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Crying During 'Beaches,' No Longer A Solo Activity


NYC theater to host Bette Midler cry-a-long

When's the last time you cried in a giant crowd of people? The first time you saw Titanic? Your high school graduation?

Whenever it was, prepare to do it again. On January 28, the 92nd Street Y TriBeCa in New York will host a Beaches cry-a-long--and the programmer of the event is encouraging "shameless weeping." After all, the movie, which stars Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey, has plenty of tear-inducing material: romantic entanglements, failed marriages, and--of course--a fatal illness.

When Beaches came out in 1988, critics didn't love it so much (one called it "condescending," another called it "unbearably schmaltzy"), but it's gained something of a cult following in the last two decades or so. It has an 85% audience approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes (based on about 69,000 reviews), and it seems to strike just the right balance between melodrama and light comedy.

Whether you've seen the movie or not, the cry-a-long sounds like it will be fun and cathartic: programmer Cristina Cacioppo predicts that people will be "crying so much that [they're] laughing."

Unless the person next to you has an ugly crying face (see: Helen in "Bridesmaids"), it should feel liberating to let it all out in public. The only thing you should be worried about, really, is what to bring. A gallon of ice cream? A box of chocolates? A grief counselor?

Better yet, Cacioppo plans on holding more cry-a-longs in the future: titles thrown around include Steel Magnolias and Terms of Endearment. No word yet on whether they'll be showing The Notebook, but the Beaches cry-a-long should satisfy in the meantime.

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Evan Lambert