Four Girls in New York

Posted by · 5:34 am · June 2nd, 2008

Is there anything to say about this film “Sex and the City” that is driving women into movie houses all across the United States?

According to box office reports this morning, the film made $55.7 million in 3,285 theaters. It generated a reputable $16,968 per screen average according to Nikki Finke. It dominated the Friday box office, but shriveled after that.

Finke notes, “That’s exactly what Hollywood pros had been warning about: that ‘Sex And The City’ would be a one-day, and one-weekend, wonder with no legs.” Still, it remains the highest grossing R-rated comedy ever to open, and the fifth highest R-rated film ever to open. But as Finke notes, “The only female-driven movie to come close to SATC in box office was the “Hannah Montana” movie, but there’s no comparable R-rated chick flick.”

There is something to this movie (just as there was with the HBO television program) that has to do with being true to yourself and true to your friends. No, I’m not about to defend “Sex and the City” as a timeless work of art; it’s not. And much to my twenty-three-year-old sister’s dismay, it’s not the finest film of 2008. Not even close.

But it’s not the worst either. For the first time, a studio put an R-rated film aimed wholly at women out for consumption. As I noted on a local radio program here last Friday, “will women show up?” They did according to Finke’s numbers. And while “Sex and the City” addressed that unique issue, it also addressed something that we’ve only seen in cartoon programs: the camaraderie of women. Ann Hornaday, writing in Sunday’s Washington Post, expounds on this very topic.

The evolution of the “chick flick,” which began as early as the 1930’s, seems to have found its zenith with Carrie and Co. After all, staples of the “chick flick” genre: “When Harry Met Sally,” “Pretty Woman,” “Beaches,” and “Steel Magnolias” didn’t rally this kind of enthusiasm. But then there’s “Thelma and Louise,” a film that defined the female as both reckless and in charge – themes clearly present in “Sex in the City.”

We won’t know whether this film will earn its place on the shelf next to best chick movies of all time. But we can all agree – love it or hate it – that it’s off to a roaring start.

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3 responses so far

  • 1 6-02-2008 at 10:56 am

    Nick Plowman said...

    Well, whenever people try place a label on a film, different opinions don’t all agree on the same label.

    The film is not bad, it is just a departure from the television series, taking a more mature perspective, signifying growth on the characters part, and it is a solid film, well acted, and blends the televisions savvy with big screen elements, in a flawed but entertaining film

    What else would anyone expect?

  • 2 6-02-2008 at 12:21 pm

    Leone said...

    I went on Friday to a 4PM showing and the place was wall-to-wall women of all ages, and of course, the gays. When we exited the theater the theater staff was laughing at how many women showed up and how gleeful we were about having just seen the film. It was a “date” movie, with your friends and half my friends say they’re going back to see it again. It’s nice to just see a really fun movie once in awhile and to have something that belongs to girls and their pals — NICE. I say the studios should make more of these kinds of films. Though I guess we’ll see if the formula works with HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU.

  • 3 6-02-2008 at 2:49 pm

    Blake Rutherford said...

    I think “He’s Just Not that Into You” will have more cross-gender appeal than “Sex and the City,” but we’ll see. It has an interesting cast and, assuming it’s written well, the potential to be truly hilarious.