It’s been five years since the disastrous, feminism-destroying, soul-crushing Sex and the City 2 hit theaters. Or, if we’re going to be more specific here, it’s five years since SATC fans pretended like this whole thing never happened. It’s hard to destroy a legacy as engrained in popular culture as Sex and the City was during the late ’90s and early 2000s, but damn if writer/director Michael Patrick King sure didn’t try. During the show’s six-season run on HBO, the fashion-forward comedy about sex, friendships, and love was a cultural touchstone and even if the show seems sort of outdated now (there’s literally an episode in which Sarah Jessica Parker’s iconic Carrie Bradshaw, a writer, can’t figure out instant messaging), it still holds up and will forever be a nostalgic gem for the fans who adored it.
While the first movie, 2008’s Sex and the City, was a box office hit and slightly less reviled by critics (it has a 49% percent on Rotten Tomatoes), the sequel left a sour taste in everyone’s mouth. Though SATC 2 made a decent amount of money ($95 million, compared to the original’s $152 million intake) it rightfully earned the scorn of critics and fans alike. The film was an unfunny, unsexy, culturally insensitive, cameo-filled, bloated (it’s nearly two-and-a-half hours long) mess and it made everyone yearn for the simpler days of flower pins and lingering good feelings about Aidan Shaw (John Corbett).
That’s why when SJP sent the Internet into a frenzy earlier this month after posting an Instagram shot that possibly alluded to a new SATC film, the worry officially started to sink in. There’s been talk for the past five years that the gang would, inexplicably, make another movie, and in the words of Carrie Bradshaw, we couldn’t help but think, “WHY?!”
There’s so little story that’s left to be told here, let alone the fact that maybe we just don’t want to check in with these characters anymore. The “conflicts” in the sequel were resolved: Carrie and Big (Chris Noth) stopped fighting about the TV he bought (oh brother); Charlotte (Krisin Davis)’s husband wasn’t cheating on her with the sexy nanny; Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) quit her job because balancing the work/motherhood thing is apparently impossible; and Samantha (Kim Cattrall) made sure she let you know she STILL REALLY LIKES HAVING SEX AND THAT’S HILARIOUS BECAUSE SHE IS OLDER NOW. This movie found the four girls being whisked away to Abu Dhabi for reasons I can’t quite remember or care to, and then spend the bulk of the movie insulting the customs of the Middle East and being the worst U.S. diplomats imaginable. Oh, and Carrie just so happens to run into her ex-boyfriend along the way. It’s safe to call this movie a fantasy, but whose was it exactly?
Yes, you could argue that Carrie and her friends were always materialistic and selfish, but there was something unshakably gross going on in SATC 2. Watching four very wealthy women degrade a culture they don’t understand or respect, while almost mocking the same hardworking women watching that very film (at one point Miranda and Charlotte toast to the poor moms out there who don’t have paid help), took it to a whole other level. I can still watch the reruns without thinking about the unspeakably bad sequel, but why continue to pull at this very expensive thread? Are they hoping to pull off an Oceans 13 to erase the sequel entirely? Or is it simply a running-on-fumes franchise that sees an opportunity to make a little more money? Either way, there’s no denying that SATC 2 was a thing that unfortunately happened, but the least the cast and creative forces behind the saga can just let it go. Besides, we’ll always have Paris… which is exactly where they should have let things end in the first place.