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First Wives Club (1996)

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Two words: Powerhouse Cast.  I mean seriously.  If you were gonna make an all over broads movie, who would you choose?  Okay if you said Meryl Streep, I’d still support that, or maybe even Helen Mirren after Red but this is the ’90s.  Diane Keaton, Bete Midler, Goldie Hawn and even Maggie Smith combine for some serious hormonal catastrophes.

After their college bestie Cynthia (Stockard Channing) kills herself, the insecure Brenda (Midler), the over-secure made-up barbie Elise (Hawn), and he clueless Annie (Keaton) reunite and talk old times.  Turns out all three have been screwed by their husbands for younger women (well, in all honesty I guess the youngin’s were the ones being screwed…)  But they’re not going to take it so easy – they put those douches at the top of the food chain.  So they come up with a plot to hit them where it hurts the most: their wallets.

All right, so this is totally a chick movie.  I’ll be the first to admit it.  And if you’re a dude, you might even feel insulted by the, well, serious burn these guys are getting.  So I won’t exactly recommend it to you males, but it’s not unheard of for you folks to laugh out loud either.

First: it’s an original story – thank. you.  The basic plot may seem familiar but it’s still fresh and different.  My favorite was the plot line involving Sarah Jessica Parker (yes, the SJP herself) and Brenda’s husband with Maggie Smith screwin’ them over.  I mean, it’s just silly.  But awesome.

Second: that writing’s top notch.  The screenplay never misses a beat and man I don’t care how stupid those ladies sound, the script makes them hilarious and witty.

“No, Sean Connery is Monique’s boyfriend!  He may be three hundred years old, but he’s sitll a stud!”
“Let’s synchronize our watches.” “Ooh just like Mission: Impossible!” “Oh, that was a big hit.”
“Doormat!” “Lesbian!”

Okay, so maybe that last quote was pushing it on the witty scale, but it’s still funny.

Last: It’s about character.  I watched this with my good friend and we both agree that character is what makes a movie.  I mean even Annie’s daughter Chris (Jennifer Dundas) and her coming out of the closet – it’s more about the actual girl than it is that she’s a lesbian.  You’d only laugh at her parting, “Oh by the way dad, I’m a lesbian.  A BIG one.” if you already liked the character.  So maybe the guys aren’t exactly the most likable characters out there, but they’re still well-developed and perfectly acted.  (Yup, Victor freaking Garber is in this too).  I mean, straight out of Annie Hall, Diane Keaton is adorable.  Just watch that chick try and freak out at her idiot husband and therapist.  And watch her dance!  Oh so cute.  And Goldie Hawn’s character could not be better played nor created.  Her Andy Warhol/Marilyn Monroe painting OF HERSELF hangin’ in the apartment? Classic.

Not only are our leads terrific, but we’ve got actors and actresses like Jennifer Dundas, Rob Reiner,  Eileen Heckart, Sarah Jessica Parker, Marcia Gay Harden, Bronson Pinchot, Debra Monk, Dan Hedaya, Stephen Collins, Victor Garber and Heather Locklear in there!  Allow me to reiterate: stellar cast.

First Wives Club is for all you ladies out there.  You’ll laugh, I promise.  Especially if you’re still bitter over recent injustices from the men in your life.  8/10

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