Parker's Carrie questions traditional roles 

It might seem odd to have a press conference for one of the summer’s most highly anticipated films in the shoe department of New York’s Bergdorf Goodman.

But where better to promote “Sex and the City 2” than surrounded by the high-priced high heels so near and dear to Carrie Bradshaw’s heart?

Bradshaw, of course, is the terminally chic Upper East Sider, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, whose romantic misadventures are chronicled in 2008’s “Sex and the City.”

Two years ago, some wondered whether a movie inspired by the popular HBO series about four upwardly mobile Manhattanites — women, no less! — could compete with the boys of summer.

Doubts were quickly laid to rest: “Sex and the City” earned more than $400 million worldwide.

Yet for Parker, writer-director Michael Patrick King and co-stars Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon, the movie that made production of “Sex and the City 2” such a no-brainer was significant more for its message.

“The powerful thing for me is that we’ve encouraged women to change the way they feel about being single, having cancer, being deserted and being lonely,” says Cattrall, 53, whose sex-mad Samantha fights the onset of menopause in “City 2.” 

“These four women are so different, but they love each other and they’re not shy about offering their opinions,” adds Nixon, 44. “I think we’re a feminist show, but being a feminist show doesn’t mean you have to have a career, or not be married. With these women, we see a whole range of what directions you might want to take your life in.”

In “City 2,” Carrie is married to Mr. Big (Chris Noth) and feeling confined. Together with her gal pals, she clears her head with a trip to Abu Dhabi, where she runs afoul of a culture that requires women to keep their bodies and sexuality well-wrapped.

“Where Carrie finds herself now is asking questions about the environment in which she lives,” says Parker, 45. “A big theme of the movie for all our characters is tradition — why do we run toward it, why do we push it away, and why do we so willingly commit ourselves to conventions like marriage. How do we redefine tradition for ourselves, and how do our friends redefine it. Do they even want to? And where better to ask these questions than the Middle East?”

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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