In an attempt to get back into regularly scheduled programming – both on the blog and life-wise – I watched a Lifetime movie this week. It was a remake of Beaches, the classic 1988 Bette Midler/ Barbara Hershey friendship drama that I don’t remember ever seeing. This reboot takes the action to 2017 and stars Idina Menzel and Nia Long. It was exactly what I’d expect out of a Lifetime remake of a beloved movie with good actresses in it. Take that how you will.
I thought “didn’t I do a monologue from that for auditions for a while as a kid?” but that was Brighton Beach Memoirs. I think I saw Beaches on TV as a child but I don’t really remember it. Guess what I’m saying is, I’m not expecting to have my memories of Beaches tarnished, I’m just expecting a better-than-usual Lifetime movie.
Concern: The 80s being a flashback. I was alive then!
Part of the time anyway.
CC is Gabriella Pizzolo (Fun Home) and Hilary is Grace Capeless (The Lion King). Goes without saying, they’re adorable and talented in that classic older-than-their-years Musical Theater Child way.
Question: Did they just say this was supposed to be Vegas?
For some reason I thought it was meant to take place in Coney Island or something.
(Per Google, the flashback in the original was set in Atlantic City, which makes way more sense. Sorry. Must have misheard something)
Comment: I can see why people love Beaches.
The segment where the letters are going back and forth is really sweet.
OF COURSE I know Idina is talented. Obviously I loved Rent and Wicked. I don’t dispute that Idina Menzel knows what she’s doing. Just what she’s doing here isn’t working for me. I’m willing to admit the problem is probably me, I just wasn’t expecting to feel this way.
Comment: Love the throwback to Idina’s early lounge/wedding/bar mitzvah singer days though.
Comment: PEN PALS ARE LIKE INTERNET FRIENDS.
I don’t know why it took me this long to realize it, but I suddenly relate to this story more.
Question: Is CC’s apartment really messy or just really cluttered or somewhere in between?
(It’s messy, right?)
Concern: I shouldn’t have laughed so hard at “there’s only one dreidel song.”
Question: There’s gonna be singalongs??
They start singing Oh Come All Ye Faithful and my hopes for this movie skyrocket.
Question: Is the show CC’s in SUPPOSED to be bad?
I legitimately do not know.
(They go on to say that it’s supposed to be good. Huh.)
Comment: Nia’s acting at her father’s funeral.
Concern: This friendship really isn’t bringing out anyone’s best selves
I just can’t imagine being this mean to one of my friends, ever?
Like I said, I don’t have any history with this movie but I was expecting a lot more warm fuzzies. Someone better give someone else a kidney soon.
Comment: I went from zero emotional investment to crying when Idina sang about “don’t let the last time I hurt you be the last time…”
This is either the magical power of Beaches, which I’ve known about for years but never witnessed, or the magical power of Idina Menzel, which I know very well.
I think my lack of investment may be because I never really have friend breakups on purpose, I just sometimes suck at keeping in touch with people on accident.
Comment: I miss the beginning of the part where they’re putting a crib together because it sounds and looks like a commercial.
Like, where one woman would start explaining to the other why she likes her new brand of tampons.
Question: When is something awful going to happen?
Because Hilary is adorably pregnant and happy and CC and Hilary love each other and there’s, like, an hour to go. I’ve started to emotionally invest. IS THIS WHAT EVERYONE WAS REFUSING TO TELL ME ABOUT BEACHES.
Concern: Shit. Hilary’s gonna die. Isn’t she. ISN’T SHE.
Concern: C.C. is singing I’ll Stand By You.
This can’t be good. Hilary now has a precious, beautiful 7-year-old. Oh, no.
Concern: “Mommy is tired.” “You’re always tired.”
Comment: You know you watch a lot of Lifetime movies when you get to the last hour and fully realize that the commercials are gonna start coming every 5 minutes.
Comment: This movie is unexpectedly guilting me for being Type O and unable to donate.
Maybe I’ll work on it.
Comment: Now they’re back to the scene they opened with.
Which means Hilary’s gonna die. Come on, Beaches. This is NOT the week for this.
Comment: “Want to know the most magical thing about being a mommy? I’m always with you.”
Beaches can burn in hell.
Comment: “I want you to take Tory.”
What are you trying to do to me, Beaches.
Comment: “I put it in my will.”
You’re really still going, Beaches.
Concern: Is she going to really die right in the middle of Oh Come All Ye Faithful?
Comment: This movie has been brought to you by Guilt Over Not Donating Blood
Comment: OH WOW. I forgot that (a) Wind Beneath My Wings was from this movie and (b) for whatever reason, I always hated Wind Beneath My Wings.
Like, I’m half sad, half furious that this song is playing.
Comment: I take back what I said about not liking Idina in this role.
Slow burn, was all.
She didn’t. I live.
But you know who doesn’t?
Hilary Whitney. RIP.
Comment: Going from this to Steel Magnolias feels like a very irresponsible programming choice, Lifetime.