What can I say about this film other than it is, in my opinion flawless. Every performance, every character, every scene... Debra Winger should have shared the Oscar with Shirley MacLaine. Few movies can make you laugh and cry OVER and OVER again, but this one does it for me. Even when I catch a scene on cable, I find myself drawn in emotionally and grabbing for my box of tissues. The mother-daughter relationship is so true-to-life and the chemistry between Debra and Shirley and Shirley and Jack is palpable. It is one of the greatest films ever made and should be required viewing for all <more>
mothers and daughters. This is an AMAZING and moving film!
I laughed! I cried! I laughed! And then I starting sobbing! (by Bgb217)
Exactly how in the world did I never see this movie before? I rented it on DVD the other night because I heard it was good, but I didn't expect it to be as good as it was. Incredible story, such powerful and passionate acting, it's just such a great film. I don't think I need to say anything about the acting in it, if you've seen Terms of Endearment you know that Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, and Jack Nicholson bring their characters to a life rarely seen in movies. I just can't get over how great this movie was. The story is so good, it's so funny and at times among <more>
some of the saddest moments I've ever seen portrayed in the movies. I don't want to go any further for fear that I might spoil it for those who haven't seen this incredible story about life and love and laughter among family. Oh, and if you haven't seen one of the greatest movies ever made, go do so now. Wrapping up, if you can't tell I loved Terms of Enderament. I guess I had always stayed away from it because it seemed like THE chick flick, but it's not. It's such a great story, great acting, everything of a great movie. 10 out of 10.
Stop Trying To Pretend Like You Hate Me (by Chrysanthepop)
I've heard many good things about James L. Brooks's 'Terms of Endearment' and finally I decided to give it ago. Honestly speaking I was expecting a typical melodramatic tearjerker that's sole aim is to emotionally manipulate the viewer. I was wrong. 'Terms of Endearment' is a slice of life that centres around a mother, her daughter and their respective lives. The film looks very authentic. The sets, makeup, costumes and art direction look genuine.This is very much a character driven film. The dialogues are full of humour and wit but what's also striking is how <more>
deeply layered the words are. While the visuals are quite simplistic it's the characters that shine especially through the actors' natural performances. Their excellent non-verbal gestures, spot on line delivery and restrained performances are superb.A sassy Shirley Maclaine and bubbly Debra Winger are spellbinding. Both actresses beautifully carry the film and they are brilliantly supported by fine actors like Danny DeVito, Jack Nicholson, John Lithgow and Jeff Daniels.What particularly appealed to me about 'Terms of Endearment' is the depiction of the mother-daughter relationship and the dynamic of it. It definitely has its ups and downs and it does not involve the use of clichéd lines like 'I love you' etc but at the same time the unconditional love between them is wonderfully conveyed.
Another near perfect blending of the smile and the tear... (by Isaac5855)
TERMS OF ENDEARMENT is an undeniably gripping and emotional film experience that will have you rolling on the floor during one scene and weeping uncontrollably during the next. This film follows the complicated relationship between an icy, Texan widow named Aurora Greenway Shirley MacLaine and her slightly-off-the-wall daughter, Emma Debra Winger , who at the beginning of the film is marrying a man named Flap Horton Jeff Daniels , whom her mother clearly hates, seemingly just to get away from her. The film follows Emma's marriage through three children, infidelity, and unexpected <more>
tragedy but it never lets go of the unspoken bond between Aurora and Emma...a bond so strong that it transcends telephone lines, geography, and even dialogue at times...there are moments in the story where you see Aurora and Emma communicate without saying a word to each other. Writer-director James L. Brooks won a pair of Oscars for writing and directing this funny and heartbreaking story that stretches over a long period of time but never fails to hold interest and trust me, the last 20-30 minutes of this film will have you weeping. Shirley MacLaine finally won her long-overdue Best Actress Oscar for her controlled performance as Aurora and Jack Nicholson won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance as a retired astronaut who moves in next door to Aurora after Emma moves out and begins a hilarious and touching relationship with Aurora. Debra Winger is explosive and unpredictable as Emma and Jeff Daniels is fully invested in the unsympathetic role of Flap. A truly unique motion picture experience that will leave you limp.
As comedic and dramatic as life can get ... (by ElMaruecan82)
Sometimes, I surprise myself by being sad during a happy family occasion like a wedding or a birthday party, when it makes me realize how old someone who's very dear to me is getting, or how fast life can go. And some other times, as we're mourning the passing of a beloved family member, I find myself sitting at a table, laughing at the jokes of my uncle, or remembering some funny anecdotes involving the one who's not with us anymore. Go figure why, but we humans have this strange tendency to lean over a feeling that is opposite to the situation we endure, like a sort of defensive <more>
reaction. Happiness reminds us how we must seize the day, and death how great it is to live. So that's it, we laugh when we should be sad and cry when we should laugh. Actually, life teaches us that there's no 'should' when it comes to feelings, and its beauty is to make us swing back and forth between happy and sad memories. And to a certain extent, faithful to this very comedic aspect that can't go without a few tears, "Terms of Endearment" embodies the passing of life as this big joke with a sad punch line: we all laugh, have great time, but every once in a while, a sad event comes to remind us what is waiting for us. It follows a streak of successful Best Picture winning family dramas, such as "Kramer vs. Kramer" and "Ordinary People", but "Terms of Endearment" is slightly superior in the way it dares to approach life with an intelligent mix of detachment and irony but never without a profound and inspiring humanism.Still, what a strange film! No wait, I shouldn't even use the word 'film' because by no chances, does it try to exploit some cinematic conventions in order to extract the right feelings from its audience. Albert Brooks not only trusts our intelligence but also our patience as the story plunges us in the world of Aurora and Emma, Shirley MecLaine and Debra Winger, mother and daughter. I say 'strange' film because it has the curious feel of a TV movie without the archetypes of a vulgar soap opera, it's made with a modest tone of pastel colors and following an episodic structure, like so many slices of people's lives, people no worse or better than you and I, but the flow is so fluid and perfect that we let ourselves guided by the story, never really expecting for something to happen, we're just put here as witnesses of a story, which exemplifies our own vision of life.And that's the remarkable exploit of the film, the key that forged its success. "Terms of Endearment", which is unlike any film made before, was one of the highest grossing of 1983 and although I found "The Right Stuff" to be a much more extraordinary experience and most deserving of the Best Picture award , "Terms of Endearment" possesses an endearing quality, which relies on its faithful approach to life, something made of laughs, anger, sadness and fears, simply put the four main emotions that drive our feelings. "Terms of Endearment" finds the perfect tone and balance between laughs and sadness, comic and pathos. In a way, the film can remind of "Love Story" without an hyperbolic classicism that could have ruined it.Emma the daughter, has this burning passion in her heart just like Ali McGraw's character and her mother works as the total opposite, she seems cold and distant, criticizing all her daughter's choices, above them all the decision to marry a teacher named Flap Jeff Daniels . But Emma never decides, she just lives while Aurora uses her maturity and status as a courted widow to better not to look at her own issues. The interactions between Emma and Aurora seems so genuine that I wondered if the two actresses were really mother and daughter. You could tell that these two women were the best friends in the world, with this unique complicity that couldn't only be translated into awkward reactions. One of the biggest issues that undermine the characters' interactions is the impossible communication of true feelings and the way it's handled provides the comedic spice of the film.At a pivotal moment, Aurora finally decides to invite Garrett Breedlove, the ex-astronaut, neighbor since years and infamous for his lust for younger women, just to see her 'Renoir', referring to a very precious painting -a second reading at these lines makes the whole situation subtly hilarious. And not only this role was so tailor-made for Nicholson that it earned him his second Oscar win, but Mac Laine is the perfect match for him, and Brooks knew how to build a believable chemistry between them. At one point, Garrett makes a whole rhapsody about the way he feels things are getting too serious for his taste, to be interrupted by Aurora's reactions, it's funny but it also shows that not only she's no fool, but she doesn't even feel hurt. The film avoids two opposite clichés, turning them into derision to better show the futility of all that stuff. Another crucial scene is Emma's monologue in New York City on the way she feels about people's problems, an extraordinary moment I don't want to spoil. The film evolves beautifully with a last act that is forever rooted in our memories, thanks to the remarkable performances of both Debra Winger and Shirley MacLaine, surrounded by great supporting performances. The film doesn't feature iconic moments, isn't renowned for a particular quote, but it has a level of emotionality that has often been copied but never equaled. And to give you an idea if you haven't seen it yet, just listen to Michael Gore's magnificent theme and it will give you an idea.
Saw this with my Dad....A must see even if you do not like emotional films.... (by MarieGabrielle)
I am saying that with a sense of humor, because my father a stoic person adamantly would not go to a theater to see any films that sounded emotional, but because Nicholson was in it, I persuaded him!.Nicholson really is the foil in this serious and comic drama. It is realistic because nothing is sugar-coated. Think of other films offered up to the public that year. "Mr. Mom"; disingenuous, and insulting to the audience . "Money Pit". Need I go on?.A decent film does not insult its audience. A good film makes them think. A masterpiece; well...those are few and far <more>
between. This film is almost brilliant, because it depicts tragedy, and the way that the characters must move on albeit how imperfectly . Jeff Daniels as the philandering son in law; Shirley Maclaine as the dominant yet loving mother; Debra Winger as the struggling and too loving mom, married to a "n'er do well"; but loves her children.It is a serious theme, hence explaining the need for Nicholson. Granted, at this point in time we have seen him as the cynic way too many times, but at the time of this film his interactions with MacLaine were fresh, comic, and realistic.The awkward scenes between Debra Winger and John Lithgow engage the audience; two people alienated and trying to connect, having an affair in Nebraska. The scenes where Daniels moves the family to several different towns are classic; the kids are engaging and effective. In fact this is the ONLY film I can think of where a director has humanly portrayed children as complex and interesting, rather than irritating and noisome.Maclaine is at times overbearing, but understandably so. She is also the matriarch. Danny DeVito is also available for comic relief, as several wealthy widowers pursue Maclaine. This story was written by Larry McMurty "Lonesome Dove", "Evening Star" . I highly recommend it; if you have a family audience it is a great conversation piece. My Dad and I have two generations between us; and he is the greatest critic, not easily impressed, and he remembers the great films of the 40's. This is the one film which will meet, and exceed your expectations. 9/10.
Quirky characters who eventually grow on you (by moonspinner55)
The shifty, funny/serious tone of "Terms Of Endearment" caught a lot of people off guard in 1983 and word-of-mouth about it being a seriously good tearjerker/comedy was strong opening near Christmas probably didn't hurt it come Oscar time either! . But since then, TV sitcoms have been mining this kind of flippant, edgy, raw sense of dynamics "Roseanne" comes to mind , and "Terms" doesn't seem as fresh. Watching it again the other night, I couldn't help feeling some of the juice was missing, or that Shirley MacLaine's Aurora Greenway was actually <more>
more of an irritant than a sympathetic harridan. But on closer inspection, the lives of these characters are quite endearing, and the tender music on the soundtrack always underlines a poignant scene at just the right moment. Vivid Debra Winger is incredible as MacLaine's daughter, as are John Lithgow, Jeff Daniels, Jack Nicholson and, in a small but telling part, Danny DeVito. As for MacLaine, I think she makes a few missteps in her characterization, and I didn't like the scene where she leaves her own birthday party in a huff and finds herself at Nicholson's door--it feels put on--or her famous scene with Jack driving on the beach, which is highly improbable. However, her determined will and loving possessiveness/detachment towards her daughter makes her a complicated and colorful bundle of nerves. The picture is flawed, yet has scenes of worth and love, many memorable lines of dialogue, and shows a real skill for balancing different moods. *** from ****
It's often a strange experience to revisit a film that made a big splash decades earlier. I remember enjoying it enormously and enjoyed it enormously again last night but the reasons for the enjoyment have changed. The film as a film has remained solidly planted in 1983, specially the score but what will lead this film into the forever ever are the writing of course and the performances. Shirley MacLaine's truthfulness warts an all is a work of art. She is present one hundred per cent of the time and let's remember, Shirley MacLaine didn't start as an actress, she was a dancer <more>
who became a star thanks to a twist of fate and she has remained there as an example of honesty and courage ever since. Her Aurora in Terms Of Endearment is a monumental treat. Debra Winger's performance is a revolution of sorts. Every detail confirms and/or challenges our feelings for her but she's never less that one hundred per cent truthful. It's impossible not to love her even if she doesn't make it easy for you. Jack Nicholson is a terrific interference and every one of his moments have a pleasure of their own. So, a 35 year old movie with a teenager's heart.
Some of the people that give this 1 or 2 stars are just ridiculous. The acting is great, the story is great and there are plenty of moments that makes this movie nowhere near a 1-2 star.Don't take those ridiculous reviews serious. Some of the same people that have this at 1 star has Anchorman at 10 stars. Go figure.