Back when Sex And The City was a series, it centered around relationships, and all the issues that could pertain to relationships. The point of view of relationships was seen through the perspective of four women, each one of them representing a specific archetype of the modern American middle-class woman. In the course of six years, these four women had to make important decisions, and ultimately had to make an effort to make their relationships work. When the series ended, the four main characters matured, and were able to bring their single lives to a closure, with what appeared to be permanent and positive relationships.
When the first movie was announced, it also meant that one or more of the characters had to somehow screw things up. With the second movie, predictably, something had to go wrong as well, to sabotage the characters' collective happiness. In the case of Sex And The City 2, to be fair, there were no extravagantly idiotic wound opening incidents such as backing out of a marriage at the last minute, or participating in an act of infidelity. Instead, the movie seems to avoid emphasizing relationships, and chooses to be more about a trip to the Middle East.
The story of Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) involves her and Mr. Big (Chris Noth) still talking on completely different wavelengths after two years of marriage. Soon after, Carrie ends up going on a big trip to the Middle East with her three best friends, and she runs into her ex-boyfriend, Aidan (John Corbett). After a few minutes of limited screen time, Aidan ends up kissing Carrie, and thus, somebody screws up, and justifies the existence of this movie. Corbett actually spends a very minuscule amount of time in the movie, coming off more like a cameo appearance, than as a driving force in a plot. The second of only two scenes with him, was badly written with hardly any focus put on why he and Carrie would actually kiss each other. What makes this scene stupid is that Aidan is one of the few men in the series that seemed to actually value marriage and possess a sense of integrity, and thus, was out of character for this to happen. Despite the movie going for two and a half hours, it chose to deviate from spending time on the characterization and relationships, which was what ultimately made the series worth watching.
There is not much happening with the other three women either. Miranda hates her job, Charlotte is stressed from parenting, and Samantha is dealing with getting older. After six seasons and two movies, there is just nothing else that needs to be covered. Instead, Sex And The City 2, minimizes any references to relationship issues. The movie is about the luxurious background in the Middle East, the constantly changing fancy clothing in the foreground, with the looks of awe of the four women connecting the two. At the nadir of it all, is when some completely covered up Middle Eastern women decide to take off their clothes to unveil that they are in fact wearing western clothing underneath. This just goes to show how much the movie has removed itself from the series. It has gotten to the point of being nothing more than a shameless cash grab, and an opportunity to show off exotic scenery and nice clothing.