Sex in the City, But Lost in the Desert

Honestly? It would have been a lot easier to write the Marxist/ anti-capitalist review of “Sex and the City 2” than the sex review. And I’m not even a Marxist. There is a bizarre dearth of sex in “Sex and the City 2″… and there is a lavish parade of repulsive, garish, bloated consumerist excess in the movie, on a level that could persuade the most ardent free-market advocate to storm the Palace and depose the Tsar. It would have been a lot easier to write up this movie for The Nation than for Carnal Nation.

But here I am at Carnal Nation. And there’s certainly enough sexual content in “Sex and the City 2” to justify reviewing it here. That is, if there’s enough content in it of any kind to justify reviewing it anywhere. Or if “content” is even the right word for this vapid, glib, tedious mess.

The “story”: Four characters from a television show — Miranda, Samantha, Charlotte, and Carrie Bradshaw, a woman who has now soared to the top of my “most loathsome fictional characters” list, just a notch or two below Yahweh — attend an extravagant gay wedding, in shameless pandering to the fantasies of the show’s gay male fans; travel to Abu Dhabi on an extravagant all-expenses-paid junket, in shameless pandering to the luxury lifestyle fantasies of their recession-stricken audience; and experience serious life crises that get neatly resolved in fifteen minutes or less.

The thing is almost entirely incoherent. Which makes it tricky to analyze. It’s hard to unpack the viewpoint of a movie when it has the attention span of a butterfly on meth and can’t keep its view focused on one point for more than three seconds. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this incoherence itself — including the sexual incoherence — is, in fact, the crucial point.


Thus begins my latest “Media Darling” piece for Carnal Nation, Sex in the City, But Lost in the Desert. To find out more about the sexual incoherence of the new Sex and the City movie — and how this incoherence winds up belitting even the few germs of good ideas trapped in this parade of grotesquery — read the rest of the piece. (And if you feel inspired to comment here, please consider cross-posting your comment to Carnal Nation — they like comments there, too.) Enjoy!

Sex in the City, But Lost in the Desert
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6 thoughts on “Sex in the City, But Lost in the Desert

  1. 1

    Best review of that film EVER!
    Sooo funny, especially the bit about how Big’s second round of vows could have been non-offensive to you… my wife’s sharing this with everyone she knows on facebook 🙂
    I’d love to hear your expanded thoughts on the cultural contradictions the characters in the film ignore sometime…

  2. 3

    Hello, long-time reader (I think I originally found you via Hemant Mehta’s blog or Daylight Atheism), first-time commenter. I love, love, love your writing. 🙂 I’ve never seen the SATC series or movies myself, and don’t intend to — not my cup of tea at all. I wanted to respond to a couple of your points, though:
    For some weird reason, much of the movie takes place in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates …. In fact, much of the movie is taken up with what amounts to an infomercial from the Abu Dhabi Tourist Board
    Actually, they did not film in the UAE or Middle East at all. They filmed the “Middle East” portions in Morocco.
    I would actually love to see this movie taken apart by a serious scholar or journalist of the Middle East. If anyone’s seen a review like that, please drop me a note.
    I’m neither Muslim nor Arab nor Middle Eastern, so I can’t speak for them, but I thought this discussion on Muslimah Media Watch was interesting.

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