Sex and the City 2 needs all 146 minutes of bloated running time to service the number of social issues it eventually skims over. It's a message mosh. As the four principal pals ( Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall) settle into marriage and menopause, they are still young enough to struggle with competing desires within themselves and yet old enough to laugh at themselves and at times choose the selfless act over the selfish.
Some of the issues: 1. Gay political incorrectness. The opening gay wedding, which we are reminded multiple times it is, and certainly the La Cage visuals and speech affectations would confirm, at least for those influenced by stereotypes. 2. Marriage?does it become stale? Is separation, even structured at regular intervals, a good thing? Is it better to be single? 3. Condoms are a laughing matter. 4. Women in Saudi Arabia-- are they enslaved or just arch manipulators who eventually get what they want? 5. Are the Emirates wealthy and sexist or newly rich and traditional?
All this and more are served up with the brightest eye candy, from bejeweled designer shoes, legs (particularly Sarah Jessica Parker's) that age well, and an Abu Dhabi every bit as glitzy as you've heard and more. The girls Carrie (Parker), Charlotte (Davis), Miranda (CNixon), and Samantha (Cattrall) travel to Saudi land at the behest of a prince, who puts them up in a $22,000 per night suite for a week of camel riding, indiscriminate sex (just Samantha, but then she has enough sexual energy for the entire group), and issues of fidelity to spouses left behind.
Witty conversation never trumps the visuals and issues skimming, even when Carrie and husband Big watch the smart "It Happened one Night" with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert (It's clear our actors can never measure up to the black and white actors, and this script never come close.