...it's not as if the zeigeisty observer in this critter isn't sorely tempted, and more than mildly curious. On the one hand, I'm a SATC hater from way back, despite the fact that the series provided my pal Allison Anders with much-desired employment back in the day, and did similar favors for talents such as Nicole Holofcener, Martha Coolidge, Alison McLean, and Susan Seidelman. And apparently this new one, in which duh gals bring their flaunt-it fabulousness ("fabulousness" strictly putative) to Abu Dhabi and create all kinds of scandale, pushes some intriguing buttons. Stephen Farber, while liking the picture overall, tut-tuts about its "anti-Muslim" content in his Hollywood Reporter review, finger-wagging at a scene in which "a bunch of Muslim women...strip off their black robes to reveal the stylish Western outfits they are concealing beneath their discreet garb." One's response...I should say, my response, really...to all this is a little ambivalent. On the one hand, I think, tell it to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Farber. And on the other hand, you know what's really anti-Muslim? Bombing the shit out of countries containing lots of Muslims. And again, when someone like Jeffrey Wells condemns the likes of this movie by referring to it as a Taliban recruitment tool, or some such, he's really putting the cart before the horse. As if Western sexual libertinism is the sole raison d'etre for Muslim extremism. That's kind of a breathtaking combo of self-congratulation and historical ignorance.
So it seems that the movie might well offer "stuff," as some call it, to chew on. And on the other hand, A.O. Scott's review of the picture in today's Times seems to bear out a suspicion that I was nursing. When he mentions how much older one might feel after sitting through it, and describes one early sequence as not only "desperate, grating, and a little sad" but as a "harbinger of what is to come," that spells things out: who gives a rat's tail what buttons the thing is pushing if the thing itself is so very awfully tired?
Adding more weight to that side of things is the fact that the damn movie's almost two-and-a-half hours long, which means a nearly four-hour hell multiplex experience is required for me to see the damn thing. And right now I haven't got the time-time, as Lou Reed would say. So it'll have to wait for the DVD, as the first one did. Remember that one? With its shocking reverse-cowgirl Cynthia Nixon shot that messed up the afternoons of several SCR readers who had grown accustomed to this being a consistent SFW site? Ah, fun times.