Beaches–the controversy

“It must’ve been cold there in my shadow, to never have sunlight on your face. You were content to let me shine…”        Yes, we all know the words. We certainly know who sang them. We remember the first time we saw it…and all the times, again and again, thereafter. The countless tissues, the ice cream, the numerous discussions with friends regarding the emotion, and how we are drawn to watch it whenever it’s on, and just can’t seem to stop ourselves.  How it is a go-to movie for so many of us, when we are in need of a good cleansing cry. This gem, untouchable…or so we thought.  Enter The lifetime Movie channel, circa January, 2017.  WHAT?! There’s a remake?!  How DARE they?! There’s no WAY anyone could do this, or that it could possibly be ANY good.  I actually have friends that boycotted watching it, just on principle. I for one, was torn, but secretly set my DVR. Well, not so secretly. In fact, I put it on Facebook that I was going to watch it.  I mean, Idina Menzel was starring in it, and singing, of course,  and I am a really big Idina fan.  (You know, Adele Dezeem?) Well, I just couldn’t stop myself, and I was very hopeful that it would be sort of good. I mean, it would never beat the original; How could it?  But I just had to see it for myself. And so,  I set myself up, snuggling in under the covers, with some chocolate and a big bowl of popcorn, and the worst cold imaginable…the timing was impeccable.  …and I watched.  At first, I thought it was a corny copy of the original, but then I slowly got sucked in by the two girls who played the characters’ younger selves…two girls, both very talented, and, I found out later (when I watched the “after party” show…yup; I did– no judgement) that they are really best friends in real life, having performed in Matilda together on Broadway, and they even submitted their audition video together…Art, Imitating life. And then, the unexpected happened; I stopped comparing it to the original and began enjoying it. You know, it’s amazing when you watch something decades later, in which you know the story well, and it seems timeless, and then you realize how dated it really is. Now, I’m completely aware that that is part of the charm, and the familiarity, not to mention the comfort of this movie, but CiCi and Hillary’s relationship, to those watching it today, for the first time might seem odd.  They meet as kids at the beach, spend a couple of hours together, write letters for years, and then don’t see each other again until their mid 20s, when Hillary just shows up, having left her current lifestyle. To this generation, keeping in touch via social media, in addition to letter writing, and sending text messages to each other probably makes more sense to them. Just them having cell phones alone is a necessity.  What is ageless though, is the friendship that they share…the triumphs, the tribulations, the falling out, and the coming together when tragedy strikes. Maybe it was time for it to be remade, but, I guess you’ll just have to watch it and decide. Feel free to come on over–I still have it on my DVR, as maybe I’ll watch it again two or three (hundred) times.

 

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