Sex and the City 2 was Terrible | English Listening Lesson 04

Story: Have you seen Sex & the City 2? I saw it recently and I thought it was awful!

Pronunciation lesson: Even native English speakers sometimes don’t understand spoken English!

This podcast is for intermediate to advanced English learners. I use core vocabulary to tell you a story about something that happened in my daily life in Canada. Each podcast also includes a pronunciation lesson that explains something I said in the story. You’ll hear the story twice. The first time, the story is a little slower than normal. After the pronunciation lesson, you’ll hear the story again, but at a regular speed. I speak naturally and with a standard American accent.



Have you seen Sex & the City 2? I saw it recently and I thought it was awful. I really enjoyed the first Sex and the City movie. It was emotional but funny at the same time. I liked the TV show although I wasn’t a huge fan of the show because I didn’t really like the characters. The show was set in New York City, which is one of my favorite cities in the world, so I loved watching how the characters lived their lives in that city. I also really liked the amazing clothes the girls wore. So, I was excited to see Sex and the City 2!

We had an hour to kill at the theatre because I got the show time wrong. When I checked the times on the internet, I clicked on the wrong date. As a result, I thought the movie was at 6:15, but it was actually at 7pm. I like to get there early to make sure we have time to get some treats before the movie, so we had a lot of time on our hands.

The great thing about movie theaters nowadays is that there are a lot of food choices! We went to the concession stand, bought some slices of pizza and some drinks, and sat down to read the free magazines. Going to the movies in Canada is not cheap! Admission for an adult is now $11.99, which is not so bad, but they charge an arm and a leg for food and drinks! I had to pay $6.26 for a small bag of popcorn! That’s outrageous. Not many people go to the movies on a Monday, so we practically had the theater all to ourselves! We had the best seats in the house, right in the middle, with the best view of the screen.

As for the movie, I thought it was terrible! The language they used and the jokes were so crude. At times it seemed like a bunch of frat boys wrote the script. It was not what I expected from Sex and the City at all! There was really no story, and there were so many product placements that the movie seemed like one big commercial. It was really disappointing. I don’t think there will be a Sex and the City 3!
NOTE: Did you notice that I didn’t use the word cinema at all? DO NOT use cinema in American English! You can say ‘the movies’ instead, as in “Let’s go to the movies tonight!”



For a long time, I thought the name of the TV show was “Sex IN the City” … and so did a lot of people!

And and in are both function words. They are both unstressed in a sentence, but and is reduced to /ən/, which sounds very similar to in.

Listen carefully. I’ll say in first, then and.
Sex IN the City
Sex AND the City

Can you hear the difference? I couldn’t. So, don’t worry if sometimes you don’t understand the unstressed function words in a sentence. Often native English speakers can’t understand them either!



a concession stand
We went to the concession stand, bought some slices of pizza & some drinks …
= a place in a sports stadium, movie theatre or any public place where food and drinks are sold

the house
We had the best seats in the house!
= in any type of theatre, the ‘house’ is the people watching the show and the area where they are sitting.

frat boys
At times it seemed like a bunch of frat boys wrote the script.
= A fraternity is a male social organization common at American universities [the female equivalent is a ‘sorority’]
= frat boys are sometimes known for childish behaviour

product placement
…and there were so many product placements that the movie seemed like one big commercial
= a form of advertising; a company pays a TV show or movie to use its product(s) in the TV show/movie (the product is ‘placed’ in the movie/TV show)
For example, in the movie one of the characters drives a Mercedes (a German car brand)



(What is core vocabulary?)

3*** words
show [noun]
date [noun]
result [noun]
charge [verb]

2** words

1* words



(What are collocations?)

TV show
to have an hour to kill / to kill time
as a result
to have time on your hands
movie theater
a slice of pizza
to go to the movies
an arm and a leg
(to have something) all to ourselves
the best seat in the house
in the middle
a bunch of




7 Comments on Sex and the City 2 was Terrible | English Listening Lesson 04

  1. Оля
    June 17, 2010 at 5:29 am (5 years ago)

    Hello, Melanie.
    It was interesting to listen about going to the movies in Canada.
    And I want to tell you about going to the movies in Ukraine. This kind of rest is really popular here. I believe that nowadays mostly everyone can afford it. The tickets usually cost from 20 to 50 hryvnas (3-7 dollars). If it's a 3d movie, they will charhge you more – around 50-100 hryvnas (7-13 dollars). Our movie theaters are often multiplexes that have from 2 (minimum) to 6 auditoriums. What I like about our people is their creativity :) In some multiplexes they name auditoriums not plainly 1, 2, 3, etc, but make some interesting names. The most common example is to use colors to make names for auditorium. Red and blue are the most popular, but you can also meet anthracite or wine-colored auditoriums (and the name doesn't meen that the auditorium is painted in that color). But other multiplexes go even futher using last names of famous directors for their auditoriums. Or how would you like to see a movie in an auditorium "Sweet life"? :)
    About the movie. I also didn't like "Sex and the city". But somehow I wasn't disappointed. I really like going to the movies and so every time I try to find something interesting in every film. For example I liked how Miranda was learning the language of the coutry. I usually do the same. If I know that I am going to visit some country in the near future, I try to learn simply words in their language (hello, thank you, please) :).
    I'm sorry for such a long comment.
    Best wishes,

    p.s. A small bag of popcorn will cost you from 2 to 3 dollars in Ukraine :)

  2. Marijana
    July 24, 2010 at 6:44 pm (5 years ago)

    Hello, Melanie!
    I must say, it was really nice listening about the impression you got while watching the "Sex and the city".
    Here, in Serbia, people simply adore those girls.
    well, women, actually, men are not so thrilled about the whole idea of a woman being smart, beautiful, sexy, educated and not depending on the them, if you know what I mean.. ;)
    Personally, I love the show and the girls, but I must in a way, agree with you.
    But, since I've been loving them for so long time period, I'm gonna forgive them some mistakes they've made while making this movie.. :)
    Best wishes, Milica

  3. Melanie
    July 26, 2010 at 9:23 pm (5 years ago)

    Hi, Milica!
    Thank you for taking the time to leave such a nice comment! It's interesting to hear what people think of the show in Serbia [Serbian men need to get with the times!] I really liked the TV show, but I think Sex & the City 2 is a really embarrassment to the show!

  4. Monique
    February 19, 2011 at 9:26 pm (5 years ago)

    Hi, Melanie!
    I loved it! I bought a CD with this movie! I usually watching it again sometimes.
    It's expensive going to the movies in Brazil.
    If you are student or have more than 65 years, you can pay half price. Or if you have any kind of plan commercial, for example me, I have one card of cellphone that give me discount in some movies, theathers and restaurants.
    In the middle of week is cheaper than of the weekend.

  5. Melanie
    February 20, 2011 at 3:11 pm (5 years ago)

    Hi, Monique!

    Actually, you bought a DVD of this movie – a CD is for music! They look the same, but there are different names for them in English (don't ask me why!)

    You are very lucky that you can get a discount with your cellphone card! I wish we had that here, too.

    Take care,
    = )

  6. Diana
    April 15, 2012 at 10:25 pm (4 years ago)

    Dear Melanie! I have become a fan of your website because you have helped me with all the resources that you bring us by the way for free. About the movie, yes that movie was disappointed. The show was better. Thanks a lot.
    Colombia :)


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