Bette Midler: First Wive’s Club – Facts And Trivia
In an interview, Bette Midler mentioned that all three main cast members wanted to make a sequel, but the studio was not agreeable, as they viewed the success of this film as a “fluke”. Midler also said that just before the movie opened, she was told it would not do very well because the film was competing against action movies with male stars such as Bruce Willis. This film opened at number one and out-grossed those action movies.
Doctors created Goldie Hawn‘s simulated collagen treatment by injecting her lips with a harmless saline solution. Though temporary, Hawn later remarked in interviews that the experience was quite painful and that it had discouraged her from ever getting collagen for real.
Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler, and Diane Keaton were all born within 45 days of each other, and celebrated their 50th birthdays together while filming this movie.
When the three ladies meet after the funeral, they are talking about Elise’s plastic surgery. Brenda asks Elise if she just got a little or the full enchilada, Elise says “I got the whole enchilada.” This line was originally “I got the whole Ivana,” but was changed once Ivana Trump was cast in a cameo.
Out of all the actresses who play wives in the film, Diane Keaton is the only one to have never been married.
Timothy Olyphant’s screen debut.
The cast features six Oscar winners, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, Maggie Smith, Marcia Gay Harden, J.K. Simmons, and Eileen Heckart; three Oscar nominees, Bette Midler, Stockard Channing, and Rob Reiner; Emmy winner Sarah Jessica Parker; six Emmy nominees, Bronson Pinchot, Debra Monk, Dan Hedaya, Kate Burton, Stephen Collins, and Victor Garber; and Golden Globe nominee Heather Locklear.
The last feature film of Eileen Heckart.
Two of the paintings in Elise’s apartment are of her as Madame X painted by John Singer Sargent, and Andy Warhol’s mass-produced ‘Marilyn Monroe’.
During her acceptance speech after winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for “The Silver Linings Playbook” in 2013, Jennifer Lawrence remarked, “Oh what does it say? It says ‘I beat Meryl!'” in reference to a line from this film. Unfortunately, many of the viewers (and fellow celebrities) did not get the reference and criticized Lawrence for her seemingly insensitive comment.
Jessica Lange was initially considered for the Elise Elliot role (played by Goldie Hawn).
Jenny McCarthy turned down the role of Phoebe LaVelle.
Brenda refers to Cynthia’s ex-husband and his girlfriend as “Louis and Lestat”. This is a reference to Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994), in which Louis and Lestat are two vampires.
Jon Stewart had a small part in the film but it was left on the cutting room floor.
Theatrical trailer features snippets of scenes that were not included in the final film.
Jennifer Lawrence quoted this movie in her acceptance speech for the 2013 Golden Globes. Jennifer started her speech with “I beat Meryl”
“The First Wives Club” is the second time that Diane Keaton and Jennifer Dundas (Lowe) have played mother and daughter. The first time was in Mrs. Soffel (1984), when Dundas was still being billed as Jennie Dundas.
While they play a couple getting divorced in this film, Diane Keaton and Stephen Collins would go on playing a couple getting married in the film Because I Said So (2007) 11 years later.
The fact that Diane Keaton’s character’s name is “Annie” is a funny coincidence in four ways. 1. Her nickname is Annie. 2. One her most famous roles (as well as Oscar winning role) was playing Annie Hall in Annie Hall. 3. In Father of the Bride, her character’s daughter’s name is Annie (played by Kimberly Williams-Paisley) and 4. Stephen Collins (who plays her ex husband in this film) would go on to play Rev. Eric Camden in the family drama 7th Heaven where his wife’s name in Annie (played by Catherine Hicks).
The role of Duarto originally went to writer David Rakoff. He found acting in front of the camera to be difficult compared to his previous stage roles, and was fired after one day.
This is the second time Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker share screen time. Both started in “Hocus Pocus.”
This is the second time Bette Midler and Stephen Collins were in the same movie. Both starred in “Stella.”
P.J. Hogan was originally set to direct the film.
Hugh Wilson cast his daughter, Cannon, for the crew of the commercial that Morty is shooting when they come kidnap him.
In the scene after Cynthia’s funeral, when the girls are at the restaurant table, Brenda asks Elise about her surgery. When Brenda says “…the full enchilada”, it’s dubbed from “…the full Ivana” (as seen in the trailer), referencing Ivana Trump.
When Elise goes to Bills office for the first time to take possession of the assets her lips do not match when she says “the ming vase”.
In the final musical number, Elise’s shoes change.
When the three women have lunch after the funeral, Annie says Elise has not changed in the 20 years since they graduated but when she talks about Aron, she says they had been married for 25 years.
Just before the ending musical number, all three women spin around in their overcoats. Elise’s hand can be seen getting caught in Annie’s belt, but in the next shot, it is free.
When Lisey, Bren and Annie are discussing Cynthia’s death and the breakup of their marriages (before toasting the start of the First Wives Club), the letter in Annie’s hand appears and disappears between shots.
When Shelly is at Gunila’s townhouse, the hand that the maid is holding her salad plate in changes between shots.
In the clothing store, Morty hangs the jacket back on the rack and the front is facing forward. As he walks away, it’s facing backward.
When Duarto Feliz goes to Morty and Shelly’s apartment, they make a big deal out of hiding an offensive chair by covering it with Duarto’s long coat. At the end of the scene, there are several shots with him suddenly wearing it again.
After the funeral, when the waiter brings the ladies drinks, he sets down a vodka during “just fine, couldn’t be better” (Brenda’s drink is already on the table). In the next shot, he finishes placing Brenda’s drink, then the vodka, then reaches for Annie’s. The next shot shows that Annie magically has a drink and the waiter is gone.
When Duarto comes up to the office to tell the girls that Morty and Shelly are back, he closes the door behind him. In the next shot, the door is open.
When the women get their drinks, Elise takes the straw from her vodka on the rocks. When the camera turns back to her, it’s back in the glass again.
When the wives drop down on the window-washing scaffold, they pass more floors than there are in the building. Even after a free fall, a camera shot from below shows them to be still near the top of the building.
At the end of the film, during the musical number, Elise’s shoes change. She is wearing one pair before they walk through the doors of the center and another pair after.
Elise, Annie and Brenda are having lunch after the funeral, the placement of the cocktails changes repeatedly.
The level of champagne changes in the glasses when the women pledge to get revenge on their husbands.
When Aaron calls Annie to go to dinner, Annie says hello before picking up the phone instead of waiting until she had the phone to her ear.