Get those hankies ready!
Beaches, a 1988 emotional film about an overprivileged girl’s friendship with a pessimistic entertainer, is getting its very own remake treatment; this time the home of the famous tearjerker will not reside on the silver screen, but instead will find its place on the Lifetime TV network.
Formerly directed by the much-hailed and much-loved director Garry Marshall, Beaches explores female friendships and the different lives two childhood friends can lead. And as of today, Variety has noted that Nia Long has joined the cast for the TV movie as the character of Hillary Essex. Barbara Hershey originally played the role of Hillary twenty-eight years ago, but Ms. Long (who is known for roles in movies such as Friday, Boiler Room, and Keanu) will be adding her own style as she plays the daughter of privilege trying to find her way in life.
As for the starring role, once played by the incomparable Bette Midler, is another actress/songstress with nerves of steel: Idina Menzel (who’s tugged on our heartstrings in movies like Frozen, Rent, and of course as her role of Elphaba in Wicked). Let us hope the sageness and spirit of Ms. Midler and Ms. Hershey will have an effect on this new generation’s sentimental classic.
This new take on Beaches is executive produced by Denise Di Novi (who also produced Edward Scissorhands) and Alison Greenspan (What A Girl Wants), with Bart Barker and Nikole Beckwith writing the script. Production is still underway in Vancouver, but A+E Studios expects the TV film to air on Lifetime at some point in 2017.
In an age of remakes, this might be an off-the-wall choice, but surely we can’t have enough movies about the choices we make for our friends. We can still relate to the central point; inevitably we have all been at the precipice of our new adult lives, and keeping up with friends can be hard, especially ones with so much history. For true friends like CC and Hillary, we can stick it out as they did in the 1988 classic, by writing letters and showing how much we care. There are heaps of accessible themes within Beaches: female friendships, love, family, romance, death, class differences, independence, and all of these are still relevant to an audience today.
With these new casting choices announced, there’s a very good chance that this will be a fitting homage to a once-loved film. Even after rumors of a sequel, the movie never quite materialized, so perhaps this new iteration of Beaches will be the recompense Marshall and his movie deserves.