Beaches Remake Review

Lifetime's Beaches Remake: Was It Everything You Would Like It To Be?

Lifetime braved sacred waters on Saturday night, serving up a remake of Beaches, the fondly remembered 1988 feature film that starred Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey.

In this version, Tony winner Idina Menzel and Nia Long played CC Bloom and Hillary Whitney, who as young girls first met not in Atlantic City but on the Venice Beach boardwalk, where they instantly formed a friendship that would first be tested by distance. Yet despite Hillary attending boarding school across the country in Connecticut, and then attending Harvard, the two stayed in touch via letters and email.

Hillary would ultimately bail on toiling for her father’s law firm and instead pay CC a visit, crashing at her very modest apartment. Things went swimmingly until John, the director of the musical CC landed the lead in, set his sights on Hillary. Though the besties weathered that brief storm of jealousy, Hillary would move back East to rekindle things with beau Brian, while CC segued into a starring role on the (dreadful-looking) sitcom Pretty Sinners. As CC’s star rose, the two grew apart — especially when CC was a no-show for both Hillary’s wedding and her father’s funeral. When Hillary made it to L.A. for the premiere of CC’s sitcom, that led to an awkward dinner for them, with John and Brian, until the ladies eventually had it out the next day over brunch. CC argued that Hillary said she would be “coming back” to California, while Hillary taunted CC for her “relationship of convenience,” grabbing John on the rebound from her.

The two scrapped their friendship and went their separate ways, until each of their romances crumbled — John didn’t want to be the dutiful “wife” of a TV star, while Hillary caught baby-resistant Brian with another woman. On top of it all, Hillary was pregnant. The two recommitted to their friendship, as evidenced by CC bailing on a Pretty Sinners comeback to be there for Tory’s birth, and then her racing out of a concert rehearsal upon learning that Hillary has been rushed to the hospital after collapsing.

Afflicted, as her mother had been, with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and possessing rare Type O blood, the prospect for Hillary did not look good, so CC moved East for the summer to take care of her and (slowly but surely) bond with adolescent Tory. After asking CC to take care of Tory (“You’ll be great, eventually”), Hillary passed away in her sleep. Days later, after scattering Hillary’s ashes into the ocean (as “Wind Beneath My Wings” plays), CC invited Tory to come live with her in California. Tory hesitated briefly, but only because she feared CC will change her mind. “No way!” she reassured. “Your mom was stuck with me for 30 years. Now you’re stuck with me, too.”

What did you think of the Beaches remake, and any deviations from the original movie? (I never saw the Midler/Hershey version, and was gobsmacked to realize we never see CC perform “Wind Beneath My Wings” — whaaaaat??)

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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40 Comments
  1. padraicjacob says:

    For a lifetime movie, it was above average. Idina and Nia definitely elevated the material, but so much of the film was rushed. Bette and Barbara Hershey were so great in the original, it’s too bad because these two will be compared to them and pale in comparison. But they were good in their own right.

  2. Dave says:

    It was decent. But so darn rushed. In one segment alone, we had a pregnancy, birth, and collapse. Just rushing through the story too quickly. With some room to breathe, I think the final act would have had more impact. Menzel and Long were quite good though and I’ll definitely be buying the soundtrack. I gave it a B.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      I was agog at how the pregnancy / birth / child aging / collapse was squeezed into, like, three total scenes. I reckon the 123-minute film (versus 88 minutes of TV-movie) gave those developments more play…?

      • Dave says:

        Yup. The motion picture definitely takes time with important moments in both their lives. By the end, your heart is really broken because you feel like you know them so well.

    • Kim says:

      I completely agree. I didn’t have time to get to know these characters or see the friendship grow and change. It all went by so fast.

  3. Not good. Sorry, but her screaming voice is bad. Bad casting. Not a good actor.

  4. wrstlgirl says:

    I really enjoyed it. Remakes are never as good as the original. I went in knowing that. I thought the actors did a great job.

  5. Kim Mills says:

    Had to record it, so just NOW able to watch it…😢😢😢 10 minutes into it,,, and REALLY want to delete it…. Must be OLD SCHOOL.. AND TOTALLY LOVE the original!!!

    • Olga Bogdanov says:

      I’m totally with you. Watched for about 20 min and deleted it. The casting was bad, some scenes were too slow, other ones too rushed. Very unbalanced. Plus the original was one of the best movies of all time. And who can sing like Bette Midler? NOBODY!!!!!

  6. Rick Campoy says:

    What a disappointment! Trying cram a whole story minus emotions and good acting into a short period. The whole story seemed rushed. Never attempt to remake a classic for television. It doesn’t work. Idina Menzel singing is wonderful.

  7. Ian says:

    I thought it was beautiful. Idina and Nia were truly great. I’m not judging it by the original. I did go in already accepting that this was a Lifetime production. All I know is my heart was broken and moved by the end.

  8. Jackie Campa says:

    Cried my eyes out!

  9. MMD says:

    DVR’d it but going to delete it. I was willing to give it a try until I heard a preview of Idina’s Wind Beneath My Wings which I seriously disliked. After reading reviews and comments, it’s gone. Some movies can be updated well, I think I will stay with the original on this one.

  10. Jamie says:

    Couldn’t watch it. Got halfway. So rushed there was no time to even get invested, there was no relationship development that made me care about the characters. It felt bland and cheesy.

  11. VannyGirl says:

    I approached it on its own merit and never compared it to the original. She made Wind Beneath my Wings her own and I liked it. Powerful voice but not soulful. The best friend dynamic was good but an additional 20 minutes would have improved the movie immensely. 3 1/2 Stars (1/2 is for making me cry at the end).

  12. VAleriA says:

    Enjoyed the remake liked the modeened version made it more like today. Cried like I did with first one. Some similarity but Nia and IDINA MADE i t their own

  13. Tennisnsun says:

    I tuned in mainly to hear Idina sing and that was a treat. I did not see the original Beaches so was not influenced by comparing apples to oranges, but I do agree that the movie was rushed and the acting was sub par in most instances.

  14. Kate says:

    So the original is so sacred to me so I saw something missing. Like that they never played up how terrible CC’s life was or that Hillary took from CC’s strength to forge her own path. But the big thing was, even in the original, when they were apart was kind of a drag so it was worse here. It also wasn’t just petty jealousy that separated them it was also that Hilary totally had bent to her father’s will and wasn’t the same and CC was such a self involved diva that she couldn’t see how unhappy they both were. Also, though, the kid. She was very cute and all but she barely ever came around to CC, so when she asks sadly if CC will ever leave, personally that was a new burst of tears just as you were calming down.

  15. Francis Cruz says:

    One of the most touching moments in the original is at the end when Tory asks CC “can I bring my cat?” and it is missing in the remake, Nothing can beat the original!

  16. Saira Kianes says:

    Idina is very talented with great voice. That’s it. She is not an actress. This was insult to the original Beaches.

  17. It was just too rush, but I think this days generation would enjoy it with their rush agendas, they don’t even have time for a slow death.

  18. Jodi says:

    Not sure what I was expecting, the original is my all-time favorite movie. This was definitely rushed and lacked the depth of the original. I also never believed in the characters as the actresses played them. I almost think each was better suited to play the opposite role.

  19. Steph says:

    I couldn’t make it past 10 minutes.
    Please find new material and stop remaking great movies.
    Just setting the new cast up for failure in my opinion. Lifetime did the same thing to Steel Magnolias.
    Just stop it!

    • Danielle says:

      I didn’t watch this version of Beaches, completely based on how bad the remake of Steel Magnolias was. The remake of Steel Magnolias was so awful (they forgot ALL the humor of the original) that I couldn’t bear to see what they did to Beaches.

      • Cindy says:

        That’s funny, I agree that the SM remake was a complete disaster. Hated it. I’m about half way thru Beaches remake and although it isn’t good, it’s not nearly the trainwreck SM was.

  20. Charlotte says:

    Sorry, no, just no.
    The actress who played Hilary was ok. OMG, the actress (I use that term only because apparently when your in front of the camera that’s what they’re called) CC what so hard to watch. Her, “acting” was terrible and why would whoever give her heels when she couldn’t walk in them. Her singing was good, just no where near Bette! I mean this as nice as I can. The little girl was trying way to hard to sound like a sweet little girl voice. Nails to a chalk board sound. ugh
    Normally I love a good Sunday movie. This was/is not.

  21. MLPR says:

    I liked it. It was fine. I gave it a “B”. I have to say, I really liked Idina Menzel in the CC role. I agree it was very rushed.

  22. bigdede says:

    This was like Beaches the CliffNotes version. This movie should have been 3 hours at least. It went by too fast so the emotional beats couldn’t be played correctly. Nia and Idina are two big stars so this movie could have been longer with less commercial breaks.

  23. Can’t they just leave movies alone. Make a spinoff of the original, copy cats don’t work.

  24. Aida Castaneda says:

    I was a bit hesitant for the remake as the original had been my favorite movie. Midway into the movie I realized I was falling in love with the new characters. This movie still makes me cry.
    Great movie but the original is still my favorite . Still I love that it made a come back after so many years :) great job new Cast!

  25. Marietta B Wright says:

    Could only watch about 10min. of it. Was very disappointed!! The original with Bette M. in it was the absolute #1 movie!! Did not need a remake!! Please, the next time you advertise Beaches coming on TV, let us see the original… The real thing!! So disappointed!!😢

  26. Emily says:

    It definitely lacked some of the production value I was hoping for, but then again it was a TV movie. It felt like they could have given the characters a little more organic start. I missed some of the original songs. I agree though, it felt rushed. I just wanted to be able to enjoy the feeling of the story and some of it was missing.

    • Cindy says:

      They could have made time for character development had they left out some of the filler add in songs. They didn’t flesh out Hillary at all.

  27. Cindy says:

    “Not the hand walking queer!” Yeah, you won’t hear that line here or anything not PC. It’s all just so bland. “relationship of convenience ” instead of “marriage of convenience”; kind of loses its sting. And the acting, Nia is an actor and it shows, Idina should stick to singing. Lady can’t act. Perhaps Lifetime should leave the classics alone, they’re beyond their depth.

  28. SDSG says:

    DVR’d Beaches, finally watched it this morning. Truly fell in love, with this movie. I cried like a baby, yes it was rushed, but it affected me the same way as the original Beaches. Nia Long and Idina Mezel, you ladies pulled it off. Please shake off the haters below, they did not give it a chance, some people resist change. Idina loved your musical video, it put a new twist on the song “Wind Beneath My Wings”. I checked it as a keeper on my DVR. Awesome job ladies and Lifetime…

  29. Continia Bobo says:

    To be honest I never knew of this movie before, but was very impressed with what I watched. I will have to try and find the old version. I loved this movie! I laughed, I cried, and totally sympathized with how life played out with THEM. The both of them together playing this movie was a marvel!…just loved. Congrats Nia and Idina.