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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Movie's themes explore the value of enduring friendship, over decades of highs and lows in life and love. The necessity of persistence when pursuing one's dreams.
Positive Role Models
The two lead characters remain best friends from the time they are kids and for the rest of their lives. Through ups and downs and years of anger and resentment in which they're not speaking to each other, they still find a way to patch things up. CC tirelessly works to become a successful performer. Hillary rejects the domineering control of her wealthy father and decides to move to New York City and work as a lawyer for the ACLU.
Violence & Scariness
Lead character becomes enraged with a condescending director, punches him and breaks his jaw. A main character dies.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Scene of a couple in bed, talking of how they were "making love" the night before.
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A young girl calls her acting rival a "queer." As an up-and-coming young performer, the lead character performs a bawdy German cabaret song about breasts called "Otto Titsling." In the song, Otto invents the "over the shoulder boulder holder," but a greedy Frenchman with the surname D'Brassiere steals the invention and gets the credit. "Bitch." "A--hole." "Crappy." "F--k."
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Products & Purchases
An advertisement for Allstate Insurance is prominent on the roof of a taxi.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Lead character gets severely drunk when her heart gets broken. She's shown being taken back to her apartment by the police, and as a police officer walks her to her apartment door, lead character stumbles and lurches while yelling in a belligerent manner. A tween girl smokes cigarettes under the Atlantic City boardwalk. An old alcoholic homeless woman lives on the stoop of the lead character's apartment building, is often shown passed out on or near the steps with a bottle of booze clenched tightly in her hands. Wine drinking amongst friends.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Beaches is a 1988 dramedy in which Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey play two opposite characters who forge a friendship lasting for decades. The movie is the epitome of the term "tearjerker," and could be a bit too intense for viewers struggling to cope with the death of a loved one. As CC, Bette Midler's character, makes her way up the Broadway performer ranks, she's shown performing a German cabaret-style song called "Otto Titsling," in which the story of the invention of the "over the shoulder boulder holder" is humorously chronicled. Tween CC is shown smoking while underneath the Atlantic City boardwalk. Themes of failed marriages and infidelity recur. Scenes of drinking, including one in which CC, despondent over a heartbreak, gets severely drunk and needs to be escorted back home by the police. Some profanity, including "f--k." A main character dies. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
When you start listing chick flicks, you won't get far without someone mentioning this true tearjerker. Beaches is rather formulaic, but the strength and solidity of Hillary and CC's connection will touch anyone who's ever had a friend, and no matter how absurd the movie becomes –- no neophyte Broadway star could ever afford to lease an apartment like the one CC gets –- viewers will be caught up in the emotion of their story.
The performances are somewhat pedestrian, with the exception of Mayim Bialik, who plays the young CC. Her energy outshines almost everything that follows -- she was born to play the young Bette Midler. This isn't a perfect film, but it's fun in a weepy way, and would make great viewing for mothers and daughters on a girls' night in, assuming that the daughters could handle the emotional intensity. Dads and brothers will probably find that, like the men in the film, they are more or less left on the sidelines.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.