Bette Midler is a tough act to follow. One must almost go for a completely different interpretation. That wasn't done here. Idina Menzel has the chops as a singer, of course, but beyond that she's no Bette Midler. If she was trying for a different interpretation, it didn't work. In fact, it couldn't have worked. Over 30 minutes were chopped out of the running time as compared to the original. It is extra time that was desperately needed. The character development, the intricacies of the interactions, many of the nuances, all suffered just to get plot points in and leave room for commercials. Nia Long has turned in some brilliant portrayals in other projects. Here, she was mostly underused. Hillary has the more subtle character; it has to be played to CC without being secondary. Nia wasn't given enough screen time to do this. Updating the story didn't help either. There was a unique cachet about pre-gambling Atlantic City in its heyday, along with Broadway in its prime. The present day setting for this version was too bland. (Nuns in sitcoms just don't cut it. Respectable female New York lawyers are old school. The boardwalk in AC has very little charm any more.) There really wasn't any useful reason to update the story anyway, other than to point up that Beaches 2017 isn't Beaches 1988. It certainly isn't.