When the original Beaches film came out in 1988, I had just graduated from college. I related to the story of the two best friends but could not truly appreciate what it meant to a friendship survive though all the various stages of adult life. I hadn’t really experienced that much in life. I hadn’t relocated for a job or ever really been in love. I had no idea what it meant to be married or to be a mother. And I had never had a lifelong friend who was very ill.
Still the movie touched me. I remember meeting young C.C., then played by Mayim Balik who would go on to Blossom fame (and then The Big Bang Theory.) Her casting was sheer perfection and I cannot imagine anyone else playing Bette Midler’s daughter. I remember the amazing, bigger-than-life talent of the Divine Miss M. I could never forget her singing of the film’s theme song, “Wind Beneath My Wings,” which still gives me chills when I hear it now.
The story of C.C. and Hilary is a love story in the way the best friendships are. Reminiscing about it now, I see it as a cross between a female buddy movie like Thelma and Louise with the poignant depiction of dealing with a sick loved one, like in Terms of Endearment.
The Lifetime movie casts Idina Menzel as C.C. and Nia Long as Hilary. I am interested in seeing what these two bring to the roles. Hopefully Menzel and Long will have equally good chemistry as the original stars and bring the story to life. Menzel definitely has an incredible voice and I am sure her rendition of the theme song will be amazing.
It’s not just the leads that are different in this version of the movie. I will be different. I am almost 20 years older. I will be watching this story and have a better understanding of the ups and downs that the women are experiencing. I am now a wife and a mother. I have been a caretaker to someone that has been very ill. And I have had friends now that have been with me on this life journey since high school. I cried when I watched the original and I wonder if I will cry even more now because I will relate more to the main characters. I will grab a box (or two) of Kleenex and find out this Saturday.
The remake of Beaches will premiere Saturday January 21 at 8/7c on Lifetime.