In my household, it’s not a party until you bust out the white pantsuits and re-enact the closing scene of The First Wives Club. Unfortunately, not many people share this same sentiment, which is why we need to revisit the movie and really get this modern classic the respect it deserves. Before Emily Thorne sought vengeance on Revenge or Kristin Wiig re-defined the female driven comedy in Bridesmaids, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, and Bette Midler were getting even with their ex-husband and dancing down an empty Manhattan street in The First Wives Club. It’s fun, it’s hilarious, it’s legendary, and it’s totally 90s!
With The First Wives Club airing on Logo 8:30 pm on Sunday, we revisited the classic comedy and found the top 8 reasons you should drop everything and re-watch it. Preferably with a cocktail in hand and your best pals by your side.
8. Because it has an amazing supporting cast
You know a movie is good when Stockard Channing shows up, even if it’s just for one scene. Donning her GIANT fur coat (seriously, did she skin a bear?), with a cigarette in one hand and a cocktail in the other, Channing’s character leaps to her death, as only Stockard Channing could, after she discovers her husband left her. (It’s not a spoiler if it happens at the beginning of the movie!) While it’s a small appearance, her scene really sets the stage for the numerous guest spots throughout the film including Eileen Heckart, Marcia Gay Harden, Victor Garber, Timothy Olyphant, Brenson Pinchot, Stephen Collins, and many more who deserve their own section. The dad from 7th Heaven and the guy from Perfect Strangers in the same movie? Yes, please.
7. Because the Dowager Countess does her thing
Before she delivered her signature one-liners as the Dowager Countess on Downton Abbey, Maggie Smith was perfecting her death stare and bird-like head nods as socialite Gunilla Garson Goldberg in The First Wives Club. Her character has everything the Dowager Countess has—a distaste for social climbers, aristocratic manners, impeccable fashion sense—but with an American accent. If the Countess wasn’t enough, The First Wives Club proves that Maggie Smith’s raison d’etre will always be as the sassy elderly woman with a lot of money. Besides, there few moments more gratifying than seeing Professor McGonagall disapprovingly scoff at Carrie Bradshaw’s dining etiquette.
6. Because you get to see Diane Keaton scream
Nothing’s better than when award winning, middle-aged actresses get to do physical comedy. Whether they’re slapping each other in rapid succession or falling thirty stories on a window cleaning platform, Hawn, Keaton, and Midler really know how to make slapstick look cool.
5. Because Nomi Malone shows up
Yes, it’s true: Jessie Spano herself appears as an aspiring actor and (sixteen-year-old?) lover of Goldie Hawn’s ex-husband. You know when Elizabeth Berkely makes an appearance in a movie, it’ll be….memorable. Unlike Berkely’s notorious Showgirls fiasco/masterpiece, her role in First Wives Club is anything but a trainwreck. She’s actually funny! On purpose! She should play the role of a clueless actor more often…
4. Because 1990s Sarah Jessica Parker is the best kind of Sarah Jessica Parker
Who doesn’t love 90s-era SJP? Long before taking herself way to seriously as everyone’s favorite narcissistic columnist Carrie Bradsaw, Parker was winning all of the juiciest (and campiest) roles in Hollywood. From Ed Wood to Mars Attacks! and, of course, The First Wives Club, she really hammed it up in her roles—and we loved her for it. Plus, the Bette-Sarah Hocus Pocus reunion was much needed. Get Kathy Najimy in this movie, stat.
3. Because you get to see Diane Keaton get slapped
This scene is everything. I needed to re-play it multiple times just to grasp the complexity of it. Yes, it’s that good. It’s a master class in acting. It’s the Pièce de résistance of an already hard to resist film. While many movies have the classic “falling out” scene that inevitably leads to the “making up” scene, The First Wives Club really puts other Hollywood films to shame with its take on the slap fight. Even some of the Hollywood classics, where slapping was as common as handshake, pale in comparison to this slap fest. The combination of brilliant dialogue (“You think that because I’m a movie star I don’t have feelings. Well you’re wrong. I’m an actress. I have all of them!”), overacting that only these ladies can make look good, and physical comedy really make this scene a treat.
2. Because it features LEGENDS
Three of the hardest working women in the business finally team up! Goldie gets to get sloshed. Bette gets to dress up in a fun disguise. Diane gets to…be Diane. Everyone wins!
1. Because of the closing scene
Four words: You. Don’t. Own. Me.