Identifying With Carrie’s Writing Failure in SATC 2

Although Sex and the City 2 was even worse than the first movie, and served largely as a tourism campaign for Abu Dhabi, there is one–just one–redeeming element about it: Carrie’s (Sarah Jessica Parker) colossal writing failure.

One of many non-literary moments in Sex and the City 2
One of many non-literary moments in Sex and the City 2

Based on the book title alone, I Do! Do I?, it’s no wonder the book is reviewed quite unfavorably by The New York Times, which basically tells Carrie that she should shut the fuck up. And while most viewers (and imaginary readers) would tend to agree, there is something identifiable about Carrie’s downfall–even from the perspective of a writer who has never achieved her level of big city fame.

Does Carrie even read?
Does Carrie even read?

Despite stereotypes about gay men and straight, materialistic women abounding–and terrible questions like, “So is a gay wedding longer or shorter than a straight wedding?” being asked–the one genuine element of Sex and the City 2 is just how hurt Carrie appears over the loss of her reputation and good standing in the literary world. Still naive enough to believe she’s in the same league as Susan Sontag (note the placement of Against Interpretation next to I Do! Do I? on Carrie’s bookshelf), Carrie has trouble admitting to herself that she is, after all, “the column they run next to ads for penile implants.”

Another promo where writerliness is not emphasized
Another promo where writerliness is not emphasized

Although her writing is “witty,” at times, it often borders on the laughably punny, as with questions like, “Why are we should-ing all over ourselves?” It is this affectation that detracts from her latent desire to be taken seriously by the likes of Michiko Kakutani, and compounds her sadness over the defeat. Plus, after she finds out how badly her book is received, she ends up making the plot of the movie worse by kissing her ex, Aidan Shaw (John Corbett), while married to the so-called love of her life, Big (Chris Noth). And so, by ignoring all of the other many flaws of the sequel, including dialogue like “Abu Dhabi Do!,” we are able to see that Carrie is so much more than an acquisitive complainer.