We attended Audrey Magazine and KoreAm Journal‘s free screening of Sex and the City 2 at the Americana in Glendale, Calif., last night. With a theater full of enthusiastic SATC fans — many of whom were dressed very Carrie-appropriate — needless to say, it was a fabulous time.
And the long-awaited sequel didn’t disappoint. Sure, plot points weren’t exactly razor sharp, but with that much eye candy (the eye-popping clothes, the stunning locales, Carrie’s mesmerizingly smoky eye, and all the wealth and excess one can conjure up in the Middle East), frankly you don’t have much time to ponder over it.
Adding to the glut of eye candy is Raza Jaffrey, who plays Carrie’s personal hotel butler Guarau. Critics who were otherwise lukewarm about the movie are hailing him and his storyline (Guarau works in Abu Dhabi to make enough money to visit his wife back in India every three months) as the one bright spot in the film.
Of Indian-British descent, Jaffrey is an English actor best known for his roles in the BBC series Spooks and Mistresses. He’s also starred in the BBC mini-series Sharpe’s Peril with Sean Bean, and was in the film Eastern Promises (Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts).
The 35-year-old, who once aspired to be a pilot, started his acting career in theater, most notably as the original star of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of A.R. Rahman’s (of Slumdog Millionaire fame) musical Bombay Dreams. Jaffrey is also the creator of the dance-musical spectacular, Red, which performs around the world. The show incorporates dozens of styles of dance from flamenco to hip-hop, from Indian kathakali to ballet, all backed by the music and spectacle of Bollywood.
Other Asian faces you’ll see in SATC2 include Charlotte’s adorable daughter Lily (played by twins Alexandra and Parker Fong), and Minglie Chen, who plays the Bergdorf’s saleswoman. For tickets and showtimes, check out the official website.
Yes, we admit it. We’re excited about Sex and the City 2. As a matter of fact, we’re going to a free screening tonight at the Americana in Glendale, Calif. (For those Audrey readers who managed to get tickets in our free giveaway — they went fast! — we’ll see you there tonight!)
And while I realize that much of what happens in the show is pure fantasy (Manolos on a writer’s salary? A shoe closet that size in the middle of Manhattan? A never-ending stream of fabulously wealthy boy toys?), it’s still fun to watch. Besides, the relationships among Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda are what’s so real and so relatable.
Or are they?
It’s a topic I expect Indian American actor and producer Reena Dutt will broach, along with her castmates on the popular web series The Real Girl’s Guide to Everything Else, when they chat with Tony Cox, guest host on National Public Radio‘s “Tell Me More,” tomorrow May 27.
The Real Girl’s Guide features a multi-ethnic cast of four close but different girlfriends. Conceived as an alternative to the Sex and the City world of wealthy, white, straight fashionistas — the opening track is a jazzier version of the famous SATC melody, the first episode has plenty of references to the movie, and there’s even a reference to “Sex and the City for brown girls” — The Real Girl’s Guide follows Rasha (played by award-winning actress Robin Dalea), a lesbian political journalist of Lebanese descent, who is convinced by her friends to go “undercover” as a Cosmo-drinking, glitter-wearing, straight “girlie-girl” in order to finance her dream project.
Indian American actress and producer Dutt stars as the brash, in-your-face Sydney in the series. Raised in North Carolina and Arizona, Dutt caught the acting bug in high school when she joined the speech and debate team. She trained in New York City with Terry Knickerbocker at William Esper Studio (Meisner Technique). She has worked on several stage, film, television and web projects in Los Angeles, New York City and Arizona. She co-founded Off-Chance Productions in 2007, with the goal of “creating work that breaks the bones of stereotypes, and creates a sense of normalized diversity in media and theatre-based storytelling, through universal ideas,” according to her website.
Dutt recently wrapped on the feature film, Troublemaker, written and directed by Geeta Malik, and has appeared on Criminal Minds (CBS), Medium (CBS) and Out of Practice (ABC). She is currently in the LAWeekly and Ovation recommended theatre production, Holy Ghost by John Tuttle.
Listen to Dutt and the other “Real Girls” talking about their series as a reaction to the genre of chick-lit and chick flicks, and the need for alternative narratives for female audiences. It’s on tomorrow on NPR. Check for local broadcast times or listen in at “Tell Me More” at NPR.org.
Watch the first season of The Real Girl’s Guide to Everything Else here.