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I went to see Sex and the City 2 yesterday and while it was super corny and lacked substance (as I knew it would), I decided to make a list of what we can take away from the movie. After all, a silver lining can be found in everything. I still intend to spend my weekend writing and watching seasons 1-6 on my DVD player. Obviously, this list will give away the entire movie, so if you would rather enjoy your little surprises in the theater, don’t read this!

1. Carrie’s simple gold wedding band- In contrast to Charlotte’s huge wedding rock, Carrie’s understated gold ring shows that great love doesn’t have to be validated by a massive piece of jewelry. Sure, it’s nice but making one’s own rules is just so much more interesting.

2. Charlotte and Miranda’s toast to single mothers- Charlotte finally admits that her perfect family gets on her damn nerves and they both marvel at the idea that so many women do it all alone. This moment definitely brought the film down to earth and they became regular women, not ones who wear Dior in the middle of the desert.

3. Samantha’s fuck you to sexism- While Samantha’s sexuality ranks off the charts in any culture, I did like her f— you to the crowd of men yelling at her in the spice market. Yes, she should have been more respectful of their culture (which my good friend informed me isn’t even representative of their culture in Abu Dhabi) but if you got arrested for kissing, you’d be a little testy too.

4. Muslim women who secretly wear Chanel under their burqas- I’ve heard about this before and also the growing trend in plastic surgery. I’ve read that younger Muslim women who are required to cover everything but their eyes often indulge in expensive lingerie, make-up and nose jobs. It’s a sweet covert defiance.

5. Carrie’s realization that she is an old woman and should be content just being with the man she loves– I wanted to smack Carrie when she kissed Aidan and then again when she called Big from the Middle East to tell him about it. I so enjoyed watching her cry on the park bench realizing that once again she was about to sabotage her happiness.

6. Aidan named one of his kids Homer. Homer? This shuts the book on Aidan.

7. We’re reminded that poor people make sacrifices to provide for their families- Carrie’s personal butler in Abu Dhabi explains to her, over warm milk and cinnamon, how he only sees his wife every 3 months, when they can afford it. I love the American guilt, keeps us humble.

8. It is never OK to walk around in public without a bra- I’m all for naturalness and freedom but if my nanny (Charlotte made it very clear to me that I’ll need one) was a bra-less wonder, she’d be fired. I mean come on, we can go a little far with feminism.

9. The friendship crisis moment- I loved how after Carrie kissed Aidan she needed all three of her best girls to decide what to do next. Even though all of them advised her not to talk so much, Carrie did it anyway. What did we learn? If all the people you trust are saying the same thing, it’s probably a good idea to listen.

10. The need for alone time, no matter how “perfect” everything is- A major theme in the movie (as much as there could have been one) was the need for distance in order to appreciate everything you’ve got. I loved how Carrie kept her apartment to make sure she had somewhere to write and also to give Charlotte a spot to break free from those babies. Taking time for yourself helps you to be better for the people you love.

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Of course I’m going to see Sex and the City 2, probably a couple of times with various friends over the course of its first week (which is why the first movie grossed so much, everyone did the same thing I did). As the sequel’s opening day (May 27th) gets closer, its television trailers have gotten a little longer, they’re releasing a book to showcase all the fashion and now, nine clips have popped up on the Web.

You can only expect so much from the movie versions of the hit HBO show namely because the franchise itself has become so commercialized. I miss the HBO real-life advice Sex and the City where the characters had epiphanies, made terrible mistakes and summed up life over brunch with their friends. The show reminded me of the woman-talk sessions my mom used to have with her friends and sisters. I was so little but there was something so intriguing about those conversations that I’d do anything to be able to eavesdrop. I remember listening through the vents downstairs to the kitchen- yes, it was really that serious. And as I got older, I learned those conversations- with your girlfriends- was where you decided to break-up, get divorced, get married, dish about sex and find out if the things you were experiencing were normal. The guys watched football and played golf and the girls chatted.

Even though Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda didn’t look like me or like the vast majority of women (I looked up to and eavesdropped on their conversations)- they had substance. Seasons 1-6 cultivated countless situations and slogans that beg for reference in real life. I can’t tell you how many urban relationship myths, Jack Burger’s and “Big” loves my girls and I have come across. We learned that while waiting for marriage is quite noble, it could also land you in a divorce. We learned the type of guys we wanted, hello Smith, and the type of guys we’d dump…like the one who raped Charlotte’s face.

We could see that while Samantha’s sexual inhibition was funny and applaudable on screen, her behavior in real life meant she was a whore. Not because she liked sex but because, if you’ll remember, she didn’t always protect herself. We learned that the guy you think you want might not be the one who’s best for you…Big vs. Aidan or Harry vs. Trey.

In the new movie franchise (1 and 2), friendship becomes the selling point trumping men and babies, making them merely accessories in addition to the lives we already have. HBO’s version was more realistic to me in which the girls were on a mission to “have it all” after all, having it all is what makes being a woman so much fun.

Notable clips

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