In 2015’s Spy, the movie Beaches is used to denote what a sad-sack alias CIA Agent Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is assuming in her quest for vengeance that just happened to include recovering a nuclear bomb. The wristwatch with a picture of the 1988 film’s two female leads that’s included in Susan’s espionage kit is considered no more appealing than the huge bottle of laxatives (actually some kind of antidote) and an unseemly amount of hemorrhoid wipes (actually chloroform). But the core friendship of that weepy drama can actually be found throughout Paul Feig’s spoof, as the relationship between Susan and Nancy (the delightful Miranda Hart) is the only one we know is intact by film’s end.
We mention Spy’s Beaches reference to provide a grain of salt with which to take the news that Lifetime’s remaking the maudlin movie, because there are certainly ways to invoke that cinematic testament to female friendship without mocking or doubling down on the mawkish factor. Case in point: Deadline reports that the woman-centric network has cast Idina Menzel in the role of C.C., the spitfire singer portrayed by Bette Midler in the original. The Tony-winning singer has plenty of TV and film credits (Glee, Enchanted) to her name, including voicing Elsa in the juggernaut Disney movie Frozen, so we’re not worried about her balancing the drama with the music.
Speaking of, Deadline notes that Menzel will record new versions of “Wind Beneath My Wings” and “Glory Of Love,” in addition to some songs written for the remake. Allison Anders (Murder In The First, Four Rooms) is directing from a script by Bart Baker, who’s writing the Bradley Cooper directorial effort, Honeymoon With Harry. There’s no word yet on who will play Hillary, the poor little rich girl turned human rights lawyer previously portrayed by Barbara Hershey. For that matter, we don’t know who will take a young Mayim Bialik’s place as the young C.C., or who will succeed Lainie Kazan as her stage mother. Garry Marshall movie stalwart Hector Elizondo should be able to reprise his role as a talent show judge, though.