This weekend the fine people at Lifetime debuted a remake of a classic film from the 1980s, Steel Magnolias.
Said remake was a huge hit for Lifetime on Sunday night.
The remake, this time starring an all-black cast including Queen Latifah, Phylicia Rashad, Alfre Woodard and Jill Scott, was watched by over 6 million people -- huge numbers for Lifetime.
Let's Re-Do Girl Films
Remakes are often made for the big screen but this television experiment proved to pay off.
Those remakes are also often big-budget, hardcore CGI and effect-heavy movies that strive to improve on the originals.
They usually fail. (Hello Total Recall!)
Just because there’s more money and fancier technology doesn’t mean there’s going to be a better movie.
Everyone knows it’s easy for any action-movie remake to become overblown and confusing with little for an audience to cling to that isn’t red flames and booming explosions.
Lifetime may have hit the nail on the head with their remake of Steel Magnolias.
The 1989 version starring Sally Field, Daryl Hannah, Dolly Parton, Olympia Dukakis, Shirley MacLaine and chick-flick magnate, Julia Roberts, was actually itself an adaptation of a play that debuted two years earlier.
Instead of remaking sci-fi movies and action series and angering the fanboys of the world, let’s remake women’s movies.
Chick flicks. Girl films. Whatever you want to call them.
Here are three fairly recent films featuring ladies that could and should be remade for TV:
1) You’ve Got Mail
Again, You’ve Got Mail was itself already a remake of a classic film from the 1940s, The Shop Around the Corner, starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullivan.
And that film was an adaptation of the play, Parfumerie. See how fun this game is?
In the new version the two main characters, both unlucky in love, correspond and fall in love using an online dating site.
Each is too shy to use a real photo or any real information about themselves.
As with many who use online dating their profiles are full of fake information -- provided by their nosy best friends, of course.
Their online conversations are wonderful and romantic. They're both so busy with their careers that they have no time to meet and only virtual chat into the wee hours of the night.
To complicate things, they are business rivals (of course) and also have a volatile Twitter relationship, each trash-talking the other’s business ventures.
In the penultimate scene they finally meet via Skype, on their phones, and discover that the other person is actually on the other side of the Empire State Building!
They drop their smart phones and run to each other.
Yeah, something had to get sad.
Beaches was adapted from a novel of the same name and is the classic tale of best friends whose relationship spans 30 years.
All the love and tragedy and, oh man, there will be tears at the end.
Beaches can pretty much be adapted verbatim, save for a few reference updates.
The character of CC Bloom, played by Bette Midler in the original, could become a teen sensation like Miley Cyrus or Hilary Duff.
Rich girl Hilary Whitney can also pretty much follow the same track as in 1988, becoming a human rights lawyer, struggling with life, expectations, depression.
The best part is that there’s an opportunity for someone to write a song comparable to “Wind Beneath My Wings” and have a huge, soundtrack mega-hit.
The only question is: which actress/singer is best suited to this role?
A cross between Celine Dion and Rachel McAdams would do nicely.
3) Thelma and Louise
And finally, for the kick-ass portion of our movie adaptation marathon, a film about two women running from all the terrible things in their lives only to find each other.
The original premise still rings true: it can suck to be beholden to dudes, so let’s hit the road.
Since gender inequality never seems to go away there’s no reason not to remake this fine pantheon to feminism and lady outlaws.
The only film that springs from a non-tapped source, meaning it is original material not previously adapted, Thelma and Louise is also the most original and empowering story in the bunch.
The opportunity for two actresses to get their bad-ass on and get in on a road trip movie this amazing is a rare opportunity.
The two leads on the lam could be played by any number of great current actresses in their 30s: Amy Adams, Thandi Newton, Toni Collette, Zoe Saldana, Reese Witherspoon, Beyonce!
Now I’ve got a hankering to watch Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis get in the convertible and take on the world.
Better watch the original first, before pitching this to the networks.