Beaches (1988)

Director: Garry Marshall
Writer: Mary Agnes Donoghue
Based on: Iris Rainer‘s novel
Starring: Bette Midler, Barbara Hershey, John Heard, Mayim Bialik, Marcie Leeds, James Read, Grace Johnston

CC (Mayim Bialik) and Hillary (Marcie Leeds) meet when they’re 12 years old and despite the fact that their lives couldn’t be any more different, they strike up an immediate and lifelong friendship. While CC dreams of becoming a singer and star to escape her life in the Bronx, Hillary follows her family’s money to an ivy league university. 10 years of pen palness after their first meeting, CC (Bette Midler) and Hillary (Barbara Hershey) move in together and continue to face life together, with all highs and lows.

My sister was appalled when she recently found out that I had never seen this film. She immediately gave me her DVD and told me to watch it because it’s one of her favorite films. Despite that I didn’t think I would like it much (prejudices getting in the way). But it turns out that it really is a beautiful film about a wonderful friendship.

Okay, this film is a completely sappy sobfest. There’s no denying it. I dare you not to have tears in your eyes when Bette Midler starts singing Wind Beneath My Wings (the latest). But a good cry from time to time is a wonderful thing. And this movie delivers that perfectly.

Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey are great together. Even though their friendship sometimes seems to have more lows than highs, it feels utterly real and believable. Though frankly, the real star of the film is Mayim Bialik (who I didn’t even recognize because she looks so freakishly much like Bette Midler) who is an absolute scene-stealer.

And it was just really gratifying to see this story about two women who make their own choices in life and who support each other throughout, even when they don’t agree and who can fight without turning into complete bitches and who can also forgive each other and who just love each other.

Especially since the script is really good. And the pacing is just right. In short, it is just a really satisfying movie experience.

Summarising: Stock up on tissues and chocolate and enjoy.

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