| It is always fun to spend more time with this fabulous foursome and the men in their lives. This second cinematic bite of the apple far exceeds expectations and is a significant improvement over the 2008 movie. The familiar theme song and an aerial shot of the Big Apple make the rabid fans feel right at home from the outset.
Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) is now Mrs. John James Preston having married Mr. Big (Chris Noth) two years ago. She once again is the narrator expressing her thoughts and posing questions worth pondering about relationships. The movie backtracks to the beginning with Carrie’s arrival in New York City on June 11, 1986. The abbreviation B.C. is given new meaning as “Before Carrie.” She explains how she first met her three girlfriends. The contrasting shots of them, then and now, need no laugh track for the amazing transformations.
Writer-director Michael Patrick King fast forwards to the present day where Carrie, Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis), dressed to the nines, are shopping inside Bergdorf Goodman’s for the perfect wedding gift. You will never guess the identity of the two people exchanging vows.
The movie’s major theme is to push against tradition and encourages couples to make their own rules for a workable relationship.
Carrie continues her freelance writing and is excited about the release of her memoir on the first year of marriage titled “I Do! Do I?” She and Big have different views on the concept “happily ever after.”
Miranda, a partner in a prestigious law firm, is having trouble at work with an arrogant, chauvinistic boss. She regrets having no personal time for spouse Steve Brady (David Eigenberg) and their son.
Charlotte is still trying to be the perfect wife and mother. She has hired Erin (Alice Eve from “She’s Out of My League”), an Irish nanny who has never worn a bra in her life, to take care of her natural daughter Rose going through the “terrible twos” and her adopted daughter Lily. Her gal pals question her judgment in dangling this gorgeous temptation in front of hubby Harry Goldenblatt (Evan Handler).
Sex-crazed blonde Samantha has moved back to Manhattan and the aging process is throwing curveballs at her hormones. She gets a call from old flame Jerry “Smith” Jerrod (Jason Lewis) to be his date at the red carpet premiere of his new movie. The film’s producer Sheik Khalid is impressed with the way Samantha made a star out of Smith from her public relations efforts. He wants her to do the same for his new luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi. He offers an all-expenses-paid getaway to this United Arab Emirates destination. Samantha gets him to include her three soul mates as part of the deal.
The centerpiece of the movie is a fantasy dream come true in the mold of the folk tales compiled in the Arabian Nights. Actual location filming of this exotic paradise took place in Marrakech, Morocco. Some unforgettable set pieces include a camel ride in the middle of the desert and a karaoke sequence where the girls sing Helen Reddy’s female national anthem “I Am Woman.”
The best moments are when these gals sit around and chitchat. The witty dialogue is spiced up with good-natured female empowerment humor and intended play-on-word puns. The garish excess of luxury can be seen in the outlandish costumes, elegant interiors and gourmet food.
Every outfit worn by these endearing ladies is sensational. They put on a fashion show that demands repeat viewing just for another look at the clothing, fine jewelry, shoes, handbags and accessories. Costume designer Patricia Field is an ironclad lock to win an Academy Award. It has been reported that the extensive wardrobe cost a whopping $10 million. Parker alone has 41 costume changes. The actresses look simply divine in each colorful getup. Besides a hefty paycheck for reprising their roles, these household heroines got to keep all the clothes they wore in the film.
Another major strength is the musical score selected by composer Aaron Zigman. Liza Minnelli performs “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye” and “Single Ladies.”
The movie is breezily paced and viewers will be glad nothing was cut from the nearly 2 ½ hour running time. Other returning cast members from the popular Emmy-winning HBO television series include KC native Lynn Cohen (as Magda), John Corbett (Aidan Shaw), Willie Garson (Stanford Blatch) and Mario Cantone (Anthony Marantino). Besides Minnelli, Miley Cyrus and Penelope Cruz make cameo appearances.
This must-see destination event is perfect for a girls’ night out or as an eye-opener for guys to get a better understanding of what women really want from an intimate relationship.
Keith Cohen "The Movie Guy"