The scenario is that these modern, American, New York women run off to the Middle East to indulge in the decadence and opulence of Abu Dhabi. I haven’t had the pleasure of traveling to Abu Dhabi but I have no doubt that it’s stunning. Fair enough that the movie portrays them enjoying the decadence of Abu Dhabi but I’m supposed to believe that Samantha is able to dress inappropriately, suck down half of a hookah pipe in public, and drop her bag of condoms in front of a crowd of men at the outdoor market, only suffering humiliation and some questioning from the local authorities. Give me an effing break. Another thing that bugged the crap out of me was the women breaking out in their rendition of “I Am Woman” at a karaoke bar. I told my friend that if I ever sing that song in this country to slap the hell out of me much less try to pull that off elsewhere. I’m just not that corny. I’m not going to start any wars over a stupid movie but I just get hives when I see awful travelers who should just stay home…..real or not. Like I said, I LOVE Samantha. She’s my favorite but I probably would have left her ass in the desert for being so disrespectful of the local customs. (Come to think of it, I did strand a group of girls who demanded properly cooked cheeseburgers in the Cinque Terre. ) I also would have buried Charlotte’s frickin phone in the sand and would have tossed Carrie’s diaphanous gown into the ocean.
But alas, there was Miranda. The perfect traveler. She read up on the local customs, learned a few key phrases to try to communicate, tried tirelessly to keep Samantha covered, and showed true enthusiasm for a destination she had never experienced. She seriously saved the story line for me. And I always thought she needed a laxative and a shot of tequila!
So where did they really film this movie? You didn’t think they got permits to spill condoms into the streets of Abu Dhabi, did you? Uh, no. But they had to find a close 2nd so it was filmed in beautiful Morocco. Most of it was filmed in Marrakech and the desert/ sand dune scenes were filmed in the Erg Chebbi desert. This is the general area where “Lawrence of Arabia” was filmed which explains why the desert scenes are so stunning. If you want to re-create the trip of my favorite foursome, you would have to stay in the beautiful Amanjena Hotel http://www.amanresorts.com/amanjena/home.aspx or you can stay where the cast stayed which is the La Mamounia Hotel http://www.mamounia.com/uk/index.php Both are in Marrakech.
So, despite my knit-picking during one of my tendencies to blur life with fiction, I’ll see it again, and I’m sure I’ll even own the damn thing when it comes out in DVD. I think any movie with beautiful scenery is worth it so this will go into the Travel Movie collection. Heck, even Swept Away is great if you put it on mute!