The logline for "Sex and the City 2" is perfectly summed up by franchise star Sarah Jessica Parker:
"There was a wedding and now there has to be a marriage and the two are very different," Parker says.
Sitting with her co-stars in the shoe department at Bergdorf Goodman's in New York City last weekend (could there be any locale more appropriate for this bunch?), Parker chatted with the press about the highly-anticipated sequel to the unexpected 2008 big screen blockbuster, "Sex and the City."
The first film followed a year in the life of Carrie Bradshaw (Parker) and her three best friends: Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), Samantha (Kim Cattrall) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis). It consummated with the long awaited marriage between HBO's star-crossed lovers Carrie and Mr. Big (Chris Noth). While many thought the second cinematic chapter would focus on a baby, that was too conventional. Instead, writer and director Michael Patrick King and producer Parker decided to focus on how difficult it is for two 40-plus New Yorkers to try and master a committed relationship. As Parker ponders, "Why do we run toward it and why do we push it away and why when we so willingly want to commit to conventions like the institution of marriage? And how do you redefine tradition for ourselves? And how do our friends around us redefine tradition? Do they want to? And what better place to ask these questions than in the Middle East?"
Yes, as the previews indicate, Carrie and Co. head to Abu Dhabi on a "free" vacation from one of Samantha's potential publicity clients. While basking in the lap of luxury, Carrie bizarrely runs into her No. 2 ranked ex- flame, Aidan (a barely aging John Corbett). What occurs after their surprise encounter shouldn't be spoiled, but King and Parker have created a scenario that smartly turns fans expectations on their head. For Parker, however, it was the experience of shooting in Morocco (standing in for Abu Dhabi) which became one of the "great experiences" of her professional life.
"To live and work with this cast and that crew every single day, to see the sun rise and set over our locations in the most far flung places, to lay in a bed all day with these women exhausted and laughing [and] to be on [a] camel with Kim Cattrall I think disobeyed all order," Parker says.
During the six televised seasons of "Sex and the City," the girls had their share of trips here and there, but Morocco was something completely different because it was overseas and more importantly, brought the quartet's decade-long friendships to a new level. Well, at least in Parker's case.
"In New York we’d go home to our friends and our family and our children and our animals and it changed…it just changed for me," Parker recalls. "I just came away loving them more than I ever have because I got to see them in a new way. I was so challenged by the work they were doing and how good they were and what thoroughbreds they were and how, you know, nothing could get us down no matter how hungry we were or how much we had to go to the bathroom."
Parker is clearly invested in both her friendships with the "City" ladies and their creations. She is intensely proud of how much the characters care for each other because as she notes, "they were never meant to be friends."
"Their DNA is so radically different from one to the next and they have founded incomparable friendship that is really truly inspiring to me and it changes the way that I think about my friendships constantly," Parker says. "It is the writing, but I look at a lot what’s available on television and I see how women treat each other, it’s stunning to me. It’s arresting and I like that there is someplace that we still like to illustrate that women would much rather be allies than adversaries."
"Sex and the City 2" opens nationwide on May 28.
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