Give me a moment to wipe my eyes before we start the review… Somehow I missed Beaches when it hit the theaters and only watched it for the first time today.
The penultimate chick flick, Beaches is the story of how two girls from different walks of life, growing up on different coasts, forge a lifelong friendship through letters.
Barbara Hershey (Hillary Whitney) and the wonderful Bette Midler (C.C. Bloom) play the adult friends, while Mayim Bialik — a hoot on The Big Bang Theory — bears an uncanny resemblance to Midler as the young C.C.
Hillary and C.C. meet on the beach in Atlantic City in the 1950s and return to their separate lives after just one afternoon together. But the girls write letter after letter through the years. In fact, this film was made in 1988, one of the last years that people still kept in touch through mail, before the advent of email, cell phones and social media.
“Dear C.C., We’re spending the summer at our beach house. It’s very peaceful here. I get to ride horses and think a lot. I miss you.”
[To Hillary] “Ride? All I ride is the subway. Leona won’t pay for me to go to Julliard so I have to keep taking dancing and singing from Mrs. Jean Caton, the Freaky Fred Broadway star…I got to sing at my father’s dry cleaning convention…”
They grow up, C.C. trying to jumpstart her singing career in New York while Hillary studies law at Stanford. C.C. addresses letters to her as “Dear WASP Queen,” while Hillary writes of joining protest rallies and being called a “radical” by her father.
Their lives intertwine for a brief spate sharing a rundown apartment in New York before spinning off into different directions once again.
They fall in love with the wrong men, fight, stop writing to one another, and then reconnect. Midler sings, the beach scenes are beautiful, and…well…watch with tissues handy.
Whatever new friends we make in life, our oldest friends fill a special niche. “Listen, I know everything there is to know about you and my memory is long, my memory is very long,” C.C. says to Hillary. And should she ever forget, the letters are there to remind her.
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