The First Wives Club in 35mm with Kissing Jessica Stein in 35mm

The First Wives Club in 35mm with Kissing Jessica Stein in 35mm

The First Wives Club
A box office smash when it premiered in 1996, this (still!) rare female-driven comedy centers on Elise, Brenda, and Annie (a powerhouse assemblage of Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler, and Diane Keaton), three former college roommates who each finds their marriage in shambles by their mid-forties. Ultimately empowering each other and restoring their dignity—after making brutal jabs at each other—this indelible trifecta serves as a restorative balm for scorned women everywhere. Buoyed by an Oscar-nominated score by Marc Shaiman, Midler captivates as one of the many outwardly Jewish characters in her career, one that never shied away from her family’s heritage.

DIRECTED BY: Hugh Wilson. WRITTEN BY: Robert Harling. WITH: Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler, Diane Keaton, Maggie Smith. 1996. 103 min. USA. Color. English. Rated PG. 35mm. Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive.

Kissing Jessica Stein
Sick of striking out after a series of horrendous blind dates with cringy men, uptight newspaper copyeditor Jessica Stein answers a Women Seeking Women personal ad in the hopes of finding luck in a lesbian relationship. Based in part on their off-Broadway play Lipschtick, costars and writers Heather Juergensen and Jennifer Westfeldt premiered their distinctly queer, Jewish rom-com at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2001, where it received the Audience Award and a Special Jury Prize. Alongside cheers from critics, LGBTQIA+ organizations have praised the film for its bold depiction of fluid female sexuality in a media landscape largely starved of such stories.

DIRECTED BY: Charles Herman-Wurmfeld. WRITTEN BY: Heather Juergensen, Jennifer Westfeldt. WITH: Jennifer Westfeldt, Heather Juergensen, Scott Cohen, Jackie Hoffman. 2001. 97 min. USA. Color. English. Rated R. 35mm. Print courtesy of the DGA Motion Picture Industry Conservation Collection at the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Academy Museum film programming generously funded by the Richard Roth Foundation. 

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