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Mostly Female Crowds Make 'Sex and the City' No. 1

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

Anthony Brooks samples some of the "Sex and the City" hype.

ANTHONY BROOKS: Well, I'm here at the Regal Cinema on a Saturday evening not far from NPR headquarters on 7th Street here in Washington D.C. And this is the 7:00 p.m. showing of "Sex and the City."

U: 6:15, 6:30, 7:00, 7:01, 7:30.

BROOKS: Most of the people here are white women, I'd say in their 30s. They've dressed up pretty stylishly for this show. And there's a lot of excitement to see this movie.

MONTAGNE: Well, I just loved the show.

BROOKS: This is Sarah Craighill of Annapolis, Maryland. She's here for the big movie, which picks up where the TV series left off four years ago. It follows the adventures of the oh-so-fashionable Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, and her three New York pals and their frank talk about sex, love, men and friendship. Again, Sarah Craighill.

MONTAGNE: It was so much fun, and they would say the things that you were always sort of thinking but never really felt comfortable saying. I think of the absurdity that we all experience and sometimes you feel like you're alone in it, but actually they brought it to the surface in a way that made it hilarious and made that OK.

MONTAGNE: I think for me it was that, you know, I really have a lot of strong female friends.

BROOKS: This is Lauren Dekas of Washington, D.C.

MONTAGNE: And I saw a lot of my friends in the different characters on the show. So watching the show with those friends, you know, helped us bond even further.

BROOKS: So it was the model of friendship that you liked?

MONTAGNE: Exactly. And the drinking.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

BROOKS: "Sex and the City" was lavishly promoted with an enormous pent-up fan base. But this past weekend's excitement caught many industry experts by surprise.

MONTAGNE: This is just something that was way underestimated.

BROOKS: Paul Degarabedian is a box office analyst in Southern California.

MONTAGNE: You know, this is a cultural phenomenon. If you look at the box office numbers, it shows you that women wield a tremendous amount of clout at the box office.

BROOKS: That's not to say there weren't a few men who ran out to see the movie as well.

MONTAGNE: I'm excited to see it.

BROOKS: This is Edward Allen, a fashion coordinator for Nordstrom's.

MONTAGNE: The TV show changed the way America dressed, quite honestly. It really showed about mixing high and low. I'm dying to see where they take this story, but honestly I'm here for the visual candy.

BROOKS: OK. Well, I've come around the other side of the Regal Theater and I'm waiting at the bottom of the escalator and the 4:30 movie is just getting out now. And I'm going to find out what people thought about it.

MONTAGNE: I loved it. I thought it was smart and funny and it was the first chick flick I've ever seen that didn't talk to me like I'm an idiot.

BROOKS: That rave from Mackenzie Vershaw of Washington D.C. Stefanie Steinmetz and Irina Smotrich(ph) agreed and say too few movies focus on female friendships. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: Stefanie Steinmetz and JESSICA VOGEL are quoted below.]

MONTAGNE: They try to show that there's women and friendship and that's the main focus, but it's not. There are very few shows and movies that are about it.

MONTAGNE: A lot of them focus on the men and the relationships with the women, and the friendship is always a side story. This, because it's been going on for so long, I mean, the men have come and gone, the drinks have come and gone, the random nights have come and gone, but the friendships have always been there the whole time.

BROOKS: Anthony Brooks, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Corrected: September 24, 2009 at 12:45 PM EDT
The audio for this story incorrectly attributes the final quote to Irina Smotrich. In fact, it is Jessica Vogel who says, "A lot of [shows and movies] focus on the men, and the relationships with the women and the friendships is always a side story. This, because it's been going on so long, the men have come and gone, the drinks have come and gone, the random nights have come and gone, but the friendships have always been there the whole time."
Anthony Brooks has more than twenty five years of experience in public radio, working as a producer, editor, reporter, and most recently, as a fill-in host for NPR. For years, Brooks has worked as a Boston-based reporter for NPR, covering regional issues across New England, including politics, criminal justice, and urban affairs. He has also covered higher education for NPR, and during the 2000 presidential election he was one of NPR's lead political reporters, covering the campaign from the early primaries through the Supreme Court's Bush V. Gore ruling. His reports have been heard for many years on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.