Saturday, May 06, 2006

Terms of Endearment (1983)

Truly an A-star cast: Shirley Maclaine (Aurora Greenway), Debra Winger (Emma Greenway Horton), Jack Nicholson (Garrett Breedlove), Danny Devito (Vernon Dahlart), Jeff Daniels (Flap Horton) and John Lithgow (Sam Burns).

This film touches me every time I watch it. It makes me laugh and it makes me cry. The movie definitely achieves the reaction that it wants to create in an audience (at least in me). This can be seen through the tagline that reads: Come to Laugh, Come to Cry, Come to Care, Come to Terms. I definitely did all of the above!

Aurora Greenway is a pushy and controlling widow who is left to raise her little girl, Emma. She is the epitome of a codependent interfering mother! Emma is a free spirit who has learned how to handle her mother’s overbearing nature.

Emma marries and moves away from home with a man called Flap, who her mother does not approve of. Aurora thinks that he is a loser and always will be a loser. She thinks that Emma deserves better than that however, I don’t think she would have approved of anyone being good enough for her Emma.

The movie involved a multitude of supportive and failing relationships. Aurora has quite a few men following her around. However, her interest lay with her next door neighbor-an astronaut called Garrett. He wasn’t scared of her controlling ways and wouldn’t take any crap from her. While this pissed Aurora off to no end, it also made her fall in love with him.

Emma’s marriage to Flap resulted in her having three children, two boys and a little girl. The marriage lasted for a little while (the honeymoon period). However, Aurora was proved to be right in that Flap was a failure as a husband. He constantly came home late or not at all from what is presumed to evidence of an affair-which is later proved to be the case. Emma also meets and has an affair with another man, Sam Burns. He’s a shy, married banker who seemed to worship the ground that Emma walked on.

While getting a flu shot for her daughter and herself, it is discovered that Emma has cancer. It is during her battle with cancer that everyone seemed to be able to set aside their differences and come together. Emma and her Aurora stopped fighting and Aurora’s love for Emma is displayed as true motherly love. There’s a truly touching scene where Aurora is screaming at the nurses to give her daughter her pain medication. You can feel her desperation. She knows that her daughter is in pain and she can’t do anything about it. This was a lack of control that Aurora was not used to. And, Aurora’s fling, Garrett, also proved to be a stand up guy in that he came to Aurora’s side when he found out that her daughter was sick.

I would truly recommend this movie if you’re looking for a touching story about relationships, family and all the whacky quirks that come along with them.

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