Burt Reynolds is an attractive middle-aged man who suffers a crisis of confidence when ditched by his ambitious singer wife (Candice Bergen), until he begins to forge a new new relationship with an equally insecure teacher (Jill Clayburgh). But when the wife attempts a reconciliation - seduction followed by a truly excruciating song she has composed for him - he realizes where his loyalty lies. Written by
Moving mic shadow is visible on wall in scene where Phil meets Marie's children. See more »
What do you want?
I want us to live together. I want us to get married. I want us to have children together. I want us to put our teeth in the same cup. I want us buried together in a family plot with one headstone. What do you want?
I want a separate cup for my teeth.
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It's part of movie lore that Burt Reynolds' career hit the toilet the moment he decided to do Stroker Ace instead of Terms of Endearment, but what people forget is that his previous collaboration with James L. Brooks, on the Alan J. Pakula-directed Starting Over, didn't exactly set the box-office on fire. At the time industry pundits claimed it was because he shaved his 'tache for the film (no, really) but in retrospect it's probably more because this often feels a bit like a superior Lifetime TV movie, the kind of film you won't mind watching if it's on and you have nothing better to do but which you wouldn't actively seek out. There are good moments and good performances (both Candice Bergen, who delivers a trio of memorably awful songs with unashamed intentional - incompetence and Jill Clayburgh were Oscar nominated as the ex-wife and new woman in unwilling divorcée Reynolds' life, while Charles Durning is on good understated form as his psychiatrist brother), but for all the care with which its made it just never quite catches fire.
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