Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says Iffy for 16+
Shopping, sex, and stereotypes merge in trite sequel.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this comedy, an extension of the HBO series beloved by adults (and teens thanks to DVDs and edited reruns in syndication), is a sequel to the first Sex and the City movie and features all the usual elements that made the show so famous: naughty jokes, serious label-dropping, and sex scenes (though slightly muted this time around). While essentially still a warm story about female friendship, this film layers on the familiar raunchiness, with Samantha driving the sexual humor through quips ("Lawrence of my labia!"), and two vigorous sex scenes that show thrusting male bottoms. Several close-ups of barely clothed body parts also make the cut; there's the braless nanny whose white shirt is accidently sprayed while giving kids a bath, providing a slow-motion wet T-shirt situation with fully revealed nipples; a poolside male rugby team gets some big-screen attention on their bathing suits; and in one scene, Samantha's date stands up with a full erection, much to the dismay of the traditionally clad Arab bystanders. Much is made of the Arab world's treatment of women and sexuality, and it's not handled very sensitively. There’s also some swearing ("f--k," "ass," etc.), social drinking that looks very glamorous, and heavy angsting about the three m’s: marriage, motherhood, and menopause.
- Families can talk about the lifestyles of the famous and fabulous foursome: How do they afford all those clothes and fancy furniture? If you had as much money as they do, how would you spend your money? Can you imagine spending $22,000 per night on a hotel? What do you think Carrie's butler thinks about the foursomes' spending habits? What message was the movie trying to send by telling the butler's story?
- What are Carrie’s feelings about marriage? Do they seem realistic? Do you have empathy for Carrie's situation? Why or why not?
- How does the film handle the cultural differences between America and the Arab world? Did you notice any stereotyping? What are your feelings about the movie's approach?
The good stuff
Positive messages: There are empowering messages in the film, for sure, but they are buried by the narcissism and consumerism that runs rampant through the film. Also, there’s an insensitivity to Arabic culture. Plus, and this is a big plotline, there are expectations that marriage ought to be glamorous all the time. It’s later debunked, but only just.
Positive role models: For so long, Carrie and her friends have pushed boundaries in a good way, and portrayed interesting, complicated women. But they just seem so superficial here. And the men are barely seen or heard. Nevertheless, their friendship is still admirably open and giving and supportive -- always great to see.
What to watch for
Violence: Men scream and menace four women in a market.
Sexy stuff: Lots of cleavage. A woman cops a feel of her date’s genitals (above his clothes) at a restaurant in Abu Dhabi, scandalizing other diners. A woman gets accidentally splashed, and her T-shirt reveals her nipples. A slow-motion scene of a braless woman jumping up and down with male ogling. A woman is shown having sex a couple times; her partners are naked, their backsides visible and thrusting. A married man kisses a married woman (and they’re not married to each other). Lots of double entendres.
Language: A few occasions of “damn,” “hell,” and “f--k.” Plus "God" used as an exclamation.
Consumerism: Persistent and over-the-top; labels named-dropped and flashed everywhere: Maybach, New Yorker, Vogue, Bulgari, Rolex, Valentino, Dior -- ad infinitum. Women constantly ooh and ahh over products.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Beer, champagne (lots of it!), and hard liquor imbibed at social occasions; some characters get drunk. Two characters smoke through a hookah. Two humorous mentions of drugs: cocaine and peyote.