A-Z Movie Reviews: ‘Beaches’

Welcome to A-Z Movie Reviews.  Every Sunday, for the next several months, I will be posting a review of a film in my home movie collection.  How it works is, I will be reviewing movies in alphabetical order until I get to the letter Z (Yes, I do have a film that ends in Z).  Now I realize there are many ways to alphabetize a film collection but this is mine so don’t judge me.  This is simply for fun.


Beaches is one of my all-time favorite films.  The first time I saw it, I was a kid.  It was so surprising to me that at such a young age I gravitated towards a movie like that.  I think it’s probably because my sister is my best friend and any movie about friendships has always been important to me.

What it’s about: 

A privileged rich debutante and a cynical struggling entertainer share a turbulent, but strong childhood friendship over the years.

Beaches taught me so many things growing up and to this day I still feel the same way I did then.  For this week’s review I’m doing something a little different and telling you the 5 things Beaches taught me.

We Will Drop Everything For Our Friends 

Beaches' Is Garry Marshall's Weepy Masterpiece
The Daily Beast

When CC (Bette Midler) got the call that Hillary (Barbara Hershey) was in the hospital, she was in the middle of a soundcheck for her show that night at the Hollywood Bowl.  She immediately left and did everything she could to get to San Francisco.  When she wasn’t able to get a flight because of the weather, she rented a car and drove all the way there in the middle of the night.  For CC, her friendship meant more to her than anything in the world and she wanted to be there for Hillary.

Never Let A Man Come Between Your Friendship

On Beaches And “Beaches” (1988) - The Hairpin
The Hairpin

Hillary and CC both really liked John (the late John Heard) and could you blame them, he was so handsome.  A cute guy can definitely come between friends.  CC met John first and it seemed he was into her until he saw Hillary.  He was immediately drawn to her and right off the bat it was obvious that was going to cause a rift between Hillary and CC.  John started dating Hillary but after she had to head back home to be with her dying father, he and CC got together and ended up married.  


While Hillary is back home, she herself gets married but when she comes to visit CC and John, there seems to be a little animosity over her being with John.  The two of them get into a huge fight over him and they stop talking for awhile.  I’m not sure how long exactly they go without speaking but it clearly hurts them both and they eventually make up.  The two of them realized that their friendship meant more to them than any petty jealousy they had.

Art Comes In All Forms

Bette Midler GIF

I always loved the performance scenes that CC has in Beaches but my favorite has always been the scene when she does Johns show “Earth Mother Bloom.”  As a kid, that performance always stood out to me and I love when Bette Midler sings “Oh Industry” because it was so modern.  I think it was what made me want to do plays as a kid.

Even With Friends You Can Still Be Lonely

Way Too Shay: Beaches is a movie full of jerks

As Hillary and CC grew up, they were communicating all the time as pen pals.  During that time, they were leading very separate lives.  Hillary became a lawyer, and CC became an actress.  Although they were best friends, at times they each felt left out.  When Hillary came to stay with CC in New York, she had moments when she felt like she was standing in CCs shadow and vise versa.  As we grow up, we all lead different lives and it causes us to leave our friends behind.  It’s never intended but it can happen.

Friends Lift Each Other Up

Lifetime's 'Beaches': Charting what's old, new
USA Today

No matter what we are going through in life, we can always count on our friends to lift us up.  Hillary and CC had many ups and downs in their friendship but no matter what they were going through, they always found a way to support each other.  When CC felt like giving up while trying to pursue her career, Hillary was her biggest cheerleader and didn’t let her.  When hillary was pregnant and feeling like she was all alone, CC was there for her every step of the way.

Other Thoughts

Beaches - Movies on Google Play
Google Play
  • I just learned Beaches is based on a book by Iris Rainer Dart and now I must read it. 
  • Mayim Bialik  is such a perfect young CC.  She nailed every single one of adult CCs mannerisms and her performance still makes me smile. 
  • I had a pen pal from Africa when I was in school but we never met.  To this day, I still wonder what happened to her when I stopped receiving letters.
  • In a way Facebook has turned into the new way of having a pen pal since you can be friends with anyone from all over the world now. 
  • I just realized the first time I heard a bra referred to as an “Over the shoulder boulder holder,” was in Beaches
  • Hillary’s husband Michael (James Read), was and is still an asshole to me.
  • Bette Midler hair went through many phases throughout the film and they weren’t all good ones.
  • Don’t ever date your friends gynecologist.  Just don’t do it.
  • Hillary had viral cardiomyopathy which the doctor said would always cause her to have shortness of breath so why the hell wasn’t she on oxygen all the time?
  • Seriously, being a nurse, I just realized this now.  Maybe if she had some oxygen all the time, she wouldn’t have passed out and could have been in better shape.
  • I thought I could make it through the movie without crying but nope, still not possible.
  • Everytime Victoria (Grace Johnston) finds Hillary passed out on the floor and she screams “I don’t know what to do,” I lose it.  Finding your mom passed out is traumatic especially if you’re a little kid.
  • Listening to Bette Midler sing “Wind Beneath My Wings,” during all of Hillary’s final scenes, still makes me cry like a baby.  I’m talking choked up, get me several kleenex type of tears. 

Beaches is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video

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