Ted Kramer's wife leaves him, allowing for a lost bond to be rediscovered between Ted and his son, Billy. But a heated custody battle ensues over the divorced couple's son, deepening the wounds left by the separation.
Aurora and Emma are mother and daughter who march to different drummers. Beginning with Emma's marriage, Aurora shows how difficult and loving she can be. The movie covers several years of their lives as each finds different reasons to go on living and find joy. Aurora's interludes with Garrett Breedlove, retired astronaut and next door neighbor are quite striking. In the end, different people show their love in very different ways.Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
James L Brooks the writer/director of Terms admits that him and his team are not great at naming their movies: Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News and As Good As It Gets are some of their titles; for example. See more »
As the young Horton family crosses the Texas border driving to Iowa, there is merely a plain road sign, located amidst open flat fields of waiving grain, indicating that they are leaving Texas. Any highway trek from Texas to Iowa would find a roadway dip into the distinctive basin of the Red River and would require crossing the river over a substantial bridge joining Texas and Oklahoma. See more »
[Arriving back from their first date]
Would you like to come in?
I'd rather stick needles in my eyes.
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.
Not much danger in that unless you curtsy on my face real soon.
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?
I'll tell you, ...
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The film follows Aurora Greenway (Shirley MacLaine), controlling, sometimes abrasive, mother to daughter Emma (Deborah Winger), as the two deal with Emma's deteriorating marriage (of which Aurora disapproves) to ineffectual and unfaithful husband Flap (Jeff Daniels) and Aurora's own relationship with her libidinous, bon-vivant neighbour, ex-astronaut Garret Breedlove (Jack Nicolson). The 'comedy' primarily comes from Aurora's reaction to Garret's ribald, teasing demeanor (and later bold courting style) and her constant belittling of Flap; the drama from the sudden, tragic turn the story takes in the 'third act'. This is a purely character-driven movie, so if you really dislike Aurora, Garret, Emma, or Flap (and they give you a variety of reasons to do so), you will probably dislike the movie. The film racked up the Oscars (winning five of 11 nominations, including four of the 'top five' awards). MacLaine and Nicolson are very good although you can tell that Nicolson's role was written for him (the character is not in Larry McMurtry's book), he plays the same sly, roguish character that made him a star. The critics (and the Academy) loved the film, but I don't find that star-driven 'relationship' films like "Terms of Endearment" age very well - I may have liked the film more if I had watched it when it was released and not 35 years afterwards.
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