‘Sex and the City 2’ Too, Too Much?


It's "Sex and the City 2," and it's time to meet the "girls" again.

Well, here they are: Lori Coren and Linda Rigberg.

You were expecting maybe Carrie and Samantha?

Trust the "Scene": you're better off with these two from Langhorne and Elkins Park.

But that's not why you stood in line and boxed out the other women at the box office to cram into "SATC2" (although, ironically, an ogre outshone the beauties opening weekend, with "Shrek" taking in more green. But don't feel bad for the Fab Four — they're well on their way to breaking the $300 million mark worldwide after a month that gets mazel tovs in Hollywood.)

Abu Dhabi do? Nothing could be stranger in the night than the vision of Samantha getting a hot flash for lovin' amid the sultry luxury of what some call and consider the world's richest city, in a region where don't amid the dunes is given due diligence.

The film friends– Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) — carry on like desert foxes with Samantha maybe confusing the region's oil surplus with WD-40.

But as Carrie is quick to remind, "This is the modern Middle East," which may explain why "burka babes" are able to don designer garb under their vault-like veils.

Not that all four friends got the message about modernity; the Yiddish-spouting Charlotte's ruse when being introduced to native potentates is to go by her maiden name, York, rather than the more Jewish Goldenblatt.

"Well," as she sheepishly concedes, "it's not that modern."

And with the plotline propped up by public-relations guru Samantha's getting a job interview in Abu Dhabi to represent a hotel so eye-poppin' opulent, it looks like the gold rush settled right then and there — she met the hotelier at the gay Jewish wedding that opens the film, which, talking lavish, was more puréed liver than chopped — and then inviting all her girls to an on-the-house week to play the palace, well, the film takes off on a flight of fancy that totters on six-inch heels.

"Scene" was interested in the sights, for sure; in fact, he was seeking out the sign "This Way to the Egress," but held on until the bittersweet ending.

After all, he wouldn't cheat his readers by not sitting through it all — even as "cheating" was a theme of the film which all four friends focus on. (Oh, that Aidan!)

But then, "Scene" himself isn't the film's primary focus; after all, the characters are called Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte — not Carey, Sam, Marlon and Chuck.

So he turned to his sample audience, the two who served him so well two years ago when the first film came out with all its promise of chic flick.

And who better to talk it up than old faves — well, they'd want you to know, not that old — Coren and Rigberg, the sample-size audience chosen by "Scene" as "Sex and the City" experts from the suburbs.

They're back — and, as is their fashion — eager to chat. Choose your weapon — Jimmy or Manolo a mano.

"It was great, the [21/2 hours] just flew by," says Linda Rigberg, 60, of the film's length. "I enjoyed seeing them again. And I loved the opening."

The opening was the end all of all weddings, in which "keep it gay" was a theme that seemed to have been borrowed from "The Producers" for the union of Stanford Blatch (Willie Garson) and Anthony Marentino (Mario Cantone). (Smash the glass under the chupah? Bet it was Waterford!)

A preschool teacher at Adath Israel in Merion Station, Rigberg was adamant in observing that while the film certainly was "exaggerated" ("Scene" thinks that Samantha is way too eager to take a doctor's orders of "drop pants" — even when there's no doctor around), "I can tell you that everyone in the audience loved it, too."

Take that, "Scene."

Okay, so it's not "The Man Show."

"Isn't this why there's chocolate and vanilla in the world?" retorts Rigberg.

Well, okay, ice-cream I like.

And Rigberg liked the continuing focus on fashion even if "Scene" thought its statement was so over the top not even a halter could have stopped the overflow.

"My girl," says Rigberg of her character buddy-in-law, Charlotte, was the best of the best. And nobody does it better than this "SATC" franchise when it comes to its flush of flash. "I enjoy looking at the clothes, the shoes, the jewelry."

What's in a Name?
Uncomfortable was the scene in which Charlotte hid in a closet to get away from the constant crying of her baby. But Rigberg can relate: "This goes back many years, but I remember with Ben [one of three sons with her husband of 39 years, Jay], there was a time when, well, I didn't go into a closet, but I know how Charlotte felt."

(It's your turn, Ben, who, with wife Rebecca, just gave birth to their second child. Wonder how he deals with the crying game?)

As far as the native women attired in haute couture inside their burkas?

"I thought that was really funny," says Rigberg. "Do they really do that?"

Actually, according to reports on Mideast fashion, some do.

And "I do!" is very much on the mind of Lori Coren, 39, who two years ago pondered the (im)possibilities of finding her own Mr. Big after seeing the first film and being a big fan of the series.

"You know," she said of who was out there on the dating scene at the time, "you just never know in life."

She does now. Next month, she and her Mr. Big — well, the guy is big — aka Timothy J. Hartigan, are to marry in Center City.

"Carrie and Mr. Big always had that sparkle — and so do Tim and I," says the bride-to-be.

As well as a large-screen TV. Tim, like the character played by Chris Noth, "likes to go out but he also loves his big TV."

Maybe to watch "SATC" reruns? When it comes to the big-screen sequel, "I loved it!" enthuses Coren, a media coordinator for Rosen-Coren Public Relations in Langhorne. "It was better than the first. Sometimes, sequels are worse than the original, but this was actually better."

It hit her … Big time. "It is possible I was influenced in how I liked it by finding my own Mr. Big. And Tim is so much like Mr. Big because he'd do anything he could to make me happy," she says.

Aah. Sighs does matter after all.

And if she relates to Carrie, well, Bradshaw may be carrying the Jewish gene. Although never identified as Jewish in the famous HBO series or the films, "Carrie," says her Langhorne BFF, "gives off that Jewish vibe."

Not since Lionel Hampton has a film hit such right notes: Coren, to this day, still has the same kind of relationship with her own buddy Tricia that all four film women share with each other.

"Tricia and I always get together," she says.

When it comes to the movie's Mideast setting, next year in … Jerusalem?

"Well, if there is a sequel, I don't know about Israel," says Coren.

But she is sure about one thing: "Mr. Big is the best character."

And she'll repeat that vow next month under a chupah. 


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