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"THE FIRST WIVES CLUB"
(1996) (Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler, Diane Keaton) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy None Moderate None None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor None None None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Mild Moderate Moderate Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: Three old friends decide to get revenge on the men in their lives who've dumped them for younger women.
PLOT:
Three friends, Annie (DIANE KEATON), Elise (GOLDIE HAWN) and Brenda (BETTE MIDLER), who haven't seen each other since college, are brought together by the suicide of another friend of theirs, Cynthia (STOCKARD CHANNING). As they catch up on their lives, the three realize that everything didn't turn out the way they thought it would. Elise is a one time Oscar winning actress, now relegated to "B" movies and her husband, Bill (VICTOR GARBER) left her for another woman and is suing for half of her worth. Brenda's ex-husband, Morty (DAN HEDAYA), a "hot" electronics dealer, has run off with the young and curvaceous Shelly (SARAH JESSICA PARKER). And Annie's husband Aaron (STEPHEN COLLINS) is in the process of leaving her for someone she knows and trusts. The women decide they've had enough and form the "First Wives Club." Determined to receive justice for the pain and anguish they've suffered, the women set out to ruin their former husband's lives, and as they do so, they bond together as friends once again.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Not unless they're fans of Keaton, Midler or Hawn.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For thematic elements, some mild language and sensuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • DIANE KEATON plays the meekest woman of the bunch who wants to get even when she discovers that her therapist is her husband's lover.
  • BETTE MIDLER plays the former wife of an appliance king who's now raising their son on her own.
  • GOLDIE HAWN plays the former Oscar winning actress who is now an alcoholic and heavy smoker.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 5 out of 10
    This film is reminiscent of the movie "9 to 5" where female employees tire of their sexist, chauvinistic boss, kidnap him, and then take over the company and make it more profitable. Where that movie showed some good reason for their actions and provided a lot of funny moments, "First Wives Club" comes across as a weak second cousin. While there are some funny scenes and one liners, the film is rather bland and listless. It focuses too much on the women's poor quality of life and not enough of them "getting even" and making their lives better (which does happen but only at the end). The actresses don't seem to be giving it their all as if each is afraid to compete with the others to be the lead character. Some viewers will enjoy this film, but many others will find it to be rather dull. We give it just a 5 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    This film has a spattering of things you might find objectionable, but none of them are to the extreme. Hawn's character turns out to be an alcoholic and there are a lot of scenes with her drinking and/or drunk. There's mild profanity and sexual situations (including Keaton's daughter proclaiming her lesbianism), and a fair amount of bad attitudes and talk of failed or failing marriages. There's also a suicide, but the actual act isn't seen and there isn't a great deal of focus placed on the issue. Kids won't be drawn to this film, but if yours are, read through the category listings before deciding if this is appropriate for them.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Elise is an alcoholic and is seen drinking in many scenes and is drunk in several others.
  • The girls drink champagne in a scene where they graduate from college.
  • Cynthia is drinking right before she commits suicide.
  • After the funeral, the three go to a restaurant and stay there for hours and have many drinks and get rather drunk.
  • In several other scenes the women and others are seen drinking.
  • BLOOD/ GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The husbands of the women have "traded in" their first wives for younger, more attractive women.
  • Annie's husband tells her he wants a divorce after they've just had sex and she thinks they're getting back together. Annie then finds out her therapist is having an affair with her husband.
  • The women find out that Morty had stocked his store with stolen goods.
  • One could say that the women's acts of revenge (of ruining their husbands lives) also reek of bad attitudes, but that call is up to you.
  • FRIGHTENING/TENSE SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Screw" (non sexual), "Shut up," "Bitch," "Sucks," and "Pinhead."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 1 "s" word, 2 hells, 2 "ass" words, and 30 uses of "Oh God" or "Oh my God," 3 uses of "God," and 1 use each of "For God's sake" and "Jesus" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Annie's daughter proclaims she's a lesbian and later the three women go into a lesbian bar to get the daughter in on their plan of revenge (but nothing other than women dancing together is seen).
  • Double-entendre: Elise passionately says things like "Do it to me," "Do it again," and "You're the only one who knows how to," but it turns out she's talking to her cosmetic surgeon about having more collagen injected into her lips.
  • The dead woman's first husband is seen fingering his new wife's breast during the funeral.
  • It's implied in two scenes that Annie and her separated husband had sex, and in the latter one, he's seen in his bathrobe, but she's already dressed.
  • Brenda accuses Elise of having "had" (sex with) most of the guys and half the faculty when they were in college.
  • Elise discovers that her ex-husband's new girlfriend is really sixteen years old (and it's obviously implied that he's been sleeping with her).
  • SMOKING
  • Elise smokes many times throughout the movie and others are seen smoking here and there (but the three women don't smoke the cigars seen in the print ads for the movie).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • There are many scenes of marital discord and much talk of divorce and/or separation. There are two kids affected by this, one an older girl, the other a thirteen-year-old boy, but neither seems horribly upset by any of it.
  • The women and their husbands are often seen arguing.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Divorce.
  • Suicide (their friend Cynthia jumps from her building --not seen, but the events leading up to it are).
  • Lesbianism. Annie's daughter proclaims she's one and later the three women go into a lesbian bar to talk to the daughter.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Their friend Cynthia commits suicide by leaping from her building (the act isn't seen).
  • Annie's psychiatrist encourages Annie to hit her with a padded bat. After an initial hesitation, Annie lets loose and whacks the doctor several times on the head.
  • Brenda's uncle says he'll "take out" Morty but Brenda says that's not what she wants -- she just wants revenge.
  • Brenda throws an awards statue across the room and Elise then throws it back in her general direction.
  • Brenda smacks Annie, Elise smacks Brenda, and Brenda smacks her back as the three women argue.
  • Two men posing as U.S. marshals arrest Morty and take him outside. There they put a hood over his head and throw him into the trunk of a car.



  • Reviewed September 20, 1996

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