Should there be a 'Sex and the City 3' movie?

sex-and-the-cityImage Credit: Craig BlankenhornI was a little late catching up to Sex and the City 2 (late for a critic, that is — we tend to see things early), and by the time I wandered into a half-empty theater on Memorial Day, I was all but certain that I was going to be sitting down to watch this franchise jump the sapphire tiara. I’d read Lisa’s funny and elegant pan, and she, of course, wasn’t alone: This is one of those cases in which the nation’s critics spoke more or less with one voice — and what they said amounted to a big collective snarky raspberry. If you believed the reviews, then the whole Sex and the City kingdom, in a word, was over. Embarrassingly past its prime. These ladies were stuck in the late ’90s, and maybe they should have stayed there. The movie was Abu Dhabi doo-doo!

So when I tell you that I actually liked Sex and the City 2, please do me two favors. One, don’t ridicule me mercilessly (“Anyone who thinks this is a good movie simply isn’t qualified to be a critic, blah blah blah…”). And two, don’t say that I liked it merely because everyone else didn’t — that I’m so transparent and that I just had to be different, had to be an attention-getting maverick. Disagree with me, if you will, but do accept that I honestly dug Sex and the City 2.

Why? Two very quick reasons: I thought that the scenes with Carrie and Big had a nice, convincing, and — yes — subtle domestic flow to them. The couple weren’t fighting over that much: whether to go out on the town at night or to stay home, whether to have a giant TV in the bedroom so that they could cuddle up and watch old Hollywood romantic comedies (an activity that Big, significantly, seemed to prize a lot more than the post-black-and-white Carrie). To me, though, the relative quietude of the disagreement is exactly what made it believable; it captured how minor arguments between couples can reflect larger emotional divides, how rifts in pleasure can turn out to be rifts in values. Beyond that, I thought that the Abu Dhabi sequence, although 20 minutes too long (that, clearly, is where the film should have been liposuctioned), was funnier, more resonant, and more sustained than the Mexico sequence in the first movie.

But look: I’m not here to re-review Sex and the City 2. The critics have spoken — and, looking at the modest-to-mediocre box office grosses, so have audiences. I’m interested in what you think. It has been clear for over a week that the hatred for this movie is deep and wide and loud. So what I want to know is: Is there also any love? Is Sex and the City 2 anyone’s guilty pleasure, or is it simply my proud (if slightly goofy) pleasure?

And what about that next sequel, anyway? I have no doubt that going into this movie, Michael Patrick King, the witty and gifted modern-day screwball artisan who wrote and directed both films, believed that he had a winner on his hands. That, in fact, is where I think he made his biggest mistake: In SATC2, he sets up the Carrie/Big relationship so that the unconscious flaw in Carrie’s life is that, though she’s now married, she wants to go on acting single forever. What she’s avoiding, in a word (and this is right there in the movie – it’s not something I’m super- imposing on it), is the prospect of having children. And that’s what the movie should have at least pointed to by the end. King, however, obviously thought that he could save all of that Carrie-having-a-baby stuff for the next movie. He tried to stretch the franchise out like taffy. He may have stretched it until it broke.

I, for one, however, will go on the record and say: I am not tired of these ladies. I totally enjoyed Sex and the City 2 because I still relished the chance to bask in their quickness and silliness, their valor and confusion, their passion, their presence. I want to see what happens to them next…if there is a next.

So do you think there should be? Despite the official quasi-debacle of Sex and the City 2, who votes for having a Sex and the City 3? And what would you want to see happen in it? At the risk of sounding a little too much like Carrie Bradshaw: What happens when a blockbuster franchise…gets busted before it’s over?


Comments (410 total) Add your comment
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  • PJC

    It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t great either. I think both of the movies aren’t near as good as the series but I would pay money to see a third one as would most of the fans I presume. I just wish they had spent more time in New York in the second one.

    • Ceballos

      I agree with you on several points.

      I liked SATC 2 better than the first one. I think spending that much time away from “and the City” was a mistake, but I DID like that (unlike the first one) they favored comedy over melodramatic storylines and they had the four main characters together most of the time.

      However, neither movie can really touch the TV show. One problem is that the TV show was wrapped up so neatly. Each movie struggles to manufacture believable conflict, which leads to Carrie throwing a tiff over a TV, which leads her into Aidan’s arm, which leads to us hating our protagonist.

      The biggest problem I see is that Michael Patrick King has absolutely no business directing a feature film. I get that he was the godfather of the TV show, but the pun-filled dialogue is downright embarrassing on the big screen, and both movies have been 30-45 minutes too long!

      If they do a third movie (as a sort of do-over the way “Ocean’s Thirteen” was), I hope they get a writer/director who knows what he’s doing when it comes to making movies.

      • chris

        Totally agree – MPK is the biggest problem with both movies.

        I think the movie suffers by not having her voiceover and the “point” of what we’re watching. Throughout the series we were able to see her point of view through the column topic she was writing. The movie lacks that focus, so it becomes more of a mishmosh of events. The movie can overcome this absence with good writing and directing but it doesn’t.

      • sean

        no. it was just awful. truly really bad and tacky and ruinous to all the good parts of the series. please stop everyone involved.

      • Erin

        Chris,
        Should the movie really need a voiceover to tell you the “point” of what we’re watching? Shouldn’t good writing do that? It seems just lazy.

      • starbbycat

        loved #1, #2 not at all – SJP doesnt look good anymore – when I go to a movie I like to just be enveloped within the whole thing. With SJP found her face so off-putting – she just isnt attractive anymore. Please no more sequels.

      • arturo

        i guess we are having a number 3…they are filming a scene in the bronx!!

    • djm

      I am a HUGE fan of the show and I enjoyed most of the 1st movie (sorry, but I didn’t buy the whole Big not showing up because she didn’t answer her phone thing – that was just LAME), but I REALLY didn’t like the 2nd movie. I think the characters came across as obnoxious and shrill – and the whole Abu Dhabi thing lasted WAY too long. Oh, and the idea that Carrie would get mad over a TV, leave the country and make out with her ex because she got a bad review and then tell Big about it and he goes out and buys her jewelry – BARF. If that is how Carrie matures then I do not want to see a 3rd movie. What I loved about the 1st movie was that we got to see some growth with the characters and I just felt like whatever lessons had been learned over the years were just thrown aside in this movie. I’d love to see more movies about these women, but let’s have them move forward please.

      • Emma

        Geez, people! A quick “spoiler” warning would have been nice djm!

      • AliB

        I agree completely. I loved the 1st movie, but the 2nd was just too much.

      • Kat

        Emma, the movie has been out for over a week. Go see it if you are so worried about spoilers in these blogs.

      • mg

        I won’t see 2 simply for the fact that I’ve never forgiven Carrie for taking Big back the 56723541th times at the end of the first movie. I still enjoy the show though, I just pretend the movies don’t exist — kind of like when a boy band from my youth launches a comeback tour.

      • djm

        Whatever Emma – I think that if my post descibes the entire movie than there are bigger issues than me not posting a “spoiler” warning. Whatever you don’t read the review by Lisa Schwarzbaum – it gives away more plot points than I could dream of by your standards.

      • kb

        best opinion of the films i’ve read. But having just watched a couple of later episodes i do believe there’s still some good stories in these girls, especially as they’re awesome older, glam ladies with a life. There’s so little representation of women in films, and these are such fantastic characters that I’m actually desperate to explore more of their thoughts and lives… or we can all watch Meryl Streep (fab tho she is) again.

    • Susan

      PJC–you took the words right out of my mouth. I didn’t love this one, but I didn’t dislike it (and can’t believe the amount of scorn and vitriol the critics seem to be taking so much pleasure in heaping on this movie–I’ve seen many movies that were much much worse in so many ways that were never lambasted the way S&TC 2 have been). There were some laughs, and it was great to experience the fab foursome again (more emphasis on the relationships among the women next time, please). I am hoping for another sequel (the critics can get stuffed).

      • Alicia

        Perhaps it is the idea that the sole rationale for making a sequel to the first movie was $$$. I enjoyed the series and the first movie, but thought it was “played out.” If Carrie ever breaks up with Big again (or even flirts with the idea) we should all direct huge razzies at the movie’s creators.

    • @ceballos

      “the pun-filled dialogue is downright embarrassing on the big screen”

      SO true, though I did enjoy the movie and I would definitely see a 3rd one.

    • Sally in Chicago

      SATC movies belong on HBO…honestly, they’re not big screen material.

      • starbbycat

        that is a very good idea – small screen yes – big screen – please no more!

    • Donna

      This sums me up. I’m sorry, but I am still a huge fan. The movie wasn’t great but I enjoy spending time with these characters. I still think there are important stories to tell. Maybe Big loses some money in this economy…Maybe Charlotte goes back to work…Maybe Samantha realizes–really realizes–that she’s not the hottest thing in the room and wonders what it means to “age gracefully.” So many really good stories to tell. I’d buy a ticket to SATC3 in a New York minute!

      • the characters

        agreed. i love the friendship, as supportive as an extended family. i don’t care how flawed they are.

    • Jessica

      I thought that the movie was too long, filled with too many cliches & the clothes were awful. The skir that ‘Carrie@ wore in the market was so out of place it was ridiculous and the product placement was worse than a Gaga video. That Carrie could pop over to her un-rented old apartment after 2 years with Mr Big seemed like an exaggeration of even his cash filled pockets and the 4 cars in was just ridiculous.

      It’s strange that some people are now screaming that Sarah JP is no longer attractive when she was the media and fashions’s darling all so recently. She hasn’t changed but it’s funny how a negative review can lead to her looks being slated. Some of the scenes in Arabia just make3 out of the 4 women seem less intelligent than they are. Who can one blame – the male writer.

      • the characters

        SJP is just aging, and kudos to her for not using plastics or injectibles (or not enough of them LOL) to delay those wrinkles. ppl who think she looks old, well yeah, she’s 10+ years older, hello?

      • got milk

        If she gained about 10 pounds it would help.

    • PS

      I liked Sex and the City 2 as well. I thought it was WAY better than the first one, which was just recycled the plot of every other romantic comedy.

    • cindy

      well i have to say being a big fan the movies where awesome and i would love to see a third one… i think people are being to critcal about the movies….

  • Kelly

    I really enjoyed it, maybe even more than the first one (I didn’t think that would be possible). I did however, go into the theater will no expectations.

    • AcaseofGeo

      I really enjoyed this movie. Although watching these 4 upper class women complain about the hardships of their lives was a more than a bit annoying, I liked simply having the opp to sit and watch these 4 have fun. It was like a night with old friends. So what if it didn’t have a plot. If they had done another pregnancy, divorce, death, THAT is what would’ve jumped the tiara. What we saw was like a slice of their lives and I’m happy with that.

      • the characters

        i agree. also, SATC2 is a movie that could be watched by anyone who hadn’t watched SATC1 or SATC on HBO. it’s its own movie, and it was entertaining and not too deep.

  • Marty

    YES YES AND YES! I totally enjoyed the movie as well, but can see why folks that were not fans of the show didn’t get Sex and the City 2. I would like to see a thrid film. Samantha gets married, Carrie gets a baby, and everything gets wrapped up nicely…

    • KK

      I’d like to see more too… except for the baby part. PLEASE keep one pop culture couple childless to show that it’s possible to have a full happy life without kids!

      • Sara

        100% agree.

        I would love if in 3rd movie the girls go to Europe. Madrid, Paris & London!

    • Erin

      I was a huge fan of the TV show and hated both movies. The movies are a very large step down from the quality of the TV show.

      • PJM

        Totally agree. They regressed all four women in the first movie, making the uber-independent Samantha’s only line of work Smith’s career, turning Miranda back into a me-first shrill, and erasing every lesson Carrie learned about being in a relationship with anybody, not just Big. At this point, I’m avoiding any movie theatre that even shows the second film, if the critics think it’s way worse than the first one.

      • ahmad ali

        01122801169

    • monique

      I am also a huge fan of SATC, enjoyed the movies and would like to see what happens next. In the TV show there were also serious as well as comedy like sequels. SATC2 reminded me of the L.A. and Atlantic City trips of the girls. You guys remember Samantha running up on the stairs in the hotel in pearl underwear; C & S traveling with the train ??? So what is the big disappointment now ? It was a comedy, a vacation, as they promised, but it clearly is not the end of the story (or so I hope). In a 3. movie I would like to see again more NY, hear some narration from Carrie, maybe some heartbreak (SMALL !!! Noone should die !)
      I think the real fans would watch a 3. film anyway.It was great to see women in the cinema watching the film together with their girlfriends, all dressed up…I don`quite get the big anger of the critics. SATC is a feel good movie (THE ultimate feel good movie in my opinion) and that is about it. Nobody promised a new milestone of film history.
      I think many people just had `too great SATCpectations`….. (I don`t envy MPK) plus the critics still cannot swallow the fact that people buy tickets for a story of 4, 40something women… I think for many people that is what hurts (hey, where is the leading male character with a machine gun Oh, these are just 4 women having fun, or having minor problems with husbands and kids… How dare they… I think many people buy stories about women only if the female characters suffer. Fun is for the boys. It tells a lot about our society, unfortunately… But if SATC still manages to outrage and irritate people, it is probably still doing its job.
      I think MPK did a good job so did the stars and PF.
      The conversation between Miranda and Charlotte about motherhood was SUPER !!!! The audience was hysterically laughing.

  • Chelsea

    If there was to be a 3rd one, I say spend the entire duration of the movie in NYC, don’t take the girls out of The City!! Otherwise it just becomes Sex and ……

    • KRG

      Milwaulkee or Gatlinburg..

      • J.

        Scranton…

      • Ceballos

        I feel like I would watch “Sex and the Scranton” with Pam, Erin, Kelly and Angela (as the uptight one, of course).

    • Diane

      If they have to go out of the city go to the Hamptons or the Vinyard for a weekend so they can wear beach clothing for a scene or two.

  • Momo

    I really appreciate Owen’s different take, and glad he pre-tackled the obnoxious posters who start whining about “how can you be a critic if you like/don’t like blah blah blah.” I think I’ll rent this movie and wait to see for myself. But the movie did modestly well at the box office, so depending if it has legs next weekend, I can’t see the studio not wanted a third movie.

    • Ethan

      Completely agree. I admire Owen for having an opinion and owning it. I wondered if the reviews seemed a little knee-jerk in their hatred anyway, it’s actually nice to hear some people enjoyed it.

  • amanda

    I’m with you!!!! I thought it was cute and funny, and I agree that Carrie and Big’s fights were very similar to the little arguments couples have all the time. I agree that the Abu Dhabi sequence was a bit too long – it was funny enough that they got kicked out of the hotel – the whole part in the spice market with samantha going nuts was just a little too much. i also don’t buy that charlotte would have been so jealous of the nanny – harry is too sweet of a guy to cheat on her!!

    i would love to see another Sex and the City movie!!!!

  • blahblahboring

    no. no 3rd movie. the 90s are over. let them RIP like gary coleman.

    • kevin

      yes the 90’s are over, but SATC ended in 2004…making the majority of the series in the 00’s, clearly you are not a fan ;)

      • Agustina

        The 00’s are over too!!

    • Cary

      LOL @ like Gary Coleman

  • jake

    Sex and the city 2 is still gonna make a ton of money worldwide and it was good — not as emotionally pulling as the first one, but great writing, acting and fun — what else can you ask of a movie?

    • Bobby

      How about all of them dieing at the end.

  • Q

    I haven’t seen #2 yet, but I was sorely disappointed by #1. That said, if #3 firmly located itself in NYC and didn’t traipse off hither and yon, I will give it a go. it’s sex AND the city, people. Not sex and mexico, or sex and the desert.

    • La

      Hated #1. Deee-pressing. Loved #2. V. funny.

      • Mori

        Mixed feelings for both but liked the first movie more. In SATC2, hated the way they made Samantha such an ugly American in the end. I was embarrassed for her. Also, most of the fashion in this one was UGLY!!! Part of the fun of the first movie was the clothes montage & the wedding gowns. Didn’t find that frothy glamour in the second movie.

    • Frank Anderson

      I agree with Q. The first movie was horrible!
      I really enjoyed the show, and Carrie and Big getting married should have made for a great move, but it went so many directions I had no interest in- the assistant crap especially felt forced and pandering.
      I was hopeful for a second movie, but the more I heard about the direction the less I wanted to see it.
      My wife and I will probably rent it when it comes out. She will probably force me to at least.
      I can see a rip off of Baby Boom could make for a good third movie- hopefully one with some real closer to the whole franchise rather than feeling like just another chapter.

    • JayNYC

      So Abu Dhabi isn’t a “city”, hmmm.
      What’s wrong with you people?!? To pooh-pooh the entire movie because it takes place in a *different* city?!? I thought it was entirely appropriate to address elements of sex in another city/culture and the girls reactions to that. I’m kind of tired of seeing nothing but brunching at Balthazar. Contrary to popular belief, Manhattanites *do* leave “the” city from time to time. We’re supposed to ignore that fact?!?

  • Sarah D

    I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m glad to see that there is someone in the world who found something interesting and positive to say :)

  • AliB

    No, I think they should stop with the second unless they can find a really good story for the third. I enjoyed the fashion and the whole girl power of #2, but the story wasn’t emotional or moving enough to really get me into it. Actually, I can’t really remember the main storyline of the movie.

  • Barbi

    I enjoyed Sex & the City 2; the girls are the best. Would like to see a 3rd, but keep it in NY!!!

  • Stephanie T.

    If they stick to New York, maybe but over all it’s basically 12.50 for a television show on the big screen.

  • Angie

    80% of it was definitely good enough to forgive the other 20%. Thank you for emphasizing the subtle problems that create the greater divides and what worked and what didn’t rather than panning the whole thing.

  • joan

    If they do make a third, will they stop pretendng that minorities do not exsist in these ladies “fabulous” world? Latina, asian, and African American women are just as wonderful and they do live in upper middle class New York City..

    • Ethan

      Certainly, but how would they do that without it feeling like a feel-good ploy? Suddenly they have a sassy 5th friend who represents her race? SATC has always been more white than the New York I seem to recall, but at this point, they’re stuck with what they’ve got.

    • Ceballos

      I agree with your premise, but it seems like they already tried that. I believe that was the whole reason behind Jennifer Hudson’s character in the first movie – and it worked out terribly.

      • LR

        that’s totally it – the incorporation of jennifer hudson was lame, forced and went nowhere and was more than likely put in to hedge complaints about the lack of diversity. i’m not saying they shouldn’t try to make it more diverse, just – if they do, don’t make it an after thought

      • CC

        You know, Jennifer Hudson’s character almost seemed like a figment of Carrie’s imagination — none of the girls ever saw her or met her – the New Year’s party in St. Louis might have been just Carrie imaging things on a lonely New Year’s Eve. Maybe it was Carrie’s mind trying to heal itself and simultaneously show she is diverse and multicultural. :)

      • Ceballos

        CC-

        That’s an excellent interpretation. However, I think we’re both giving Michael Patrick King WAY too much credit by even entertaining the notion that he meant to do that. :)

      • Donna

        I disagree. I think her character worked very well. It made sense that she’d need an assistant, and the interviews of the potential assistants were hilarious! I liked that JHud represented what Carrie was like when she first showed up in NYC–hopeful, innocent, looking for love. To me, it was great casting and it worked well.

      • Diana Oswald

        I’m only being honest when I say I am SOOO happy that this show centers around 4 girls of the same color, interests, and social stature. America has turned into the land of disgusting PC, where every show that involves a relationsip has to be a minority. I saw Shrek something the other day in the movie theater. I’ve never seen the other films, but MY GOD, even the dragon and the donkey had a “mixed marriage”!! In a kid’s film?? Puh-lease. It’s becoming agonizing to think that the media is encouraging every to be one big beige-ish/tan race. As far as friendships go, I’m glad these girls represent reality. I’m tired of tv shows and films sugar-coating everything.

      • Moni

        I’m a black chick and I think it’s perfectly ok to leave it the way it is, there does not have to be a minority in Sex and The City, there are many people of different colors who have their own friends and it is not always a rainbow coalition.

        I loved the show because they were like my own friends. I didn’t see the connection based on race, but the connection of women of NYC and their friendship.

        Now Girlfriends (a black sex and the city so to speak) I couldn’t get into mainly because in my opinion the girls were so LA. I couldn’t stand it.

        Living Single which was before any of these shows I related to because again, it was based in Brooklyn.

        I’m for NY all the way!

        With that being said, I couldn’t stand this version of SATC 2 and I agree, leave the damm thing in NYC!

      • got milk

        @Diana Oswald- Believe it or not, some people actually have friends of different races. I find it telling when people say that it’s PC to show diversity- probably because their lives are segregated and they can’t imagine that other people aren’t as racist as they are. Your vitrol on this subject is quite disturbing. On the other hand I agree with Moni that SATC shouldn’t stick a black person in at this point. Anyway, it’s time to put an end to it.

      • got milk

        I meant vitriol.

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