I am a huge fan of Sex and the City. As quite an active feminist (President of the Southampton University Feminist Society, don'cha know), I don't know whether this unintentionally goes against my morals: I enjoy watching a troupe of materialistic, fashion-obsessed, 30/40 something women talk constantly about sex and men, disguising their desperateness under the facade of lavish careers and liberated sex while actually terminally comotosed to anything 'real' and unable to function without a male counterpart. Sounds like Loose Women.
Alternatively, I enjoy watching the chronicles of a fabulous set of females, emotionally responding with empathy and compassion to the woes and successes that each endure in their relationships, friendships, careers and eventually, family life. And the sheer amount of documented sex is both refreshing, honest and humorous. ... I'll claim the latter.
But Sex and the City 2 left a bad taste in my mouth. A taste of racial insensitivity, faux feminism and downright dystopia. Again, much like Loose Women.
The burka/chip eating incident was the first that made me cringe. Not to mention the ghastly rendition of Single Ladies from Liza Minnelli (a baggy jumper with fishnets and heels, clad with two identical backing dancers at least a quarter of her age... really Liza?) which brought my hands to my eyes. The ultimate definition of face/palm.
How on earth could the directors/producers/writers/whomever else involved think that what SATC2 needed was a taste of moral recognition and cultural 'shock'? The only shocking thing was that after Samantha practically stripped in the middle of a busy Muslim town and started throwing around condoms while gyrating and humping the air (crikey, feminists everywhere must have been jumping for joy...), she wasn't stoned. Now that would have been an ending with a twist.
Now, I'm no expert on middle eastern culture or religion but quite clearly, neither are they; they most certainly had no authority to make the grand and hugely judgemental statements that they did. The fact that the setting of the film, Abu Dhabi, refused to let them make the film there says it all. As a viewer we saw two Abu Dhabis, both seen through western spectacles - one that was materialistic and luxurious and one that repressed women beyond all recognition. Oh, apart from the Muslim women who all secretly wear Prada under their burkas, pray for a visit to New York and read trashy American novels about how to be happy of course. Because that is true happiness - western living.
SATC2 representation of the Muslim faith = FAIL.
I wish I could articulate my feelings as well as Andrew O'Hagan can - this is the most scathing and brilliant review I have read yet.