The First Wives Club

Bomb Rating: 

Here's quintessential Hollywood for you: Make a film about a potentially funny and meaningful women's issue (such as middle-aged men dumping their aging wives for trophy brides), but make sure that, behind the camera, virtually no one working on the film is female. Actors aside, the only major position on "The First Wives Club" filmmaking staff allowed a female is that of costume designer.

To top it all off, the director, Hugh Wilson, is the beast responsible for starting that whole "Police Academy" thing. Gee, what better way to bring an air of sophistication to the battle of the sexes? Hollywood's "Good Old Boys" could have gained better feminist credentials by running down Wilshire Blvd. in loincloths, brandishing spears and screaming "Screw you, bitches!" at the top of their lungs.

As the title might indicate, the leads are all first wives, meaning that their husbands are on their way toward second wives. Brenda Cushman's (Bette Midler) husband Morty (Dan Hedaya) has picked up Shelly (Sarah Jessica Parker). Actress Elise Atchison's (Goldie Hawn) husband Bill (Victor Garber) has picked up Phoebe (Elizabeth Berkley), while Annie's (Diane Keaton) husband (Stephen Collins) is boinking their therapist (Marcia Gay Harden). When the former college friends get together, they begin plotting revenge.

The effort required to swallow the premise that the half-man, half-gorilla Hedaya could actually bed Sarah Jessica Parker is matched only by the effort required to digest Elizabeth Berkley's attempt to act with her clothes on. This is analogous to following your favorite headache medicine with a fifth of Scotch. The effects are usually lethal.

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