New vs. Classic 'Beaches': 13 Changes Lifetime Made to the Beloved Tearjerker


WARNING: Spoiler alert! If you've never watched Beaches, read at your own risk.

We still haven't stopped crying 30 years after Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey starred in late director Garry Marshall's crushing cult classic Beaches.

Now, with Frozen star Idina Menzel playing Midler's iconic "C.C." Bloom role and Nia Long as her ailing best friend, Hillary Whitney, the gut punch of a weepie has returned thanks to a Lifetime remake (hey, ladies and gay men, it's not bad!) to offer new generations of sad-movie lovers years of sloppy sobfests.

Though the 1988 dramedy's themes of friendship, loyalty and loss remain intact, check out some of the major changes made to this contemporary take on the ultimate chick flick.

1. No Letter Writing Because 2017 and Smartphones

Good ol' letter writing was a delightful pastime -- and one of Beaches' now-nostalgic charms -- until email, iPhones and smiling poop emojis forever changed communication. Though we never see an emoji exchange, Long's Hillary writes via AOL Messenger and also pulls a Scream-like stunt, sending C.C. a photo-text of C.C. when she makes a surprise appearance during a lounge performance. Imagine these girls with Snapchat!

2. New "Beaches" Got the Integration Memo

"I'm your only ethnic friend," Midler's C.C. writes Hillary in an unanswered letter after their falling out. In the remake, Menzel's C.C. actually has a dear friend who happens to be black, but because it's 2017 and this is how integration should work, race isn't made an issue.

3. No Class Distinction, Either

When Hillary and C.C. meet at the Venice boardwalk in Los Angeles (in the 1988 film, they met at the boardwalk in Atlantic City), there's no indication that Hillary's family is well-off. Rich, poor -- when it comes to friendship, neither matters.

4. We Don't Have to Wait Forever for C.C. to Get to the Hospital

Scenes featuring Midler's C.C. are teasingly interspersed with flashbacks as a lead-up to C.C making a mad dash to her sick friend, Hillary. C.C. drives and drives and drives. Naturally, it's pouring rain. And oh, there's fog too -- because of course there's fog. It seriously takes her almost the entire length of Lifetime's remake to get to the hospital. Comparatively, Menzel's C.C. is there in a matter of a few scenes, with no metaphorical rain to stop her.


5. The C.C.s Take Different Paths on Their Rise to Fame

If we're being honest, both C.C.s worked some ludicrous jobs to get their showbiz careers off the ground. Lifetime's version proves that when it comes to those gigs, there are still plenty of them to go around. Though we loved Midler playing a trashy hooker, a birthday singer dressed in a bunny suit and an Annie lookalike in a boob-centric Broadway revue called "Sizzle ’76," Menzel gets a fair shake at some pretty horrible roles too. If you've ever wondered what Idina Menzel's chihuahua bark sounds like, wonder no more. Plus, she plays a nun and, for a corporate training video, the "secretary who spills coffee on her keyboard and breaks the 'no liquid rule.'"

6. New "Beaches" Has a New Motto

In their darkest hours, Hillary and C.C. lift each other up with a new, for-these-times Beaches mantra: "Not all strength is loud." **Cue the ugly cries**

7. Dated Anti-Feminist Trope: Let It Go!

Thankfully, the PC remake doesn't have C.C. telling Hillary's gyno that she'd consider forfeiting her dream career to marry "the right guy." In fact, that backward-thinking plotline in the update is, fortunately, dropped completely. New C.C. can thrive on her own… with her best friend by her side.

8. Goodbye, Shoulder Pads

Though we get a taste of the '80s in a childhood flashback (booty shorts!), shoulder pads are a relic that, like the rest of us, new Beaches was probably very happy to abandon. Additionally, an elegantly styled Menzel leaves Midler's sometimes dowdy wardrobe where it belongs: in the past.


9. New Songs: Idina Covers The Pretenders

Remember when Hershey and Midler sang the saddest version of "You Are My Sunshine" you've ever heard en route to the beach? How about Midler's exquisite take on Randy Newman's "I Think It's Going to Rain Today"? It’s a shame that neither is heard in the remake. Instead, Menzel aptly takes on The Pretenders’ “I’ll Stand By You" (replacing Midler's "Under the Boardwalk"), Peggy Lee’s “I Can Hear the Music" and "Last Time," from the singer's 2016 release, idina.

10. No Actual Horses on the Beach

The original: There are people riding horses on the beach. The remake: There are no people riding horses on the beach. (I've never seen a person ride a horse on a beach.)

11. New C.C. Knows the Art of Instant Rebounding

Midler's C.C. fumed when she found out Hillary slept with the man she had her eyes on, John Pierce (John Heard). New C.C.'s reaction is red-hot too, and she gives Hillary an earful about just how unpleased she is when Hillary returns to C.C.'s apartment after breaking the cardinal "Don't Sleep With Your BFF's Crush" rule. After the rant, C.C.'s bedroom door opens and a hot, shirtless man with the perfect beard appears -- and we're all like, C.C., did you ever know that you're our hero?

12. "Wind Beneath My Wings" vs. "Wind Beneath My Wings"

Menzel wasn't about to compete with Midler's iconic, GRAMMY-winning "Wind Beneath My Wings," so she doesn't. The Broadway star's stripped-down rendition is sung over an ethereal, piano-tinged EDM arrangement and forgoes some of Midler's famous, heartfelt ad-libs. Both versions, however, will leave you emotionally bedridden.

13. The Famous Final Scene

It's the most iconic scene in the film: C.C. and Hillary make one last memory together on the beach. In the original, C.C. attends Hillary's burial service, but in the remake, C.C. and Hillary's daughter, Victoria, fittingly spread her ashes along the beach. What hasn't changed? C.C.'s sweet send-off to Hillary during a final performance of "The Glory of Love" -- and the proven fact that your poor, blubbering self will need lots of wind, wine and even more tissue.

Beaches airs at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21 on Lifetime.