Thursday, September 6, 2012

Terms of Endearment

Terms of Endearment (1983)

Directed by James L. Brooks

Screenplay by James L. Brooks

Based on the novel by Larry McMurtry

Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson, Jeff Daniels, John Lithgow, Danny DeVito, Lisa Hart Carroll, Huckleberry Fox and Troy Bishop

Terms of Endearment has been a movie that I have been avoiding for the longest time, because I cannot stand obvious tearjerker movies. Since I'm doing a blog-a-thon, I might as well add this movie to the list. The movie was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and won five including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screeplay for James L. Brooks, Best Actress for MacLaine and Supporting Actor for Nicholson.My only thought is why did this movie get so much acclaim?

An overbearing mother Aurora Greenway (MacLaine) tires her best to raise her only daughter, Emma (Winger) the best way that she can. Their relationship is tempestuous to say the least. Emma tries to beak away from her mother's controlling ways by marrying Flap Horton (Daniels) and moving from Houston to his new teaching position in Iowa. With over a thousand miles separating them, Aurora tries to butt into Emma's business over the phone. Emma thinks that her mom needs to have a man in her life and she finds it in her next door neighbor, Garrett Breedlove (Nicholson) who is an astronaut.

Let's get this out of the way, all of the characters are assholes. They are so mean to each other I didn't care what happened to them. I don't understand what was Aurora's problem with Flap. Was it that he was not good enough for her daughter? Was Danny DeVito in the movie fawning for Aurora and that other guy? Why was John Lithgow nominated for essentially five minutes of screen time?

The ending of the movie was spoiled to me over the last couple of years. The characters dwelt in the chain of events  way too long. I was bored with the movie. There was a lot of eye rolling, yawning, getting distracted by other things, etc. The overly melodramatic score by Michael Gore did not help matters. I was like, come on. Really? This movie won Best Picture. Are you kidding me? It must have been slim picking back in '83.

My Rating

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