BootLeg Betty

BetteBack April 27, 1989: Beaches – Midler Brings The Movie Alive!

Iola Register
April 27, 1989

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Two little girls meet on an Atlantic City beach; what happens in their lives makes up B e a c h e s , a movie that rivals Terms of Endearment in the number of Kleenexes needed to watch it.

This is a story of two girls who keep their friendship alive through letter writing. They meet again in New York City, after many years and many letters of exaggerated success.

Hillary W hitney (Barbara Hershey) goes to New York to find her “old” friend after leaving her life of luxury and her controlling family. She finds CC Bloom (Bette Midler) singing to a few people in a dark jazz club, far from the crowds she had written about.

The resulting story is predictable. CC finds success in theater, movies, and singing while going through a short marriage.

Hillary finds success in law and parenting while going through a short marriage.

CC wants what Hillary has and Hillary is jealous of CC’s fame.

Their friendship is tested the most when Hillary finds out she is dying. The characters change during this emotional time and come to realize how much they mean to each other.

What develops are scenes of high emotion between Midler and Hershey. These two actresses work well together and make the thin plot more
believable.

But, despite the fine acting, there are many flaws in this movie and the predictability is just one of them. Due to how the story is told, it is hard to understand the friendship at times.

Hershey’s character isn’t always likeable and she has many personality changes that aren’t consistent. It is hard to understand how the vital and life-loving character she was in the first part of the movie could give up on life like she docs near the end of the film.

Another relationship that is hard to understand is the one between CC and her husband.

There is never any real reason given for their divorce.

Both CC and her husband say they love each other, but they split up anyway. The movie explains this by saying that the characters would end up hating each other. There is never any scenes that show why they can not work things out.

Time periods arc skimmed or even skipped in the film and many relationship s aren’t thoroughly explored. I came away from the movie feeling as if I didn’t really know many of the characters.

But in all, I enjoyed the movie. The reason behind this had to be the performance of Bette Midler.

Midler brought the movie alive in every scene she was in, and her singing was as powerful as her acting. CC Bloom was colorful, dominating, funny and caring. It’s too bad there weren’t more of these qualities in the plot.

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