I like the Sex and The City series. I like the camaraderie between the female characters and the collective perspectives they provide.
I finally found a clear bootleg copy of Sex and The City 2 (from a guy selling DVDs in a parking lot) and watched it last night. First, let me tell you, I'm not a shy person, but going into video shops and asking for a bootleg copy of "Sex and The City" got me some serious stares. Obviously dudes hadn't heard of it and thought I was looking for porn (I am shy to ask for that although I wouldn't mind... another post....)
I don't usually like to critique movies on my blog. I leave that to others like that guy in the Arab Times who goes on and on about this movie or that and how they pertain to day-to-day life in Kuwait. That isn't for me. But, this one had an interesting aspect to it in that the characters in Sex and The City were giving their perspective on life in the "new Middle East" (as they said in the film).
I LOVED the opening scenes with the gay wedding. It was so over-the-top and I'm sure that if anyone here sees it, you are going to see men's choirs singing at weddings and Liza Manelli presiding really soon. Oh, and swans. God forbid they start importing swans here.
The film disturbed me on several levels and I can now understand why Abu Dhabi would not allow filming there; but then, I wondered if it hadn't been re-written after AD's decision as an intended retaliatory insult? They decide to go on a trip to Abu Dhabi after Samantha meets a Sheikh who wants to promote "his" hotel, loosly based on the FABULOUS Emirates Palace. He invites Samantha and her friends on a week-long PR trip. They end up in trouble - and obviously embarass their host who cuts their stay short.
First DG disturbance: The girls go off to Abu Dhabi wearing completely inappropriate clothing. That was the first thing that struck me. They appeared to be wearing clothing out of a Vegas performance of Arabian Nights. I couldn't figure out 1) who the HELL would wear that stuff and 2) if anyone would have the audacity to actually go to a foreign country in costumes that quite clearly might insult the locals.
Next DG disturbance: none of the girls, except Cynthia Nixon's character (Miranda), even bothered to open a guide book or learn anything about the country, culture, or religion. Unfortunately, I have got to say that in my experience, the same can be said about too many travellers to the Middle East (and not just from the US). People are just too damn lazy to learn about a new place. Why would you want to go if you knew nothing about it? Miranda's character was the voice of reason and would interject facts about the country and its laws every now and then.
The movie ended up being filmed in Morocco, although they did manage to get most of the national attire of the UAE correct. The same could not be said for the Arabic - it was butchered.
As mentioned, I generally like SATC and can handle the vulgarity, but this was waaaaay over the top. There is one scene in a local souq that I literally had to fast forward through. I found it very offensive and I think that had Samantha done the same in a mall anywhere in the US, she would also have quite an audience. It was really distasteful.
It was an interesting look at UAE society, however, and made several good points. It touched on the issue of foreign national workers in the country and how they are away from their families for so long (butler dude said he got to see his wife every 3 months. In reality, it would be more like every 2 years.) It also touched on how the younger generation of Emiratis are mixing the old culture with modern styles.
Obviously, you're not going to see this movie in the cinemas in the GCC, so you'll have to find a copy like I did if you want to see it. I think I have the DVD guy's number if you want it.