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    Review: Sex and the City 2 Not Sexy, Not in the City, Not Good

    SATC 2, Sex and the City 2 Movie, Cynthia Nixon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis Craig Blankenhorn/MMIX New Line Productions, Inc.

    Review in a Hurry: The girls are back in an overseas romp in Abu Dhabi, where sexy behavior is verboten. So Sex and the City 2 has very little sex, and not a lot of city. Bad move.

    The Bigger Picture: Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) are back in action, two years after the first movie took place. Carrie is still married to Big (Chris Noth); settled into wedded bliss, he wants to hang out on the couch more than paint the town red, leaving her longing for the "sparkle" of the good-old days.

    The movie's missing a lot of sparkle, too.

    The value of SATC is that despite Carrie's cloying voiceover and the groan-worthy puns, the story lines and girl-talk conversations are real and relatable. When the ladies venture to "The New Middle East" (courtesy of a potential client of Samantha's), SATC 2 becomes all about bling, scenery, the truly absurd outfits and shocking the locals. The twists and turns of love and life play second fiddle to the gleaming luxury.

    And while Carrie goes through her "mid-wife crisis" (cue groan), the other girls get short shrift. Since Carrie, though played well by Parker, is arguably somewhat annoying, this is not good. An already too-long movie feels that much longer—writer-director Michael Patrick King steers a flick full of peppy dialogue with a counter-intuitively ponderous pace.

    The best scene is when an overwhelmed Charlotte finally vents to Miranda about the stresses of being a mom. It's funny and true. It's a glimmer of the SATC we know and love, and it's all too brief.

    The 180—a Second Opinion: The setting may shift, but there's still some of that old magic and chemistry within this gang of four. No matter how mediocre the script, spending time with this unique sisterhood is like putting on a cozy old bathrobe.

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