The 120 Days of Sodom and Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen. Yet, despite its unmitigating awfulness, Sex and the City 2 can offer something to the willing student, such as:


As George Lucas is to Star Wars, so Michael Patrick King is to...

When the first Sex and the City movie was released in 2008, it knocked Indiana Jones and The Regrettable Franchise Extension off the top spot, in doing so sparking off hundreds of reductive articles about how Sex and the City fans seemed to be engaging in the sort of fanboy rush usually associated with traditional, geeky properties like Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Because, as we all know, no woman could or would ever be a fan of Star Wars. That's just flat out ridiculous. Anyway, the association between these two franchises which could not be more different has become stronger with Sex and the City 2, as Michael Patrick King, creator of the original series and writer-director of the two films, has wandered into the same creative cul-de-sac that George Lucas has found himself in since 1999. They often have each other over for tea and to discuss the ways in which they will tarnish their respective legacies.

When Lucas sought to relaunch the Star Wars franchise with The Phantom Menace, he took a long hard look at the original films, figured out what made them such memorable classics, and then discarded all of those elements in favor of empty spectacle. Fun, well-drawn characters and elemental plots were out, CGI monstrosities and trade disputes were in. King does much the same thing, except with Sex and the City 2 he jettisoned the well-drawn characterizations and genuine struggles that made so many people, including myself, fans of the series in the first place. (Though in my case it was more because I was a teenager and would watch anything with "Sex" in the title. This also explains why I read Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, despite it being unlike anything else I was reading at the time.) In place of the four iconic characters are shallow facsimiles obsessed with shoes, attainment and how difficult it can be to raise children when you have a full-time nanny. (Oh, how do they manage!) It doesn't even have a podracing sequence to redeem it.

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