Sex and the City 2: Interview with director Michael Patrick King

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Michael Patrick King is the director of "Sex and the City 2," the sequel to the popular TV show adaptation. The film, which stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Nixon, is being released May 27 by Warner Bros.

"When the first movie opened," recalls writer/producer/director Michael Patrick King, "I would see lines of women at the theaters all dressed up as if they were going to a party, not just a movie. It felt to me like they were excited to celebrate this special time with their girlfriends–both the ones in the seats and on the screen. So when I thought about the sequel, I knew I wanted it to be the continuation of the party. I wanted the movie to be the party."

An Unconventional Comedy

Though he didn't want "Sex and the City 2" to be a conventional comedy, the various forms and facets of tradition played right into King's hands, and he turned the genre on its ear. "These four women are not traditional and never have been. Miranda had a baby out of wedlock, then got married late, and she's the alpha spouse. Charlotte converted to Judaism, adopted an Asian daughter and had another daughter. Samantha has tried relationships and decided she's always going to be single. And Carrie is somebody who has tried everything she can to make her relationship work with Big and still be a self-employed writer."

"At the start of this movie, each of these four characters has found herself beginning to feel boxed in by one of those 'female' roles," King says. "Carrie Bradshaw, the eternal single girl, now finds herself struggling with the title of wife. How does the title of 'Mrs.' affect a woman whose identity, not to mention career path as a writer, has been tied to the idea of being single? Miranda, a partner at a prestigious New York Law firm, has discovered that despite all her years to prove otherwise, there can be a glass ceiling for women who work. Charlotte, who always dreamed of being the perfect mother to a loving family, now has the loving family and is discovering just how far out of her reach being the 'perfect' mother really is. The outrageous and outspoken Samantha takes on the taboo of menopause and aging by fighting the idea that when a woman goes through the 'change,' she should have to change." 

"Carrie is truly the heart and soul of it all," he says. "Even when the story focuses on the other women, we hear and see it from Carrie's perspective to some degree."

Carrie and Mr. Big

"The exciting thing for me when I was writing the Carrie and Mr. Big storyline for this film was to try to figure out what the concept of 'happily ever after' might mean to them today, after their passionate, dramatic and mostly turbulent courtship of the past 10 years," says King. "In the first movie, I really wanted people to believe that Mr. Big finally understood the jewel that he had almost lost by jilting Carrie at the altar, so the end of that movie was deeply romantic, a much-earned 'happy ending' for this well-deserving couple. And here they are now, two years later, about to discover what the 'home-sweet-home' of it all means. She's spent two years carefully decorating their new apartment, making their house a home, and now she's made that married bed and she has to lie in it. And for an 'out-on-the-town kinda girl' like Carrie, it's a 'Big' change. Pun intended.'"

"These women would be spinning in a false reality if there weren't worthwhile men they were trying to build their lives around," King grins. "So the guys are really important. It's always been about the four friends, the girls, but their lives wouldn't have evolved if the audience wasn't somehow believing in and relating to the men that they chose. John as Aidan Shaw, Chris as Mr. Big…it's been part of my great joy over the years to write the parts of these somewhat silent heroes."

Evolving Characters

"One of the successes of the 'Sex and The City' brand," says King, "is its ability to evolve. The idea of Samantha entering menopause never frightened me for a second because I knew that if anyone could play an outrageous menopause story, it's Kim Catrall, and because some of the audience is experiencing what Samantha is going through, and she is having the struggle and the victory for them."

The filmmaker continues, "These four actresses embody something very special, something everyone relates to," says King. "Whether people feel that they are like Carrie, or Miranda, or they have a friend who is like Charlotte or Samantha, the audience has an investment in these actresses and their characters, and in the emotional journeys they take."