Wednesday, May 26, 2010

More fun with shooting fish in barrels

Peter Bradshaw, the Guardian critic, reviews "Sex and the City 2." I wouldn't bother with the link (After all, who cares?) but etiquette requires.

The big plot twist is that Samantha is offered a very unappetising all-expenses-paid junket in Abu Dhabi and gets to invite her three BFs. Naturally you'd expect the scenes in Abu Dhabi to last, ooh, maybe two, three minutes, tops – enough for some gags about deserts and camels and American outsiders clumsily misunderstanding Middle Eastern culture, and then surely we're back to zingy Manhattan. But oh no.

We are stuck in Abu Dhabi for almost the entire film. Abu Dhabi. In the United Arab Emirates. That Abu Dhabi. As 10 minutes turned into half an hour and then into an hour, and we were still in Abu Dhabi, with the foursome landed with having to gaze in wonderment and squeak with excitement at naff hotel fixtures and fittings, I sensed a claustrophobic panic growing at the screening I attended. Like Martin Sheen waking from his uneasy slumber in Apocalypse Now and thinking: "Shit, I'm still in Saigon," various members of the audience would emerge from their periodic reveries and mumble out loud: "Shit, Carrie and her friends and by that token we the audience are still in Abu Dhabi." I once watched Béla Tarr's Sátántangó, the legendary, gloomy black-and-white Hungarian film that lasts for seven and a half hours. Compared to the Abu Dhabi section of Sex And The City 2, Sátántangó zips past like an episode of Spongebob Squarepants.


Generic said...

Do you think the money to make it might have come from... Oh, I don't know.

Tulkinghorn said...


Also it wasn't even filmed IN Abu Dhabi, but in Morocco....

Bradshaw poses the same question:

What is going on? Is writer-director Michael Patrick King a massive fan of Abu Dhabi? Is he an evangelist for Abu Dhabi as a rockin' holiday destination? Or is he, conversely, consumed with a desire to satirise Abu Dhabi as an unsuitable place to visit? There is a strange scene on board the plane headed out there, when the crew of the (fictional) airline Afdal Air ostentatiously offer the ladies a welcoming glass of champagne — in exactly the way that the winning couple on the 1980s TV show Blind Date would invariably be offered an airborne glass of bubbly as a way of advertising the airline company who were bankrolling the prize. Weirdly, the film is not shot in Abu Dhabi but Morocco. It's a puzzle.

Generic said...

I happenbed to be in Toronto when Santantango debuted, massaging the critical G Spots of Jonathan Rosenbaum and a few others.

Tulkinghorn said...

It's in my Netflix queue, but somehow I keep pushing it back.