REVIEW: Sex and the City 2 (Michael Patrick King, 2010)

While the filmmaking team has in many ways gone bigger and better, they've simultaneously managed to keep reins on the extravagance through a clever tone of self-awareness and comparative modesty. That's right, even amidst Speedo-clad man-candy, a braless Irish nanny complete with Gaelic soundtrack and overall outrageous goings-on, there is a very self-aware tone throughout, directly demanding sorted - and sordid - fun over all else.

An early treat of a scene features Carrie and her husband, played by Chris Noth, taking in Frank Capra's classic "It Happened One Night" - a perfect parallel for the proceedings. "Sex and the City 2" feels like "Charlie's Angels" without handguns at times and "Mama Mia!" without ABBA at others, but it is at its core a modern screwball comedy. Between uproariously zippy dialogue, slamming doors, curious heads peering around corners and the driving challenges of social roles, all the vintage qualities are accounted for and unabashedly enjoyable. Furthermore, Noth's presence here may be closest we've seen to Clark Gable since that King of Hollywood boarded his last train.

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