Movie Review – Is ‘Sex And The City 2’ Muslim Bashing? New Sequel Takes On The Middle East

Kerry Pieri

The ladies in Morocco, er, Abu Dhabi. Photo:

With Upper East Siders Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Olivia Palermo and Tinsley Mortimer sitting alongside rocker Courtney Love who sat behind Tommy Hilfiger all in one NYC movie theater, there’s proof yet that the Sex & the City franchise is not over.

That all of those people also represent luxury, and a certain kind of untouchable glam (ok, maybe not Courtney) is apt for the film they were there to see. Sex & the City has always been about conspicuous consumption, but never before Sex & the City 2 has it been so painfully aware exactly how much cash is getting funneled directly into Sarah Jessica Parker‘s bank account. Starting with a pre-film HP commercial starring the alter ego of Carrie Bradshaw, and ending with the array of Halston dresses seen in the film (Ms.Parker is the creative director for the brand), not to mention the fact that she stars in and produced the movie, it nearly feels like all the kids who got hooked on the lives of these fictional characters are now just along for the Disney ride version.

We start the film in New York where not much has changed, save for Mr. Big and Carrie relegating themselves to a slightly smaller apartment in the same building and everyone’s just a little bit older oh and there’s a big-gay-Liza-Minnelli-included wedding. But New York is depressing, no one’s over the recession, so let’s take Carrie, Miranda, an overwhelmed mom version of Charlotte and a saucy Samantha east! To the Middle East that is, and to in-the-money-and-not-afraid-to show-it Abu Dhabi in particular, courtesy of Samantha’s PR contact an Arab sheik. (“That’s one chic sheik!” was one punny proclaimation.)

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Carrie in Halston. No big surprise there. Image: New Line Cinemas

We’re sure you’ve seen the camel shots in the previews. All the bad jokes and double entendres are there (Lawrence of my Labia anyone?), and admittedly writer Michael Patrick King and the ladies were pandering to a certain kind of very devoted fan base. That Carrie goes into old Abu Dhabi in a Dior tee and enormous skirt is not surprising, but the overt disdain for Muslim culture portrayed throughout the two and half hour film is. Let’s just say there’s probably good reason that Abu Dhabi turned down the film’s request to shoot on location instead the SATC2 crew had to settle on Morocco.

It’s been well leaked that old flame Aidan shows up, but we won’t give away too much of the details, except maybe that it stirs up some drama with the film’s main squeezes, Big and Carrie. Now known as John Preston, Big resolves all marital issues with a black diamond ring, which he bestows upon our main heroine, asking “How’s that for a little sparkle?” And that’s exactly what this film is. SATC addicts will love it, the rest will just have to pass the time by counting the number of Halston dresses they can spy.

Related: HP And SATC2 Host Fashion Meets Tech Panel