*May Contain Spoilers*
I’d heard a lot about this movie. That it was heartbreaking, inspiring, etc. A feel good but also make you cry type of movie. And of course the rumours were all true, I just barely kept from crying.
The movie starts with CC Bloom (Bette Midler) receiving a letter and immediately taking off for places unknown despite having an upcoming show (she’s a singer) that night. As she drives, the movie drifts into flashbacks.
The setting appears as a beach and a young girl named Hillary Whitney (Marcie Leeds and then later Barabara Hershey) is lost and can’t find her way back to her hotel. She meets a young CC (Mayim Bialik) who was hiding under the boardwalk smoking and they quickly become fast friends when CC says she’ll help her find her hotel. First though, CC has an audition which Hillary attends and discovers that her new friend is truly talented. Living on opposite ends of the country, they become pen pals and continue writing to each other for many years until Hillary, now a lawyer, decides she needs a change and runs away to New York where CC, a struggling singer, takes her in. They become roommates and both start doing what they love, just trying to be happy and enjoying each other’s friendship.
Turmoil of course comes when they both like the same man and then Hillary’s father becomes sick. After she returns to care for her father they still write, but their lives drift somewhat apart. Hillary marries her father’s lawyer and tries to be happy despite his wandering ways and CC marries her director, who always carried a torch for Hillary and doesn’t know what to do with CC’s boundless ambition. CC becomes successful and Hillary a housewife and when they next meet up they find it hard to like the new people each other has become. They don’t reunite until Hillary finds herself single and pregnant and CC divorced and her star falling.
They both, with the help of each other, find their way back to success but then discover that Hillary has caught a rare heart disease. Her daughter is now older and very high spirited and CC finds it hard to get along with her and wants to be there for her friend. The three must find ways to deal with Hillary’s sickness and remain close while discovering what true friendship is.
Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey both do a wonderful job playing the two very different friends in this film. They both have a lot of character and Bette especially has a vivaciousness that is hard to ignore. The daughter (Grace Johnston) does an ok job but its hard to recognize her with such acting powerhouses in the movie as well. The two do a great job of expressing friendship with its ups and downs and how together, two people can be happy and have an everlasting friendship despite their differences.
The music in this film was of course wonderful. Midler has a great voice and her ever popular “Wind Beneath My Wings” really steals the show. It’s a well known song and used for a variety of events (we sang it in school when a beloved principal retired) and definitely expresses a lot of emotion. Hearing it in the proper context with the movie made it that much more poignant. The other music was good too although I do have to say I didn’t care much for the variety type “show” that Bette sang and acted to in the movie.
There are some hard lessons in this film. Friends can find it easy to betray each other and after doing so, it takes a lot to repair the friendship. But it can be done. Its all about choices and I think the movie does a great job of showing how different choices affect people.
The only thing I didn’t really like about this movie was CC Bloom some of the time. I found her younger self obnoxious and couldn’t really connect with the older CC Bloom. I understand that she was supposed to be somewhat self absorbed but that made it hard to understand or relate to her sometimes. I guess that is just a testament on how well her character was played though and the fact that she had imperfections is a positive.
Sad movie, an absolute tear jerker, but worth the watching. It seems that it would be appropriate for all ages. I don’t see viewers who prefer action or horror type films liking the movie too much, but it is perfect for those who like chick-flicks.