The first time I ever watched The First Wives Club, I was only 10 years old. I had, I can only imagine, absolutely no idea what was going on in this movie. I was experiencing my major crush on Goldie Hawn at the time (I watched all of her movies, and especially loved the Steve Martin ones) — and watching this film was just a natural next step. It helps that I loved Bette Midler and Diane Lane, too. September is the 20th anniversary of the film, so I obviously re-watched it — and I can definitely understand the movie a lot more now than I could at age 10. So here come the lessons!
EINTKILF The First Wives Club
It’s okay to get angry.
Annie (Keaton) and her husband are going through a break-up? A split? An almost divorce? But they are both going to the same therapist in an attempt to figure their ish out with themselves and each other. Though the whole therapist thing doesn’t work out (ahem), one of the best scenes is when Dr. Rosen (Marcia Gay Harden with a hella cute pixie) encourages Annie to get so mad that she hits her. She does it! It’s great! Get you a therapist you can hit. (Just kidding — try a punching bag, though.)
Make sure your habits are healthy
Elise (Hawn) is quite the character (my favorite, obviously). The actress is worried about her looks as she gets older — because she has to be! As Elsie states, “There are only three ages for women in Hollywood: Babe, District Attorney, and Driving Miss Daisy.”
Elise partakes in plastic surgery and booze to cope with her divorce and her her costar-husband’s much younger new girlfriend — one who suggests Elise can play her mom in her new film. Though Elise should certainly reel in some of her potentially more dangerous habits, I also need to note that she works out a lot to “burn off the booze,” — and like, who doesn’t?
It’s okay to joke about Meryl Streep
Remember when Jennifer Lawrence won (one of her three) Golden Globe(s) and she got up there and said, “What does it say? It says, ‘I beat Meryl'”? And everyone was mad because they thought some young buck in the acting world was smack talking Meryl Streep?? Well, that wasn’t the case. Lawrence was simply quoting this wonderful film — a film she was also too young to watch in 1996.
Be honest with your people
Though I wish I could already be as honest with my friends as these three women are with each other, I fully expect to reach that point sometime in the next decade or so of my life. You know when your friends are driving you crazy with their bad habits or irrational life choices? ME TOO. When you’ve been friends for 30 years, apparently you get to solve the problem by slapping them. I can’t wait!
Friendship is everything
The movie begins with a snapshot of the three women’s younger days: the moment they graduated college, the picture the three of them took together, and the promise they made to always be in each other’s lives. Though I met my core group of girlfriends before college, and we never quite had that movie moment when we vowed to be friends forever, we’ve somehow managed to overcome a lot of sh*t together. Not divorce — but falling outs, breakups (almost all mine), new babies, weddings, relocations — the list goes on. We are nowhere near 46, but I feel confident that we will still be there for one another when we are.
No one owns you
It had to be said. Doesn’t this movie just make you want to dress in all white and tell someone off? It should, and if it doesn’t, you are wrong.
Also, I didn’t know where to mention it, but Stockard Channing (in her very small part!), Sarah Jessica Parker, and Maggie Smith are all amaaaazing.