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For 'Sex and the City' lovers, the second time is just as nice

Have you ever watched a movie sequel and immediately started jonesing for a sequel to the sequel? Neither had I before "Sex and the City."

Have you ever watched a movie sequel and immediately started jonesing for a sequel to the sequel? Neither had I before "Sex and the City."

I loved "Sex and the City 2," enjoying every single campy, over-the-top moment.

It's a crime that we have to wait possibly another two long years for the next installment to possibly come out. What's up with that?

It's not fair. Stop the madness.

America's love affair with SATC is nowhere close to ending. We need SATC. We crave the estrogen-fueled escapism it provides. The economy still is sputtering along. Some of us don't know from one day to the next whether we'll be getting a paycheck. We shop at Target. We hope and pray for the top honchos at BP to finally fix the gusher that's fouling our oceans.

But for 2 1/2 hours, SATC 2 takes you away from all that.

And I mean far away. Most folks haven't dreamed of spending a night in a $22,000 suite at a luxurious hotel in Abu Dhabi. But with SATC 2, we get to tag along when Samantha takes "the girls" on an all-expense-paid publicity trip to this desert oasis. They're each assigned their own personal butler as well as their own Maybach sedan complete with driver. Predictably, trouble soon follows given Samantha's propensity for flashing flesh and Carrie's bumping into former flame Aidan, who's looking awfully good and visiting Abu Dhabi on a buying trip.

Catching up with "the girls" is like visiting old friends.

Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), who has just written a book on marriage, ponders the age-old question of what happens after you "I do." She's restless after finally snaring Mr. Big (Chris Noth), who has turned into a couch potato happy with takeout and the tube. Meanwhile, Charlotte (Kristin Davis) has created the family she's always dreamed of but her 2-year-old cries nonstop and her talented but braless nanny makes Charlotte feel insecure.

Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) quits her high-pressure job, but as much as she loves her son, she doesn't feel like herself without a briefcase. And Samantha (Kim Cattrall), the lovably indiscriminate sexpot who turned 50 in the last film, is going through menopause.

And what's a SATC film without a wedding? This one opens with the lavish over-the-top nuptials between Stanford (Willie Garson) and Anthony (Mario Cantone). I won't spoil it by saying which famous singer pops up as the officiant and then goes on to do a yowl-inducing song and dance number. But it had the audience screaming with delight.

I did squirm a bit through some Abu Dhabi scenes, wondering how Muslim viewers would react to certain portrayals of Islamic fundamentalists. But it was clever of writer-director Michael Patrick King to inject humor into what can be the touchy subject of east-west culture clash. The scene where a veiled woman eats French fries was priceless, as was the one where the Middle Eastern women remove their burkas revealing their fashionable attire underneath - what an invaluable message about how we're all the same beneath the outward trappings.

There were some wonderful subtleties in the movie. But most movie critics have had a field day trashing SATC 2.

Let them.

As for the rest of us, we're already anticipating SATC 3.

Produced by Michael Patrick King, John P. Melfi, Darren Starr; directed by Michael Patrick King; written by Michael Patrick King, Candace Bushnall; distributed by Warner Bros.