a remake of beaches?

Are you sitting down? Lifetime is doing a remake of a the sacred movie known as Beaches. Idina Menzel is taking Bette’s role as Cee Cee Bloom. They have yet to cast the role of the impossibly rich and beautiful best friend (of Barbara Hershey fame) who is still not rich and beautiful enough to avoid the chill of Cee Cee Bloom’s stardom. (“It must have been cold there in my shadow, without any sunlight on your face.”) Get it? Anyway.

You saw that I said Lifetime, right?

I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I love Idina, and it could be fun to see the beloved Beaches plot recast and replayed for a modern time.


However, this is BEACHES, the best friendship movie ever. Who can improve on Bette? Who can improve on Mayim Bialik as young Cee Cee? Even the little girl at the end of the movie who plays Hillary’s daughter is perfectly cast. I can remember with perfect percision the scene when Cee Cee has to break the news that she’s the guardian and after many tears the little girl says, “Can I bring my cat?” And Bette, I mean Cee Cee says, “You can bring any ol’ damn thing you want.”

Okay, maybe I don’t remember with perfect precision. But oh, how I loved to let that movie make me cry. If you’re a girl of a certain age (or a Bette Midler superfan of any age), then you can remember clearly what it was like to see the Beaches for the first time. It was 1988, I was about 12. My best friend Jennifer Winter’s mom, Bonnie, took us to see the movie. And I’m pretty sure she took us another time or that Jennifer and I saw it another time on our own at Highland Park Movie Theater. And then went it came out on video, I saw it another dozen times. I listened to “Wind Beneath my Wings” on repeat for upwards of two decades. It still makes me teary on the occasion that I hear it nowadays.

I also read the book, Beaches: A Novel, which the movie was based on. It was by Iris Dart as was the sequel, the aptly named, Beaches II: I’ll Be There. In the book the little girl Cee Cee adopts is named Nina. Not sure why they changed that in the movie. I guess the screenwriter didn’t think Nina was a Waspy enough name to play the role of Hillary’s daughter. In the movie, she’s Victoria. I also read the sequel. Lots of drugs and drama for Nina in the sequel. Yep.

Obviously I’m going to watch the remake, even though it’s on Lifetime. But can it possibly compare to the original? I think we know it CANNOT, even with Idina, who is great. Bette, however, is one of a kind.

Who should play Hillary? Let’s discuss!

And speaking of friendship, I’m taking a friendship advice break for August, but I will be back in September with a great question about Facebook likes. I have plenty of room for more questions in the coming months. Ask your anonymous question HERE. And to see the topics I’ve covered already, look HERE.

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Nina Badzin is a freelance writer, an advice columnist at The HerStories Project, a book reviewer at greatnewbooks.org, and a co-founder of The Twin Cities Writing Studio. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and four children.

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