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
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
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**
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
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?
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
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.