Review: Sex and the City 2

Men don't wear pajamas. That's my primary contribution here; it's the one informed opinion that occurred to me while watching Big (Chris Noth) mope around, pining away for Carrie Bradshaw. The rest of it? It's clearly and irrevocably not built for the menfolk out there.

Sex and the City 2 starts more than two full years after Big and Carrie's nuptials. They've settled into a marital stasis, which we learn after a massive wedding opening (Liza Minnelli is involved, but no spoilers as to who is getting married) and a fairly humorous look at each of the principal characters circa the late '80s. On that note, let's just get all of the characters out of the way, in case this is the only review the aliens find after taking over:

Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker)

Still a writer, happy with Big but still questioning everything in her life. She has a new book coming out. Will the reviews be positive? Is Big getting too complacent in the relationship? You'll find all this out ... and more! (Sorry, my breathless TV announcer persona took over for a second there.)

Charlotte York (Kristin Davis)

Still a mom and a wife, still questioning whether she's a good mom. The inclusion of a new nanny in her household has brought her some relief ... but at what price? Charlotte also remains the most traditionally judgmental of the group, to her credit.

Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon)

Still a mom and a wife, still a lawyer, still questioning whether she can possibly be this pale.

Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall)

Still a chocoholic -- only with sex, still wildly free and unfettered. Samantha is our Loki, always in trouble but somehow reasonably consistent in that manner.

So, the four girls, back together, back on the town! No, not really. Everyone has grown up a bit, and the real world featuring responsibility has made further inroads into their everyday lives. Luckily, they finagle a trip to Abu Dhabi for some fun in the sun replete with pampered relaxation. They each get a butler (how decadent!), they each get a Maybach (how environmentally unfriendly!), and hummus and dates are served to them under canopied tents in the desert. It's a look at what your life would be like if money were no object and your best gals had epic imaginations.

And, of course, the outfits. By my count, 782 costume changes* took place, the girls had a myriad of hair styles and a plethora of hats, heels dug into sandy dunes for days. Some reeked of glamour, while others reeked of circus clown, though clearly that's not for me to judge. I'd have to guess, with my current state of fashion unawareness, that everything was presented as intended, with the girls being the very epicenter of all that is chic and cutting-edge.

The plot isn't actively annoying, and the 140 minutes move along briskly. There's so much glossy sheen to the work that it's easy to forgive the contrived "issues" that must be faced for character growth. Sure, there's one simply miserable karaoke moment, and of course you'd like to shout advice at the screen akin to "find a real problem!" but it's not your place. Sex and the City 2 is a film perfectly aimed at exactly who it's trying to hit. It will find that target, martinis will be imbibed, toes will be crammed into impossibly angled shoes, and life will go on just as before, with each side respecting the other's cinematic junk food cravings. Though not a film for me, it's a film many women will find escapist pleasure in. And who am I to begrudge that most human of needs?

Grade: C+

*Note: not empirical evidence, more of a "feel" sort of number.