What 'Beaches' Gets Right About Female Friendships

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Female friendships are just as nuanced and layered as any other relationship on the human spectrum, but you wouldn't know that from watching most television shows and movies. Some women are portrayed as frenemies, constantly undercutting the other to get ahead (see Bride Wars), while others are portrayed as exceptionally close, with no room for separation (think Gilmore Girls, without the mother-daughter thing). What I liked about Lifetime's Beaches remake, though, was that it showed how Hillary and CC could simultaneously love each other and absolutely hate each other. Just like in the movie, this new Beaches really nailed the nuances and underlying support that exists in many real female friendships.

Hillary and CC meet on a boardwalk in L.A. in the Beaches remake (in the original, they met in Atlantic City), and they’re friends pretty much from the onset. They write letters, send texts, and talk on the phone, until Hillary decides that she hates her job as a lawyer and shows up at CC’s doorstep looking to sleep on her couch. The two live together for a while, and it’s mostly copacetic and even happy — until they both become interested in the same man. This is where Beaches differs from other media.

While many shows and movies would likely have CC and Hillary fighting to the bitter end over John, things take a different turn here. Hillary has to rush to her father’s side, plus she didn’t like John all that much anyway, and CC halfheartedly scoops him up, mostly, I think, so she wouldn’t have to be alone in Hillary’s absence. They are competitive not for the sake of being competitive, but because they don't know how to articulate their feelings.

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Later, after their big, blowout fight and eventual makeup, the two utter one big, great, truthful piece of dialog — Hillary says that the longer she didn’t call CC, the easier it became, and CC says that the longer she didn’t call, the harder it became. They scream and they fight and they call each other selfish, but in the end, it is CC who comes to Hillary’s aid, nursing her through the last years of her life and eventually taking care of her daughter.

Women are often portrayed as catty, but that’s not the case for most of us. What is shown in Beaches is so much more representative of the big friendships in my life. We scream, we fight, and we disagree, but I can still call on my friends for anything, just as I would a sister. Beaches shows that the intimacies of female friendship are not only just as intricate as those of a romantic relationship, but that they’re just as important, too.