Dick De Jong
November 13, 2012
CC Bloom, played by Bette Midler, is a force of nature, a cyclone of talent and nerves that demands love and attention from everyone around her.
Caught in CC's centripetal tug is Hillary Whitney, (Barbara Hershey), who becomes an instant - and lifelong - friend when they meet-cute as 11 year olds under the boardwalk.
Beaches, which was released in 1988 and now is on Blu-ray, exemplifies a gal-pal, chick-flick movie and I mean that in the best possible way. The relationship between the pre-teen CC (Mayim Bialik) and Hill (Marcie Leeds) sets the stage for sharing life and love's traumas and triumphs.
And even though the extroverted, songstress CC with the wild red mane and the button-downed, lawyer Hillary with the brunette coif seem worlds apart, their bond though often tested is never broken.
But Beaches may best be remembered for its music. "Winds Beneath My Wings" won the Grammy for Best Song of the Year and "Beaches" won Best Album of the Year.
Indeed one of the joys of the movie is watching the Divine Miss M belt out songs like "Under the Boardwalk" and "I Think It's Going To Rain Today." And though CC never performs in the Bathhouses (like Bette did), the movie amuses with the hilariously bawdy production of "Otto Titsling."
Of note, the opening shots of this Blu-ray release seem like they came from an old unrestored print. I'm glad to report that the rest of the 123 minute film, if not pristine, looks much better.
The Bonus features include the "Wind Beneath My Wings" music video, (which features two cute girls instead of the much more interesting looking child stars from the movie) and the prerequisite Bloopers reel.
The most interesting feature was a 2005 interview with Mayim Bialik describing her experience as a naive 12 year old playing the young CC. Depending on when you hit puberty, you either know Mayim from her TV series Blossom, which ran from 1990-95, or her current role as Amy Farrah Fowler in the Big Bang Theory.
Perhaps what is most noteworthy about the Bonus features is the minimal presence of Bette Midler. She is not interviewed and is barely seen in the short "AFI 100 Years...100 Songs with Bette Midler" clip. "Wind Beneath My Wings" ranked 44th on the list.
I enjoy the audio commentaries on these Blu-rays, but I found the one by Director, Garry Marshall to be more descriptive than informative.
One final footnote, even though Mayim had a good singing voice, Bette wanted another sound for her young self and therefore that is not Mayim's voice in the clip below.
Studio: Touchstone Pictures
Director: Garry Marshall
Cast: Bette Midler, Barbara Hershey, John Heard, Spalding Gray, Lainie Kazan, James Read, Mayim Bialik, Marcie Leeds
Length: 123 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
2.0 Dolby Digital
English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese