|Hugh Wilson Director||previously directed Guarding Tess|
After their husbands leave them for younger women and their 'fourth' kills herself for the same reason, three former college roommates plot to get revenge on their ex-guys.
|Goldie Hawn||Elise Elliot|
|Diane Keaton||Annie Paradis|
|Bette Midler||Brenda Cushman|
|Maggie Smith||Gunilla Garson Goldberg|
|Dan Hedaya||Morton Cushman|
|Sarah Jessica Parker||Shelly Stewart|
|Stockard Channing||Cynthia Swann Griffin|
|Victor Garber||Bill Atchison|
|Stephen Collins||Aaron Paradis|
|Elizabeth Berkley||Phoebe LaVelle|
|See Full Credits|
In 1969, college friends Annie, Elise, Brenda, and Cynthia drink a toast pledging to stay friends forever, pose for a photo together, and go to graduation.
In the 1990s, they have drifted apart. Cynthia (Stockard Channing), missing her friends and depressed over her ex-husband’s recent remarriage, commits suicide.
Annie (Diane Keaton) has been comforting her husband, Aaron (Stephen Collins), much to the chagrin of their daughter Chris. Annie and Aaron are separated but seeing the same therapist, Dr. Leslie Rosen (Marcia Gay Harden), which Annie takes as a sign of hope.
Elise (Goldie Hawn), a frustrated and insecure actress who hasn't worked in 18 months, has a meeting for a movie part she really wants. Her estranged husband, Bill (Victor Garber), disregards Elise's success, takes credit for it, and uses it against her in divorce proceedings.
Brenda (Bette Midler), a separated mother with a teenage son, understands that she is aging and fears being alone. Her boss, interior designer Duarto Feliz (Bronson Pinchot), is a good friend and confidant. Her husband Morty (Dan Hedaya) had a mid-life crisis prompted by his young girlfriend, Shelly (Sarah Jessica Parker).
At Cynthia’s funeral, Elise arrives with Guinila Garson Goldberg (Maggie Smith), queen of New York society. Afterwards, the remaining friends reunite, go to lunch together, and catch up on each other's lives.
Brenda runs into Morty and confronts him about her financial troubles, from which he detaches. Shelly insults her at the end of the confrontation. Elise meets with the movie director, who envisions her as the mother of her preferred character, which saddens Elise. Annie meets up with Aaron, who crushes her by demanding a divorce after sleeping with her. He is also engaged to Dr. Rosen, further infuriating Annie.
Each woman receives a letter from Cynthia. They resolve to stand up for themselves and their dignity, and never to let the same things happen to any first wife again, so they form the First Wives Club.
Chris gets a job at Aaron’s agency and tells Annie that his partners want out of the business. Elise gathers her marital assets and sells them to Annie, who puts everything up for auction to buy out Aaron’s partners.
Brenda learns that Morty committed fraud while starting up his business. Guinila and Duarto help the ladies prove the fraud and manipulate Shelly into spending Morty’s money frivolously at the auction.
Elise meets Bill's young girlfriend Phoebe (Elizabeth Berkley), who suggests Elise for a role in his new film -- the role Elise was offered in her earlier meeting.
One night, Annie and Brenda lament that they can’t find anything useful against Bill. This angers Elise, who starts a big fight with Brenda. Annie tries to break it up, only to be double-teamed by Brenda and Elise. The fight ends with all three women yelling and storming off angrily.
After some thought, the friends make up and form a new direction for the club. Elise uses the film role as a front to learn that Phoebe is underage. Elise and Brenda blackmail Morty and Bill into helping them. Annie threatens to take Aaron’s ad agency from him, which would force him to start over again. The wives leverage the men to bankroll the First Wives Club, which builds a center for abused women.
The grand opening of the Cynthia Swann Griffin Crisis Center for Women is a large gala celebrating Cynthia's life and the accomplishment of her college friends, who gathered together to honor her memory. At the gala, Annie explains that each woman has made significant strides in their lives and is moving forward happily.
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