Bad Movies We Love: Sex and the City 2
I don't know how Sarah Jessica Parker does it, but a lot of her movies are staggering shit fortresses. Failure to Launch? Did You Hear About the Morgans? This weekend's I Don't Know How She Does It? The Family Stone? That movie made me feel like Diane Keaton's cancer, and it's still a Mensa candidate compared to today's Bad Movie We Love: the epic, Tropical Skittle-colored trek to Abu Dhabi, Sex and the City 2. It's so famously bad that its bad reviews are famous. It's the movie that asks the question, "How can we save a franchise that has devolved into materialistic fetishism?" and answers it with, "JEWELS." Cheers, girls!
Try recalling the "plot" of Sex and the City 2, dear viewers. God help you. "You mean Allah!" says Samantha, laughing and breaking a champagne flute on her face. Right, Sam.
The familiar HBO foursome is back, and this time they're cackling aristocrats in orange-yellow dresses who are dealing with bigtime marriage issues. Carrie (SJP) is annoyed with Mr. Big's gorgeous apartment and the TV he bought. Asshole! Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is preoccupied with work and being mistreated at it. Snap. Charlotte (Kristen Davis) has a busty housekeeper, and her husband Harry may want to schtup her. Samantha (Kim Cattrall) falls into a Photoshop vortex and looks like Natalee Holloway now. After she pulls some strings, the entire group takes off for a vacation in glamorously veiled Abu Dhabi, where very little occurs besides Carrie's run-in with her backwoodsy ex-boyfriend Aidan. Well, look at that! Aidan loves visiting the Emirates. Makes sense. I see it. So many hours later, the girls return home and fall in love with their men again. Everyone lived, and they deserved to die. It's the opposite of Rebel Without a Cause's cast.
Weirdly, I like the first Sex and the City movie. It's a year in the life of four women enduring personal hell, and I appreciated the nimbus haze over the proceedings. I also liked the ending, when Carrie got married in city hall and didn't wear a Grace Kelly dress to the courthouse. That's kind of real. Sex and the City 2 replaces any heartfelt moments of the first film with the shiniest, Dancing with the Stars Samba Medley costuming you've ever seen, camel humor, and puns like Samantha's now infamous "Lawrence of My Labia." What a bunch of Peter O'TOOLS.
In case you haven't detected it yet, I found all 146 minutes of this movie entertaining, even if its stank is the movie equivalent of Three Mile Island making out with Chernobyl. Or Stanford Blatch making out with anybody. Take that, bitch! Before we explore any further, let's formalize our love with a the top five lovably bad moments from this wretched romcom. Can you guess the #1? Or have you blocked it from your consciousness after years of prayer?
5. 146. Effing. Minutes.
Did you hear me? This movie is 146 minutes long. That's roughly 12 minutes of plot, 59 minutes of Carrie's brays, 27 minutes of Samantha's vulvaudeville, and 48 minutes of Lisa Frank's Idea Of The Middle East, Complete With Periwinkle Sand. Judging by looks and length alone, this movie is Ben-Hur for the Toddlers and Tiaras set. There's no excuse for SATC2's runtime, but it does represent why its a Bad Movie We Love: senseless audacity.
4. Wardrobe provided by Christian Dior and PT Barnum
It takes a special kind of lawyer to wear a puffy, rainbow-striped elephant dress to the deserts of the Middle East, but Miranda has long established herself as the dubiously special one. (Just like all redheads.) If any part of this movie owns its campiness, it's the wardrobe, which is a relentless barrage of color, shapes, textures, graphics, and anti-taste. You may as well be looking into a coloring book filled with dowdy-ass teal, magenta, and lime. Hard to stay between the lines when I'm shading with the most odious Crayolas in the 64-pack.
3. In Abu Dhabi, the women have to be gaudy and shallow in secret. 🙁
I could dwell on the subtler insanity of this movie, but after it wastes so much time on meaningless dialogue, we must devote a tenet to a moment of wordless outrage. Near movie's end, where Carrie is finally done smirking at how repressed Middle Eastern women are, a klatch of burqa'd females removes their black outerwear to reveal the same neon, glitzy, Versace circus clothing as Carrie and her friends. What's the message here? "Yes, they're victims. But they're victims in magenta dresses." Why don't I write movie posters? Why?
2. Karaoke too! Go, movie, go! More good things!
Sarah Jessica Parker is somehow the Kate Hudson of 2011. She shamelessly toplines bad movies, and she seems even prouder of maintaining her gleaming, margarine-hued hair. Better than Land 'O Lakes charm is the god-forsaken fury of these four women giggling along to Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman" while a gyrating pack of Middle Easterners clap along. For Pete's Dragon, Helen Reddy! Is this even a club? It looks like a Caribbean spinoff of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in this club.
1. Liza with a Zzzz
And now for the crowning glory: Early in the movie, Carrie acts as a maid of honor at the marriage of Stanford and Anthony, Sex and the City's only two gay characters who have no reason to wed other than all gay people are in love with each other. Carrie dons a thin tuxedo like a Bugs Bunny tribute to Janelle Monae, and she gazes lovingly at her two BFFs and their exorbitant wedding. Carrie loves to gaze. Just like a woman! But avast: As the reception is underway, in comes a scrubbed-down Liza Minnelli -- who is playing Liza Minnelli -- performing a lip-synched, yet quavery rendition of "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)." I'm telling you, this might be the most badly lovable moment of all time. In this performance, "Single Ladies" sounds like a barebones "Chicken Dance" remix with Liza providing key clucks. The choreography? Is a septuagenarian sex party. The face? Is distorted with editing. The Liza? Is a hasty collage of Xanax and glitter. The fun? Is undeniable and undeniably weird. Hope to see Ms. Minnelli out in a pair of Dereon jeans real soon.