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Sex and the City 2

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service

The skewed values on display in the romantic comedy "Sex and the City 2" (New Line)—writer-director Michael Patrick King's follow-up to his 2008 big-screen adaptation of the long-running HBO TV series—are typified early on when its main character and narrator, New York-based columnist turned author Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), serves as "best man" at the lavish "wedding" of two male friends.

Having settled down herself at the conclusion of the previous feature, Carrie is battling the stay-at-home instincts of her husband of two years' standing, John Preston, better known as Mr. Big (Chris Noth).

Among her familiar trio of best friends, lawyer Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) finds her career hobbled by a sexist boss, stay-at-home mom Charlotte (Kristin Davis) can't take the 24/7 bawling of her baby daughter and slatternly single Samantha (Kim Cattrall) is desperately popping hormones in pursuit of eternal youth.

An all-expenses-paid jaunt to Abu Dhabi, courtesy of Samantha's potential public relations client Sheik Khalid, provides only temporary relief from these pressures. But it does allow the quartet of pals to express their outrage over the repressive treatment of Muslim women by belting out a karaoke version of Helen Reddy's feminist anthem "I Am Woman."

Their goal, as a later scene suggests, is not only to liberate their Middle Eastern sisters from the burdensome burqa—so lacking in style, so un-Bergdorf Goodman—but to empower them to carry condoms in their purses, as Samantha always does, just in case.

It's hard to decide which aspect of this morally unmoored adventure rankles most: the caricature of Muslims, the confusion of promiscuity with empowerment or the materialist assumption that happiness can be found in conspicuous consumption.

The film contains graphic nonmarital sexual activity with nudity, a benign view of casual sex and homosexual acts, an adultery theme, constant sexual humor and references and some rough and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is O—morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R—restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

*****
John Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.


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John Paul II: “Open wide the doors to Christ,” urged John Paul II during the homily at the Mass when he was installed as pope in 1978. <br /><br />Born in Wadowice, Poland, Karol Jozef Wojtyla had lost his mother, father and older brother before his 21st birthday. Karol’s promising academic career at Krakow’s Jagiellonian University was cut short by the outbreak of World War II. While working in a quarry and a chemical factory, he enrolled in an “underground” seminary in Kraków. Ordained in 1946, he was immediately sent to Rome where he earned a doctorate in theology. <br /><br />Back in Poland, a short assignment as assistant pastor in a rural parish preceded his very fruitful chaplaincy for university students. Soon he earned a doctorate in philosophy and began teaching that subject at Poland’s University of Lublin. <br /><br />Communist officials allowed him to be appointed auxiliary bishop of Kraków in 1958, considering him a relatively harmless intellectual. They could not have been more wrong! <br /><br />He attended all four sessions of Vatican II and contributed especially to its <em>Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World</em>. Appointed as archbishop of Kraków in 1964, he was named a cardinal three years later. <br /><br />Elected pope in October 1978, he took the name of his short-lived, immediate predecessor. Pope John Paul II was the first non-Italian pope in 455 years. In time, he made pastoral visits to 124 countries, including several with small Christian populations. <br /><br />He promoted ecumenical and interfaith initiatives, especially the 1986 Day of Prayer for World Peace in Assisi. He visited Rome’s Main Synagogue and the Western Wall in Jerusalem; he also established diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Israel. He improved Catholic-Muslim relations and in 2001 visited a mosque in Damascus, Syria. <br /><br />The Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, a key event in John Paul’s ministry, was marked by special celebrations in Rome and elsewhere for Catholics and other Christians. Relations with the Orthodox Churches improved considerably during his ministry as pope. <br /><br />“Christ is the center of the universe and of human history” was the opening line of his 1979 encyclical, <em>Redeemer of the Human Race</em>. In 1995, he described himself to the United Nations General Assembly as “a witness to hope.” <br /><br />His 1979 visit to Poland encouraged the growth of the Solidarity movement there and the collapse of communism in central and eastern Europe 10 years later. He began World Youth Day and traveled to several countries for those celebrations. He very much wanted to visit China and the Soviet Union but the governments in those countries prevented that. <br /><br />One of the most well-remembered photos of his pontificate was his one-on-one conversation in 1983 with Mehmet Ali Agca, who had attempted to assassinate him two years earlier. <br /><br />In his 27 years of papal ministry, John Paul II wrote 14 encyclicals and five books, canonized 482 saints and beatified 1,338 people. <br /><br />In the last years of his life, he suffered from Parkinson’s disease and was forced to cut back on some of his activities. <br /><br />Pope Benedict XVI beatified John Paul II in 2011, and Pope Francis canonized him in 2014. American Catholic Blog Lord, may I have balance and measure in everything—except in Love. —St. Josemaría Escrivá

 
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