Why do critics loathe Sex and the City 2?

Sex and the City 2 - Miranda, Carrie, Samantha & Charlotte are stunned by the reviews for SATC2

Sex and the City 2 has raced to the top of the UK box office charts – no mean feat in stiletto heels – with an opening weekend take of £6.13million, the third biggest opening of 2010 after Alice in Wonderland and Iron Man 2.

And that’s despite getting almost universally panned by critics, who have unleashed upon the screen exploits of Carrie, Samantha & co the most withering barrage of derision since they took aim at Sex Lives of the Potato Men.

Sex Lives of the Potato Men - Mackenzie Crook & Johnny Vegas

To give you an idea of how much the critical fraternity loathed SATC2, as of writing it scores 16% on film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes; last year’s much derided Lesbian Vampire Killers scores 27%.

Lesbian Vampire Killers - Thumbs up, but not from the critics

It didn’t seem to matter whether the writer is male or female, a fan of the TV series or not, one after another critics have lined up to give the film a good kicking (and, no, they probably weren’t wearing Manolo Blahniks).

Does this only go to show that critics are a bunch of elitist snobs, hopelessly out of touch with the tastes of cinemagoers?  Or is there something about SATC2 itself that has inspired such an outpouring of bile?

Sex and the City 2 - Dancing queens Charlotte, Samantha, Carrie & Miranda

While you ponder these questions, here’s a selection of some of the most savagely vituperative put-downs:

“As subtlety and wit drain away, you feel a sense of loss – these are women you once loved, old friends from late-night television with a tub of Cherry Garcia. How did they end up like this?

“…Sadly this sequel is not Sex and the City – it is Menopause in the Desert, and a waste of four great characters.” Kate Muir, The Times

“I once watched Béla Tarr’s Sátántangó, the legendary, gloomy black-and-white Hungarian film that lasts for seven and a half hours. Compared to the Abu Dhabi section of Sex And The City 2, Sátántangó zips past like an episode of Spongebob Squarepants.” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

“Sex and the City 2 goes on for half a lifetime, brandishes enough product placements to embarrass a Formula One driver… I lost count of the number of times the filmmakers dropped the word “sparkle” into the script; no doubt they thought they were going for gold, but they’ve created a load of Ratners.” Sukhdev Sandhu, The Daily Telegraph

“This could be the most stupid, the most racist, the most polluting and women-hating film of the year, with a variety of ugliness that no number of facial procedures could begin to address.” Andrew O’Hagan, Evening Standard

The disdain hasn’t been confined to professional critics. The most scathing invective directed at SATC2 has come from blogger Lindy West.

“SATC2 takes everything that I hold dear as a woman and as a human… and rapes it to death with a stiletto that costs more than my car.” The Stranger

More in sorrow than in anger, fashion columnist Hadley Freeman has this to say:

“It’s like being lobotomised with a pink teaspoon…There are still hours of re-runs of the TV series every night on the Comedy Central channel, and I used to watch them. But the films have ruined them for me.”

Not everyone feels that way, though, and in the interests of balance, here’s a link to an enthusiastic thumbs up for the film from Movie Talk’s very own Couch Potato, who reckons that SATC girls’ nights outs will be adding a sparkle to towns and cities up and down the country.”

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