When I heard they were making The First Wives Club into a movie, I was delighted. I became more delighted when I heard the casting: Bette Midler! Goldie Hawn! Diane Keaton! Hugh Wilson(who created WKRP In Cincinatti)is directing! This should be a fun, hysterical movie like the book! I couldn't wait!
Oh, I was disapointed. Big time. I'm going to list some of the reasons right here:
1.They changed the setup and instead of wives being friendly with each other on social occassions, they made them sorrity sisters. Never mind Brenda in the book didn't go to college, never mind in college these three women wouldn't have been friends in college, they were sorrity sisters! There's Elise(Goldie Hawn) Brenda (Bette Midler) and Annie(Diane Keaton) They marry, they support their husbands through good times and bad times, and get dumped for younger women(Elizabeth Berkeley, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Marcia Gay Harden)
2. The ladies, like in the book, decide to get revenge when their other sorrity sister Cynthia(Stockard Channing, who is in this movie way too briefly) kills herself. But instead for the end, the ladies don't mention Cynthia that much after the funeral scene, while in the book Cynthia is a constant pressence, especially since they were trying to ruin Cynthia's no good husband as well as their own. The setup is like: "Oh, too bad about Cynthia! Let's just concentrate on ourselves!
3. They ruined the character of Annie(Diane Keaton) In the book yes she was insecure, but she learned to fight for herself and for her children, one of them having Down's Syndrome, and to discover a career for herself. The Annie in the movie is whining, irrtating, and you don't feel a lot of sympathy for her.
4. The lack of social issues. Okay, like Samuel Goldwyn once said if you want to deliever a message, send a telegram, but in the book it dealt with a realistic but funny way Elise's drinking, Brenda's overeating, and Annie having a special needs child. In the movie it is mentioned sometimes, but never mind the important issues! Let's belt out once again "You Don't Own Me!"
5. The trashing of men: Now God knows I love a man trash fest like others in my sex, but God, in the movie, there's not one likeable man. Not one! In the book they had two of the ladies hook up with other men and became close friends with another. Would've it killed the screenwriters to put in one likeable guy, a la Harvey Keitel in Thelma and Louise?
7. They changed it so one of the women goes back to her sleezy ex-husband,
and one of the women who realized she was a lesiban was not mentioned at all. Come on, guys! I think we could've handled one of them being a lesbian! Why don't you trust us?
There are some good parts: It's always great to see Bette Midler sing, and Elizabeth Berkeley does a suprisingly funny turn as one of the girlfriends. But otherwise, The First Wives Club as a movie was a major disapointment, and even though it's been four years since I last saw it, I still get upset about how they adapted the book.
Causes Jennifer Gibbons Supports
Gilda's Club, Greenpeace, Rosie's Broadway Kids,Westwind Foster Family Agency, Amber Brown Fund, Linda Duncan Fund for Contra Costa Libraries