‘The Women’ premieres in L.A.

Will Smith, Meg Ryan, Alan Horn mingle at party

HOLLYWOOD — Perhaps being surrounded by an all-female cast is what prompted helmer Diane English to compare Thursday’s Westwood preem of “The Women” to giving birth.

“Now I can finally lose the baby weight. It was a 14-year gestation,” she said, referring to the amount of time it took to get the film made.

Prior to the Mann Village screening, English took a moment to thank Picturehouse prexy Bob Berney, acknowledging that “The Women” was the company’s last film.

“I know this is a bittersweet moment for you, Bob, but we are proud to be the final chapter in what was an amazing run,” English said.

At the Napa Valley Grille after-party, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith chatted with Warner Bros. topper Alan Horn, while Annette Bening and Warren Beatty held court in a back booth as Meg Ryan, Debra Messing and Eva Mendes mingled nearby.

Producer Bill Johnson said the success of recent female-driven films has given him big “City” dreams. “We are definitely hoping to ride on the coattails of ‘Sex and the City’ and take a chunk of that box office,” he said.