Holiday Weekends Really Drive The Boxoffice – A Look Back At “Beaches”

Hollywood Reporter
Martin Grove
Jan 11, 2007

Filmmaker flashbacks:

From Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 1988’s columns: “It’s a good idea to keep an eye on pictures going into limited release for the holidays. Often enough, they turn out to be some of the New Year’s biggest moneymakers …

“This holiday season will see a number of limited openings, including Buena Vista/Touchstone’s ‘Beaches,’ a drama directed by Garry Marshall and starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey. ‘Beaches’ doesn’t arrive until Dec. 21 and Marshall is currently in the thick of post-production …

“This is Marshall’s fifth feature film, following such comedies as ‘Overboard’ with Goldie Hawn, ‘Nothing in Common’ with Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason, ‘The Flamingo King’ with Matt Dillon and ‘Young Doctors in Love’ with Michael McKean. ‘Anytime a film opens I’m always very nervous about it, but I’m very, very pleased with this film because I was just so thrilled with the performances of Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey,’ Marshall notes…

“This is Midler’s first serious film since ‘The Rose’ and the first since then in which she sings. Does Marshall anticipate any resistance from audiences accustomed by now to seeing Midler do comedy? ‘I don’t believe so,’ he replies. ‘This is a fascinating story about two women that spans 30 years and in 30 years there are a lot of laughs. That’s part of what the friendship is about. So people who go to see Bette Midler make them laugh, will laugh. But the story, itself, has a dramatic base. I don’t think the audience will be at all disappointed. It is Bette Midler, I think, at her best doing so many different things in this picture …’

“(One) problem Marshall faced was being in production during the writers strike: ‘It was a directing challenge for me because I am basically a writer and that’s a tool I always use when I direct. If a scene is not quite working, I’ll sit down and rewrite it. In this case I couldn’t do that. I would not write during the strike. So I had to find ways of doing it as a director with the camera or movement or something and that was very challenging. It was a whole different experience and, I think, I’m far better for it. The girls both can improvise a bit, but we had a very good script going in …”

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