Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1996. Paramount Pictures. Screenplay by Robert Harling, based on the novel by Olivia Goldsmith. Cinematography by Donald E. Thorin. Produced by Scott Rudin. Music by Marc Shaiman. Production Design by Peter S. Larkin. Costume Design by Theoni V. Aldredge. Film Editing by John Bloom. Academy Awards 1996.
Serious alterations have been made to Olivia Goldsmith’s original novel, but it’s possible that even devoted readers will still enjoy it. Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton are in peak form as three middle-aged women who are abandoned by their husbands (Dan Hedaya, Victor Garber, Stephen Collins respectively) for women much younger than them (Sarah Jessica Parker, Elizabeth Berkley, Marcia Gay Harden). Deciding not to take it lying down, they form a ‘first wives club’, hell bent on getting revenge on their useless men if it’s the last thing they do. The story bumbles around as they go on silly missions, sing a few songs and make way for a host of great cameos (the best being a beautiful Maggie Smith as a helpful social empress), but nothing can keep this movie from being totally entertaining. Beautifully costumed and scored, this film has attitude to spare!