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Posted at 1:40 PM ET, 05/26/2010

'Sex and the City' ... and the shopping

By Jen Chaney

A tour bus advertising the movie drives past last night's premiere at New York's Radio City Music Hall. (AFP/Getty Images)

It's unclear whether there will be a "Sex and the City 3." But after seeing the second installment in the film series based on the TV chronicles of Carrie Bradshaw and co., I'm hoping not. And so, it seems, is our film critic Ann Hornaday, who gives "SATC 2" a review even more scathing than the New Yorker's dismissal of Carrie's new memoir, one of the many unrealistic plot developments that pop up in the rom-com romp through Abu Dhabi that opens tonight at midnight. (Come on, would The New Yorker really review a book entitled "I Do ... Do I?")

But know who is hoping for a third fashion-fueled addition to the franchise? Besides maybe Liza Minnelli, that is? Corporate America. Sure, "Sex and the City" has always been about irresponsible spending, luxury and consumerism. But the sequel takes those ideals to new extremes. Here are just a few of the enterprising "Sex" product tie-ins designed to make you drop as much cash as Carrie so cavalierly does on $500 Manolos.

Hewlett-Packard has issued a Vivienne Tam-designed mini-laptop as a tie-in with the film, a high-tech move that has prompted outrage from longtime fans of the series. Anyone who loved "Sex and the City" -- and I certainly did, despite my lack of enthusiasm for the latest movie version -- knows that Carrie's a Mac, not a PC. (Remember when she sad-Mac'd in "My Motherboard, My Self"?) Well, HP put pretty butterflies on this new laptop, which I guess are supposed to make you forget all about Bradshaw's Apple-loving ways.

Macy's held special events -- giveaways, fashion tips -- last weekend at some of its locations, but is still holding a sweepstakes to give away a trip to Morocco, where the movie was filmed. (Perhaps visits to Abu Dhabi, where much of the film's action purportedly takes place, will see an uptick in visits, too.) And if you win that sweepstakes, you'll clearly need to shop at Macy's for a totally over-the-top Carrie Bradshaw outfit to wear on your trip! They sell bridal veils with dead birds on them, don't they?

At the screening I attended last night in D.C., slender, shimmery cans of Lipton sparkling diet green tea were being distributed to some patrons. Apparently there was supposed to be a scene in the movie in which Carrie sips said beverage after a trip to the gym. But it got cut. Thank God we can all still drink this tea while imagining how that scene might have gone.

Local businesses all over the country are undoubtedly trying to capitalize on the fem-friendly allure of "Sex and the City." One example here in the Washington area is D.C.'s Hello Cupcake, which is selling specially designed Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha cupcakes. I can't really object to this on the grounds that I love cupcakes, regardless of the inspiration behind them. I'd even eat a "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" cupcake if someone made one. (Cupcake morphs into ... even BIGGER cupcake!)

And, of course, there's the whole New York tourism industry, which has benefited from the "Sex and the City" phenom for years. In just a few hours, for example, a special "Sex and the City" tour will get underway that includes dinner, a buzz by the Magnolia Bakery where Carrie and Miranda noshed in an episode of the show, tickets to a midnight screening of "Sex and the City 2," admission to a nightclub afterward (this is the city that never sleeps, you know) and a special appearance from Willie Garson, aka Carrie's gay male BFF, Stanford Blatch.

So, in conclusion, while you're eating your Charlotte cupcake, drinking your Lipton sparkling "SATC" diet green tea, using that fashionable HP laptop, taking a tour of Carrie hot spots or shopping for clothes that will make you look just as chic as our four leading ladies, just remember that "Sex and the City 2" isn't a mere cinematic excuse to push product.

It's a movie. It's art. I mean, right? Hmmm. I couldn't help but wonder...

By Jen Chaney  | May 26, 2010; 1:40 PM ET
Categories:  Movies, Pop Culture  | Tags:  Movies  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Fashion Statement: Liza Minnelli's 'Sex and the City 2' premiere look -- Fab or just trashy?
Next: 50 Cent drops 54 pounds for movie role; Fergie shows for New York book fair

Comments

After seeing the photos of Liza Minelli on the red carpet I will never be able to purchase another Hefty bag. Stinky stinky stinky.

Posted by: kbockl | May 26, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

A cupcake that transforms into an even bigger cupcake. *sigh* I wish...

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Posted by: villycc78 | May 26, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. I saw a laptop prettily decorated with butterflies (and about gagged) on last week's episode of "The Good Wife". Is the one in SATC2 an also-ran? Quelle horror!!

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