Remakes are a dime a dozen these days and viewers are absolutely sick of them — and for good reason. Some things are just better left in the past. But while remakes have received a bad rap these last few years, Beaches is more than just another poor attempt to recapture the charm of a classic film. The Lifetime remake actually had a lot going for it. Nobody can truly replace Bette Midler in the role of C.C. Bloom, but Idina Menzel tried her darndest — and she almost succeeded.
Not familiar with the Beaches craze? Here's the CliffsNotes version: C.C. Bloom and Hillary Whitney meet by chance as young girls. They are separated soon after meeting, but they become pen pals and best friends, sharing all of the dirty details of their lives with one another. Their friendship experiences many ups and downs, but no matter how far apart they are physically and even emotionally, they always manage to find one another again. Ultimately, their beautiful friendship transcends generations, with Hillary's daughter and C.C. finding solace in one another in the aftermath of a tragedy.
The Lifetime remake stayed true to the original in some ways but also frequently departed from it. For example, the gals' first meeting definitely did not involve C.C. taking a drag of a cigarette.
The differences were necessary in part because, as amazing as she is, Menzel just wouldn't be believable as a direct imitation of Midler. She had to adapt the part a bit to fit her personality. Unfortunately, those small changes took something special from the story. We lost those seemingly inconsequential moments that made the original version more than just another sappy film. While the original packed an emotional punch, it was hard to think of the remake as anything other than nice.
Nice isn't necessarily bad, though, and the remake of Beaches was certainly enjoyable. It just didn't live up to its full potential, and that's disappointing, given Menzel and Nia Long's undeniable talent.
The response on Twitter was decidedly mixed, with a few die-hard Beaches fans just happy to have the film back and others trashing the film before they even gave it a chance. Most people were somewhere in between, with several claiming that they came away feeling just a bit disappointed.
C - at best. Nothing against Indina or Nia, but...it just felt rushed and lacked something. #Beaches— Ebony (@hey_ebie) January 22, 2017
Lifetime's remake of Beaches was far from awful, but it could have been so much better. Still, there's no denying that this story of friendship is touching and that Idina Menzel's voice is amazing. The remake is still worth watching — you just can't go in expecting Bette Midler.
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