The first Sex and the City film was the perfect companion to one of my favorite TV series of all time. The film allowed each of the four women a moment in the spotlight, allowed a new character (played by Jennifer Hudson) to have a good story and offered up a lot of drama. I laughed a lot, I cried a lot and I left the theater completely satisfied.

I was fearful when I heard there was going to be a sequel. I couldn’t imagine what they could do to equal or better the first. Sadly it would seem the creative team couldn’t figure it out either.

I did enjoy meeting up with the characters again. I laughed quite a lot. But there was really not much story here. Remember back in the 70s and 80s when TV sitcoms went on vacation for sweeps month? That’s essentially what this is–a chance for the girls to get away to a new location, dress up in all kinds of crazy clothes (why, exactly was Samantha dressed up with Adam Lambert shoulder pads?) and not deal too much with their real lives. For me, however, it’s those real life kind of stories that is the core of what makes Sex and the City so good.

There are a few moments of real story — Carrie and Big navigating married life, Miranda figuring out she can get a better career at another firm, Charlotte getting frayed by motherhood. Two vignettes stood out for me: Charlotte and Miranda discussing the good and bad of being a parent and Carrie learning a few things about marriage from Guarau, her hotel butler who spends months at a time away from his wife because of his job.

I thought the movie was 20-30 minutes too long. Just when it seemed like they were about to leave Abu Dhabi they end up in another run around the city because Carrie misplaced her passport. There’s a nice moment at the end of this scene, but I’m not sure it was worth the whole trip since there were several places in the script this moment could’ve been placed just as easily.

I hope there’s a third movie so we have a chance to see these characters back in a hearty, fulfilling movie rather than this piece of fun fluff that leaves me wanting something more substantial for these women.