Shopaholics Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda are back for more man trouble and Prada-clad mischief in Manhattan - and beyond - in the most fashionable sequel of the season. Two years on and Carrie's marriage to Big is well underway, Sam's struggling with the menopause, Miranda with her sexist boss and Charlotte is finding it a strain raising a teary two-year-old. After the gay wedding of the year, it's time to leave their troubles behind... in Abu Dhabi.
Michael Patrick King
Sarah Jessica Parker
Kicking off in fine style with the gay wedding of Stanford Blatch (Willie Garson) and Anthony Marentino (Mario Cantone) Liza Minnelli puts in an appearance to belt out Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).
However, the girls have more pressing engagements. Unmarried Samantha's now 52 and has trouble keeping her libido alive while Miranda quits her job after one too many comments from her sexist boss.
Charlotte's two children are proving a handful and she's worried that Harry is attracted to their buxom Irish nanny, Erin (Alice Eve).
Carrie's marriage to Mr Big (Noth) has settled down although things are threatening to descend in a mind-numbing routine when he buys her a TV instead of a handful of bling.
But hope is at hand...Samantha has been approached by an Arab sheikh who offers to fly the girls an all-expenses-paid luxury vacation to Abu Dhabi. It's the shopping capital of the Middle East. What could possibly go wrong?
Unlike Friends, Sex And The City was a TV show that knew when to end. It left the small screen on a high, with fans mourning its early demise and desperate for more. By the time Sex And The City: The Movie was released in 2008, it was like a gift - series seven, but at the cinema.
The second film has been equally anticipated, if not more so, considering the first one actually turned out to be pretty decent.
It opens in New York, picking up two years from where the last one left off. Carrie's marriage to Big is well underway, Sam's struggling with the imminent threat of menopause, Miranda's got a sexist boss and Charlotte is struggling with her teary two-year-old (and a nanny who won't wear a bra, in a plotline lifted directly from Curb Your Enthusiasm).
All starts well with Stanford and Anthony's big gay wedding: Carrie's the best man (in a fabulous tux) and Liza Minnelli's the officiator - who later goes on to murder Beyonce's Single Ladies. It's pure camp gold.
After this, the bottom completely falls out, and any kind of plot is abandoned for scriptless, meandering scenes in which the audience is "treated" to a visual feast as the girls leave the towering skyscrapers of New York behind for the sun-drenched desert landscapes of Abu Dhabi.
Unfortunately, eye candy of the landscape kind isn't what earned SATC a loyal following. This was a show renowned for its witty script and sharp observations, yet the characters have very little to utter, let alone say with spunk.
The gang's reason for hitting the "new Middle East" is too tenuous to go into, but the fact they spend the majority of the film there, 6700 miles away from home as we keep being reminded, is criminal. New York has always been the fifth character of the franchise, and bar some sweeping shots of the Chrysler and a little bit of Times Square, there's not even a nibble of the Big Apple.
And if there's a lack of the city, there's a positive man drought. No wonder the girls have nothing to talk about. And no, resurrecting Aidan for a lame extra-marital kiss is not enough.
Aside from Charlotte and Miranda's rather touching heart-to-heart, in which they share their motherhood struggles over cocktails, the film is a long long way from the glory days of the SATC.
If you are contemplating watching the film, you'd be better off with a night in and the box set. Cosmopolitans optional.