21 years later and the movie is still a must-watch
After reading about her former husband’s new relationship splashed across the newspapers, Cynthia Swann (Griffin Stockhard Channing) decides to jump to her death from her apartment balcony.
In a bittersweet turn of events, her college best friends Elliot (Goldie Hawn,) Brenda Morelli Cushman (Bette Midler) and Annie MacDuggan Paradis (Diane Keaton) reunite at Cynthia’s wake.
“Why did she do it?” asks Annie.
“She probably gave Gil the best years of her life, sacrificed her youth, always put herself last in order to bolster his ego, his drive, his ambition,” Elise quips. “And just as her dignity was hanging on by a thread, he just lopped it off by running off with some preschooler…I’m guessing…”
The three friends eventually realize that they are all in the same boat: like Cynthia, they helped their husbands succeed and get rich only to be left behind for a younger woman.
The First Wives Club is a hilarious revenge story turned success story following three first wives on their mission to stick it to their husbands. Above all, it’s a movie about friendship, realizing your worth and rising from the ashes.
It’s officially been 21 years since the movie premiered, but its themes couldn’t be more relevant. Here, we list six valuable life lessons we learned about cheating men from The First Wives Club:
Lesson #1: Cheating men think with their dicks
… but that just means the women they cheat on are already instantly smarter.
Studies show that when it comes to infidelity, men are more likely to be motivated by sexual urges. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to cheat because of emotional dissatisfaction.
Lesson #2: What you do with your smarts is a completely different story. The best revenge is not getting even. The best revenge is success.
While getting even can motivate a woman who had just been cheated on to move on and move up, the man is still included in the equation. Does he really deserve that power though? No.
“The funny thing was that by the time we had our husbands just where we wanted them, revenge somehow didn’t seem so important. So, we came up with something better.” – Annie MacDuggan Paradis
Lesson #3: Family comes first, but that doesn't mean condoning your relative’s wrongdoings.
Realizing they needed a spy on the inside, Annie talks to her daughter Chris (played by Jennifer Dundas) to try and get her in on the plan. Chris is more than willing to join in.
Lesson #4: You never go after the other woman.
It’s okay to hate her guts, but your beef really isn’t with her, is it?
In the film, Elise Elliot takes the high road and even gains the love and affection of her ex-husband’s younger mistress, Phoebe. Woman empowerment might be the hardest thing to reinforce after having your man snagged by another woman, but remember: A woman never steals another woman’s husband; they go willingly.
Lesson #5: A relationship torn apart by infidelity does not define you.
It's worth considering that "wife" or "girlfriend" is just one of the many amazing, kick-ass labels of a woman who had just been cheated on. What about career woman? Mother? Friend? Philanthropist? The rest of your world (along with your other roles) shouldn’t have to come crashing down just because he couldn’t keep it in his pants.
Lesson #6: A strong independent woman can never be kept down by a cheating man.
The First Wives Club finale says it best: