Monday, May 17, 2010

Terms of Endearment

Terms of Endearment does all the things right that almost none of the romantic comedies can do today. Released in 1983 to rave reviews and box-office success, James L. Brook's film went on to win Best Director and Best Picture. Adapted from a novel by Larry McMurtry, it tells the story of a mother (Shirley MacLaine) and daughter (Debra Winger) over the course of a few years. MacLaine is recently widowed and takes up with her astronaut neighbor who prefers younger women (Jack Nicholson). Winger is unhappily married to an English professor (Jeff Daniels) and takes up with an older man (John Lithgow). The film does not play like any other romantic comedy because it refuses to be cliche and constantly changes its rhythm. MacLaine (Best Actress winner) and Winger are fine in the leads and Daniels and Lithgow are great in support, and Nicholson, also an Oscar winner, adds a lot of fun and laughs keeping this from just being a standard chick flick.