What do “Black Panther” & “The First Wives Club” both have in common? If you recall Marvel’s Black Panther becoming a global success in terms of postive reviews among critics, movie goers & fans alike, The King Of Wakanda made box office records such as earning a grand total of $1 billion dollars involving a black superhero, making an appearance on the cover of Time Magazine & Viola Davis buying a movie theater as a sign to introduce children to a superhero as a postive influence among them.
22 Years Ago, the aforementioned film, The First Wives Club came out the same year as Independence Day. The film stars Goldie Hawn, (Kate Hudson’s real life mother) Diane Keaton & Bette Midler as three middle-aged friends who reunite after their friend commits suicide. They discover the terrible reason behind their friend’s suicide. The Trio decide to make matters into their own hands by establishing a club involving justice against their husbands and avenge their fallen friend by establishing their club.
The First Wives Club was released in 1996. (same year Independence Day came out) At the time, it earned mixed reviews from critics and made enough money at the box office. Despite divisive results, movie goers enjoyed the picture, gaining a cult following among middle aged women. It became the first film to gross $181 million dollars worldwide involving middle aged women as protagonists of a motion picture. The Three Leads made an appearance on the cover of Time Magazine. Winona Ryder stated that this is perhaps the first film to make a truckload of money starring middle-aged women.
The answer on why Black Panther & The First Wives Club both have in common? Well, each respective film made box office records and appear on a separate issue on Time Magazine.
For those of you are who are about to comment on why this isn’t a Flashback Review, all I have to say is, I’ve never heard of The First Wives Club. Yes I admit, I’ve never ever ever seen it, until I stumbled upon the soundtrack from “Suicide Squad” with one of the songs, “You Don’t Own Me.” Warner Bros. (WB for short) used the song for one of the trailers along with “Ballroom Blitz.” Both songs are connected to 90’s films. I’m aware of the latter song is obviously a reference to “Wayne’s World.” The former is the first time I’ve heard of this song and it is part of the soundtrack to The First Wives Club.
An undeveloped sequel was in the works during a twenty year gap, until Paramount Network (formerly known as Spike TV) will possibly develop a television reboot based on the film of the same name.
The following review contains no potential SPOILERS. If you’ve never got a chance to see it, feel free to read this article.
Positive & Negative Elements
Positive: Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn & Bette Midler all did a great job on their respective performances. Goldie on the other hand, was my favorite of The Trio. I have to admit, she’s far more attractive than her co-stars Diane & Bette. No wonder Kate Hudson inherited her mother’s sexy lookin’ features.
Other Cast Members such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Marcia Gay Harden, Timothy Olyphant & Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall from Harry Potter) all did a good job on their performances. It’s ironic that Sarah kinda used to be attractive, until she aged horrendously bad as she now resembles a mule.
Humor is filled with memorable dialogue, satirical depiction of young women as self absorbed gold diggers & snobby men as chauvinistic pigs. All of them don’t shove them in your face as negative stereotypes until the titular club make matters into their own hands.
Opening Credits reminded me of a comic book coming to life.
The First Act starts out as a typical romantic comedy. However, it’s actually a deconstruction on romantic comedies, especially the romance between each woman’s husband.
The Second Act is perhaps the main course of the story, because it starts getting good.
Cinematography looked solid without no Shaky Cam or Dutch Angles used heavily.
The Best Line in the film is, “Right now, I’m just going to use The F Word, Felony!”
Gloria Steinem, Rob Reiner, J.K. Simmons, Kathie Lee & say what you will, Ivana Trump make cameo appearances.
Bette Midler’s character, Brenda, did a jab on Meryl Streep. (who’s my arch-nemesis) I’m giving Bette a bunch of Bonus Points for making me laugh out loud.
The Ladies sing and dance to “You Don’t Own Me.” I’m giving them an Extra Point for encouraging David Ayer or Margot Robbie to chose the song for the Suicide Squad soundtrack.
The Trio mentioned “Mission Impossible.” Tom Cruise’s film came out the exact same year as First Wives Club.
Brenda describes her friends as The Three Witches. Maggie Smith went on to co-star in the Harry Potter films. Maybe J.K Rowling must’ve hired her as Professor McGonagall upon watching this movie. By the way, Bette Midler also played a witch in “Hocus Pocus” along with Sarah Jessica Parker. Gotta love inside jokes.
Fun Fact: Goldie Hawn co-started with Meryl Streep in “Death Becomes Her.” I guess this was an inside joke to Goldie’s career.
Negative: The movie is somewhat a tad dated. One character stated, “It’s The 90s!” At the 54:37 mark, a huge desktop computer labels the date September, 1995.
Diane Keaton’s character is named Annie. OH MY GOODNESS! She played Annie in Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall?!” I’m Trippling Down this con for reminding that Annie Hall snubbed “Star Wars: A New Hope” at The Academy Awards! As a lifelong fan of Star Wars, the memory came back to haunt me! Annie Hall traumatized me as a kid & Star Wars fan when I watched it with my parents. Shame on you Woody!
The Final Verdict: B-
In my opinion, The First Wives Club unexpectedly kept me entertained without easily getting bored. The Three Leads did a hilarious job on their performances, Goldie Hawn stole the show and she managed to keep me distracted & hilarious moments made me laugh. If you have nothing else to do in your spare time, I recommend this movie.
Now you guys and gals understand the box office connections between Black Panther & The First Wives Club? Now that Wakanda’s king made a billion dollars, let’s see if another film centering around middle aged women could possibly make a billion dollars in the next few years or so.