Story of this engaging tearjerker [from the novel by Iris Rainer Dart] is one of a profound friendship, from childhood to beyond the grave, between two wildly mismatched women, a lower-class Jew (Bette Midler) from the Bronx whose every breath is showbiz, and a San Francisco blueblood (Barbara Hershey) destined for a pampered but troubled life. Men, marriages and career vicissitudes come and go, but their bond ultimately cuts through it all.
Midler’s strutting, egotistical, self-aware character gets off any number of zingers, but all in the context of a vulnerable woman who seems to accept, finally, that certain things in life, notably happiness in romance and family, are probably unreachable for her.
By way of contrast, Hershey plays her more emotionally untouchable part with an almost severe gravity. Hillary seems to have no real center, which in Hershey’s interpretation could be part of the point, as nothing really works out for this woman who has everything, looks, intelligence, money ”“ going for her.
1988: Nomination: Best Art Direction