Lifetime’s Beaches remake is a bland trip down memory lane
Nostalgia is all the rage right now. Fuller House is on its second season, and Will & Grace has announced its return to television. Remakes feel inevitable, but not all of them are welcome. When Lifetime announced a re-telling of the 1988 weepy classic, Beaches, it was met with screams and gay gasps. Trust me, not very many people are going to take this bland remake under its wing.
CC (originally played by Bette Midler, here by Idina Menzel) is a dramatic extrovert, and Hillary (originally played by Barbara Hershey, here by an underused Nia Long) is a quiet lawyer. They meet as kids at Venice Beach, become pen pals, and continue their friendship into adulthood. Do they ever meet each other? I’m not sure. Friend each other on Facebook…Twitter…eh, who cares! They are friends because they are different! CC is over-the-top while Hillary is a bit rigid–that’s all you need to know. Apparently, you only need to be a ying to someone else’s yang.
After a ridiculous montage with generic voice over letters passes by, CC and Hillary’s friendship ebbs and flows. They live together for a while, fight over a man, and try to keep in touch as they go through relationships and deal with their every day lives. The problem is that it’s not very interesting or well-written despite some dialogue lift from the original film. Obviously Hillary is a good person because she does pro bono work. Of course CC is a free spirit because she licks her fingers before shaking someone’s hand!
It’s not all bad. We could all use more movies about female friendship (even if stunted fighting over a man makes you cringe). Menzel finally gets to play a part that doesn’t rely on Disney mechanics, and her Bette Midler-blessed version of “Wind Beneath My Wings” is sure to make people weep–even if it’s only nostalgic crying. Thank God she gets to sing because she has to wear a pair of unfortunate hairclips and have bad purple streaks in one scene. At least Long gets to die with dignity and leave this crap behind.
I leave you with this plea. Please stop remaking nostalgic drivel for television. It’s as if you are relying on the announcement to carry you through to good ratings. Beaches is a beloved film classic with two formidable stars. This is as memorable as the last drunken beach party you attended. It’s as enjoyable as finding sand in your bathing suit on the drive home. Create new content!