The new Sex And The City sequel film, which is so unpopular with critics
that it has been compared to a horror film
, is partly set in the
United Arab Emirates city of Abu Dhabi
unsurprisingly, the film's portrayal of Arab Muslims is not quite as
nuanced as its commentary on shoe brands. Does the movie go too far?
Some critics say yes.
- 'Cartoonishly Offensive' Movie
reviewer Richard Roeper says that,
upon the characters' Middle East trip, "This is where the movie goes
from boring to lame and cartoonishly offensive and just ridiculous."
Condescending Than Stirring' Variety's Brian Lowry laments the
"not-very-convincing rumination on the treatment of Muslim women -- even
in what's supposed to be a relatively progressive Arab country -- that
seems more condescending than stirring."
'Commentary' Makes It Worse USA Today's Claudie Puig fumes, "With his
Cosmopolitan-style approach to all things feminine, director Michael
Patrick King is out of his league attempting to comment on the
inequitable treatment of Muslim women. He ends up mocking religious
beliefs and making Carrie and her friends appear insensitive."
Anti-Muslim' The Hollywood Reporter's Stephen Farber recounts
how the characters "run up against the puritanical and misogynistic
culture of the Middle East. The rather scathing portrayal of Muslim
society no doubt will stir controversy, especially in a frothy summer
entertainment, but there's something bracing about the film's saucy
political incorrectness. Or is it politically correct? SATC 2 is at once
proudly feminist and blatantly anti-Muslim, which means that it might
confound liberal viewers."
'Imperialistic Barbies' Salon's Wajahat Ali dismantles the "imperialistic Barbies" of the
film. "Michael Patrick King's exquisitely tone-deaf movie is cinematic
Viagra for Western cultural imperialists who still ignorantly and
inaccurately paint the entire Middle East (and Iran) as a Shangri La in
desperate need of liberation from ignorant, backward natives. ... It's
hard to overstate the offensiveness of the fabulous four's exquisitely
tone-deaf trip to Abu Dhabi."
- What The Movie Doesn't Tell You
Feminist blogger Megan Carpentier explains
"5 things you won't learn about the UAE" from the film. Here are the
middle three, click through for all five and for the details on each:
(2) Women use birth control; (3) Teenage Americans are more likely to
get pregnant than teenage Emiratis; (4) Emirati women don’t all wear the
- Dissent: Pakistanis Would Have Beheaded Them Bill O'Reilly
shoots down the criticism, in the process apparently confusing
Pakistan with the UAE and also completely making up a practice of
beheading, which does not exist. "If these four women were in Pakistan,
they would be beheaded. So I guess it is anti-Muslim. The way they
behave, these women, they'd last like 35 seconds in a Muslim country.
Their heads -- complete with lipstick, pierced ears and eyeshadow --
would be on stakes. That's not to say they were doing anything wrong.
It's just a very big culture difference between Sex and the City and the
fundamental Muslim world."
- Dissent: It's Too Sympathetic to
Muslims Blogger Debbie Schlussel, who previously claimed that the
Lebanese-American Miss USA winner was a secret agent of Hizbollah, says the
film is actually too sympathetic to Arab Muslims. "You can’t say
'Jesus' or 'Christ' or 'G-d' in Abu Dhabi, but, hey, it’s a 'liberal,
Western playground' for these [characters] from HBO, right? ... It’s a
good thing they don’t know that Parker’s father was a Jew and that she
doesn’t have an Israeli stamp in her passport, or filming there would
never have begun in the first place. The whole movie is propaganda."
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