So writer-director Michael Patrick King doesn’t even try. Instead, after this camp overture, we’re plunged headfirst into Carrie and friends’ familiar mock-troubled paradise: Ms Bradshaw’s relationship with the debonair Mr Big (Chris Noth) is moving further toward stifling domesticity. Neurotic mother Charlotte (Kristin Davis) is worried her braless live-in nanny has the hots for her hubby. Lawyer Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) quits her job after too many put-downs from her chauvinist boss. And Samantha (Kim Cattrall) is, well, horny as fuck. What a great time to take an all-expenses-paid trip to Abu Dhabi!
Taken in hand by this formidable foursome, the big, bad Middle East becomes a menopausal Westerner’s delight. One wrongheaded jaw-dropper follows another, from Samantha’s description of a gay manservant as ‘Paula Abdul’ to a comic climax in which the ladies escape an angry male mob by wearing hijabs and abayas given to them by like-minded Muslim women. And the featherbrained feminism the franchise specialises in reaches its apex when Carrie files her latest book, ‘I Do. Do I?’, beside Susan Sontag’s ‘Against Interpretation’. How do you say, ‘In your dreams, girlfriend’ in Arabic?