Ask the founding members of THE FIRST WIVES CLUB: What made masses of women ages 25 and older defy long-established patterns by rushing to buy opening-weekend tickets like a crazed herd of young male action-movie fans stampeding to the 16th Die Hard sequel?

"To tell you the truth, I just don't have a clue," says Bette Midler. "But I'm so excited I couldn't care less." "Do you believe it?" asks Diane Keaton, "I just thought it was going to be a nice comedy," she says. Only Goldie Hawn asserts that while she didn't necessarily expect such success, "I totally get it."...

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