No sex please! We’re not in New York!
Maybe it was just a case of being surprisingly satisfied by something when your expectations are low rather than the usual scenario of being bitterly disappointed by an over-hyped, star-studded blockbuster which can only fail to deliver.
When a popular TV series transcends to the big screen, critics are quick to jump in with negative comparisons. And usually they are justified. But for me, SITC 2 had all the elements I would have expected from being a fan of the original show – crass humour, ridiculous outfits, soppy sentiment and cringe-worthy extravagance. Everything I love to hate!
I didn’t go to watch the movie for a cultural insight into US-Middle eastern relations, or to come away with an enlightened view of marriage and relationships, nor did I expect to relate to any of the over-indulgent, self-obsessed characters whose lives couldn’t be further removed from my own. And I doubt if that’s the reason that most people go to see this film.
It’s fantasy. It’s escapism. It’s your very ordinary life glammed up to the hilt which dares to dips a beautifully manicured toe into the day-to-day issues of modern life for middle-aged women. Family versus career? Marriage insecurities and infidelities. Motherhood guilt. Inequality in the workplace. The menopause!!
And while I said I didn’t relate to any of the Fab Four, there were moments in the film that struck a familiar chord. Charlotte locking herself in the larder on the verge of breakdown with two screaming children outside (we’ve all been there haven’t we?) and when career-driven Miranda finally jacks in her male-dominated job and as a result arrives just in time to witness her son winning 1st prize in his school science competition. Ahhh!
And then on the emotional flipside, there were slightly hysterical laugh-out-loud moments too. Charlotte’s initial reaction to her husband running off with the buxom bra-less nanny was “I can’t lose the nanny!” but for me the best laugh came towards the end with Samantha’s screaming confession in the middle of the Souk market, surrounded by shocked Arabs, “Yes, I have sex!” while the other three shamefully scrabble about on the floor picking up the impressive collection of condoms that have spilled from Samantha’s bag.
So, yes, it’s not very PC and could easily cause offense to those who take a serious stance on Middle Eastern values and the catastrophic consequences of Western greed. But you have to remember this was written as a comedy, not a social commentary intending to shed light on such delicate issues. It neatly sidesteps anything that might threaten to dampen its fluff and frivolity with off-the-cuff remarks about the credit-crunch and sexual inequality.
Agreeably, you have to be in the right frame of mind to enjoy this film. And that may involve emptying your mind of any right-on views or prejudices before you sit down to enjoy your popcorn.