Daily Chick Flick: The First Wives Club  

I've found it a good thing to add a lot of contrasting elements to my lifestyle and personality, mostly because it leaves me far too fluid to bother declaring a personal ethos. As far as I see, that's hardly no worse than the hundreds of millions out there whose greatest contrast is their own declaration vs. the kind of person they would rather be. What does this have to do with movies you ask? Not much really, although the concept of contrasting ideologies does play a small part in today's review.

Yesterday, while in the final throes of a 48-hour stomach flu, Christie and I had a chick flick double feature that consisted of Mona Lisa Smile and The First Wives Club. Both movies I had been told were stellar offerings from planet chick flick. What I had forgotten to account for, however, is that planet chick flick is located in the middle of the shit galaxy, meaning even its best nuggets would undoubtedly turn out to be stinky. I didn't plan it this way, but the two movies certainly were at different ends of the female power spectrum. Whereas Mona Lisa Smile is about choosing not to relent the ferocity of burgeoning womanhood, The First Wives Club takes more of a reclamation attitude towards woman being used and then tossed aside. Personally the latter was easier to digest, partly because I never experienced the chauvinistic approach to female relations in the 50's and 60's, and partly due to my penchant for seeing the value left in old things, such as gently-used Ziploc bags and Goldie Hawn.

The film starts out with four college-aged girls sealing a "best friends forever" pact with a foursome of pearl necklaces. Sadly not the kind I would wish for. Sure enough, time passes, and they fail to keep in touch until three of them are reunited after the suicide of the fourth. During an impromptu liquid lunch they discover that each of them had recently been left by their husbands for a younger woman, the same circumstance that led to the mental collapse and subsequent untimely death of their friend. Throw in some man-hating here, add a pinch of self-loathing there, stir it all up with their broomsticks and TA-DOW! A plan is born, which is to systematically dissect and destroy the lives of those bastard ex-husbands that did this to them. From here on out you could pretty much dub Benny Hill music over the rest of the movie without losing a whole lot in the way of story and character development. As usual the results are completely predictable. The husbands pay and the ex-wives emerge victorious. The shy, naive one (Diane Keaton) becomes a confident business tycoon. The drunk, shallow one (Goldie Hawn) becomes sober and thoughtful. The shrill, abrasive one (Bette Midler) becomes... well, she gets her husband back at the very end, which is kind of an improvement.

I think the most disparaging thing about this challenge so far has been seeing actresses that I really like, trying in vain to make something out of nothing. Seriously, what shot did they have at making this script work? Wasn't the outcome shitty enough for Hollywood when it was previously packaged as Nine to Five? Or how about She-Devil? The mid-nineties spin they added wasn't lost on me, but how was that conceivably going to be enough to elevate a concept that Dolly Parton and her massive chesticles were unable to support -- in the eighties no less? Have you ever even seen what they used to wear back then? Those fools would buy into anything as long as it was on a Pepsi commercial.

The First Wives Club was stereotypical chick flick in every way, right down to its adherence of the genre's 3 main tenants:
  1. We must love ourselves before others will love us (non-anally)
  2. A huge fight with someone, followed by sullen music and alone time, is required for us to truly change our ways
  3. As women, we break out into random fits of singing and dancing
Because of this, and amplified by the lack of any worthwhile supporting characters (I'm looking at you, Bronson Pinchot), this movie earns a solid 4 1/2 pink tacos. May you never, ever be forced to watch it.

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7 Reasons to Live

  • Diane  
    May 14, 2009 at 4:47 PM

    Ok, I have seen this one, and thought it was kinda lame, but ok. My fav line:

    Goldie explaining trash can full of vodka bottles: "I had a few friends over"

    Bette: "Who? Guns and Roses?"

  • ~E  
    May 15, 2009 at 3:51 AM

    HEY! I like Goldie Hawn...she is HOT!

    Ok...she WAS hot. But same diff.

  • shine  
    May 15, 2009 at 6:48 AM

    I remember giggling at this one when I was in high school and my mom made me watch it. But I had very little understanding of ex-husbands back then. Oh wait, my mom already had two of them...

  • Becky  
    May 15, 2009 at 6:51 AM

    Ew...I wouldn't consider either film great chick flicks, even as a chick. Sorry you had to live through them, esp. while being sick.

  • Ashley  
    May 15, 2009 at 12:33 PM

    As women, we break out into random fits of singing and dancing

    But this one is true in real life :)

  • Anonymous  
    May 16, 2009 at 7:51 PM

    I can't help it. I love this one.

    My favorite scene is the one Diane mentioned above.

    "Who? Guns N' Roses!"

  • jb  
    May 20, 2009 at 7:27 PM

    Jay sorry but I freaking love this movie its so funny. I mean you have the three top funny ladies in one movie getting revenge on their Ex's...come on how can you not like it....oh!!!yeah your a guy.....lololol.

    Good movie I'm happy you watched it.....and gave it all those pink tacos.


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