Monday, September 26, 2011

"Terms of Endearment" 1983

“Terms of Endearment”

This is a movie that makes my husband cringe when he sees it on the television guide. He tries to rush past it so I won’t notice it. It is a wonderful movie. I remember Shirley MacLaine winning the Oscar for this movie the first time I really took notice of the Academy Awards. She is so blonde and coifed in the movie and when she took the stage she had a pixie cut that was fire engine red. It was the beginning of seeing how actors immerse themselves into a role.

This is a fantastic portrayal of a mother and daughter relationship. I have felt like both Emma and Aurora in my life. As a mother I can be a little pushy with my kid. Especially when I am sure I am right. I will bug the living crap out of him until he either admits what I suspect or just gets so fed up he wants to smack me.
Aurora Greenway: I just don't want to fight anymore.
Emma Horton: What do you mean? When do we fight?
Aurora Greenway: WHEN do we FIGHT? I always think of us as fighting!
Emma Horton: That's because you're never satisfied with me.

I have also felt like Emma. You get the sense that in all her efforts to be different from her mother, she would have done a lot of the same things with her kids as they grew older.

Shirley MacLaine is so good in this movie. You want to smack her sometimes and you love her the next. She has so many great lines it is hard to just write one or two. My favorite’s are interactions with Jack Nicholson who plays her neighbor. He keeps her off balance.
[Arriving back from their first date]
Aurora Greenway: Would you like to come in?
Garrett Breedlove: I'd rather stick needles in my eyes.
Aurora Greenway: Everything would have been just fine, you know, if you hadn't gotten drunk. I was... I... I just didn't want you to think I was like one of your other girls.
Garrett Breedlove: Not much danger in that unless you curtsy on my face real soon.
Aurora Greenway: Garrett! What is it that makes you so insistent on shocking and insulting me? I mean, I really hate that way of talking. You must know this. Why do you do it?
Garrett Breedlove: I'll tell you, Aurora. I don't know what it is about you, but you do bring out the devil in me.

All the characters have great lines. They all manage to say the things we want to say but never do. Emma has two love interests, her husband Flap, played by Jeff Daniels and her lover Sam, played by John Lithgow. But her priority in the movie is having her own family. The kids in this movie are realistic and not overly precocious and cute. They are just kids going through a bad time.

The scene where Emma is saying goodbye to her kids is heart wrenching.
Emma Horton: You both of you have beautiful eyes and your hair is too long. I mean, I don't care how long it gets in the back, but keep your bangs cut, OK, it's too long.
Tommy Horton: That's a matter of opinion.
Emma Horton: Just keep it short, alright?
Tommy Horton: Are you getting well?
Emma Horton: Look, I'm sorry about this but I can't help it, and I can't talk to you for too long or I'll get real upset. I want you to make a lot of friends. And I want you to be real nice to the girls 'cause they're gonna be real important to you, I swear.
Tommy Horton: I'm not afraid of girls. What makes you think that?
Emma Horton: Well, you may be later on.
Tommy Horton: I doubt it.
Teddy Horton: Why don't you shut up? Shut up!
Tommy Horton: You shut up!
Emma Horton: Ted, give me a kiss, come on. Tommy, you be sweet. Be sweet. And stop tryin' to pretend like you hate me. I mean, it's silly.
Tommy Horton: I like you.
Emma Horton: OK then, will you listen especially close?
Tommy Horton: What?
Emma Horton: Listen real hard?
Tommy Horton: I said 'what'?
Emma Horton: I know you like me. I know it. For the last year or two, you've been pretending like you hate me. I love you very much. I love you as much as I love anybody, as much as I love myself. And in a few years when I haven't been around to be on your tail about something or irritating you, you could... remember that time that I bought you the baseball glove when you thought we were too broke. You know? Or when I read you those stories? Or when I let you goof off instead of mowing the lawn? Lots of things like that. And you're gonna realize that you love me. And maybe you're gonna feel badly, because you never told me. But don't - I know that you love me. So don't ever do that to yourself, all right?

Debra Winger and Jack Nicholson were both nominated for this movie. Jack won for best supporting. Debra lost to Shirley. When she stopped to hug her on the way to the stage she reportedly told her “This is half yours” to which Debra responded “I’ll take it.”
Great movie. If I am alone, I am going to pop it in and have a good cathartic cry.

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