- Associated Press - Friday, January 20, 2017

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - For Idina Menzel and Nia Long, director Garry Marshall’s 1988 melodrama “Beaches,” starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey, is a four-hankie treat.

So why do a remake?

“Why not?” replied Long (“The Best Man Holiday”), pointing to the story’s timeless elements. “It really is a film about friendship and girl power and just living your truth.”

“Beaches” airs Saturday on Lifetime (8 p.m. EST). Based on the 1985 novel by Iris Rainer Dart, it’s the story of childhood friends who have a falling out and are later reunited by tragedy.

Menzel (“Frozen”) said re-recording the original soundtrack’s “Wind Beneath My Wings” - which won Midler a Grammy for record of the year - was challenging.

“So much of it was daunting,” Menzel said. “I was excited, I think, just because I have sung the song my whole life. I was a wedding/ bar mitzvah singer. I had to sing that song to every 13-year-old boy who was dancing with his mom.”

While the 1988 “Beaches” was a musical with drama that focused on Midler’s self-absorbed singer character, the remake from director Allison Anders (“Ring of Fire”) is more of a drama with music. Long gets more time to flesh out her character than Hershey did, though the essential element of the characters’ bond remains the same: Each is seriously flawed, with each making up for the other’s shortcomings.

“Even in the original, their flaws were interesting to me and kind of shocking,” Anders said. “Here, we could just be a little more raw with the messiness of their relationship, but also with the kind of beauty of it, too.”

This is a story of sisterhood - for better or worse. But men are invited to a night at the beach, too: an invitation they may want to take seriously. “They will, if they want to keep their wives,” Long said with a smile.

Added Menzel: “I think that men who are attracted to very strong, powerful women … and are not threatened by that (will like the film). And I’ll just say that with a little wink, especially the day after the inauguration.”

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Online:

https://www.mylifetime.com/movies

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Follow AP Entertainment Writer Mike Cidoni Lennox on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CidoniLennox .

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