Diana Vacc sees ‘Beaches’

Why in the name of creativity are these women smiling?

by Diana Vaccarelli

No spoilers here because it’s already spoiled!

Last month Lifetime premiered yet another remake Beaches.  As a feature film, Beaches was a moving drama following two young friends and their relationship throughout the years. Unfortunately, the only thing moving in this television film was my gag reflex.     

THE GOOD:

  • Nia Long gave a gut wrenching performance as the introverted Hillary Whitney. This performance is heartfelt and breathtaking.  I felt sympathy for her and was rooting for her to survive her disease.  One scene that stood out in particular is when Hillary is watching her young daughter Tori play with CC on the beach and smiles at the two of them. This scene represents hope, showing that Hillary knows that her daughter is going to be okay and that she can let go.   

THE BAD:

  • Where to begin? Lifetime, was it really necessary to remake such a classic? The writers, Bart Baker and Nikole Beckwith, didn’t come close to capturing the magic of the original. The original worked so well because of the chemistry between stars Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey.  Those two perfectly displayed that the characters have been friends for a lifetime. Here…it’s like they just met during casting.
  • Idina Menzel portrays the character of CC Bloom made iconic by the Divine Ms. M aka Bette Midler.  Menzel as the character is annoying and frustrating.  At a pivotal moment of conflict between the two heroines, Menzel destroyed all credibility, yelling in a way that made listening even more painful than having to endure nails scraping on a chalk board. It’s not like me hate on an actor, but I wanted to slap her. Menzel’s vocal range as a singer matched Midler’s, but her acting in this film never comes close.
  • The scenes that were supposed to be funny weren’t at all comical. Writing flaw? Acting flaw? Directing flaw? I think the responsibility lies squarely on the shoulders of whomever made the decisions that brought all the participants together.

THE REST:

The remake of Beaches has no reason to exist.  It was completely unsatisfying. I can’t think of anybody I know to whom I would recommend it.  


Diana Vaccarelli is TVWriter™’s Critic-at-Large and one of the best people we know. Find out more about her HERE