Friday, June 13, 2014

Slighty Older Terms of Endearment


This week I’m participating in a group bloghop through the Armchair Squid! The topic this time is about a movie we loved when we were younger and how we feel about it now. I have chosen Terms of Endearment.

 

When I was a kid, I loved ultra-dramatic movies. I had dreams of being an actress, so any movies that made me sob with wild abandon was a good movie in my book. Terms of Endearment  (originally a Larry McMurtry novel) was a comedy-drama made in 1983 and the winner of 5 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It starred Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger as a mother and daughter with an ultra-close relationship, and Jack Nicholson as the slightly sleazy astronaut.

The thing about watching a movie as a kid (I think I was eleven when the movie came out) is that you don’t have a lot of life experience to inform your emotional responses. I remembered that Emma (Winger’s character) died in the movie, and I remember that I cried, but when I re-watched the movie about a year ago, it wasn’t just sad, but an all-out traumatic experience. I actually felt a little sick at the end.  At 42, I now have some life experience with people dying from cancer, and it actually made the movie difficult to watch.

On another level, I didn’t remember the humorous parts in the movie, and I found the dysfunctional dating relationship between Shirley MacLaine’s and Jack Nicholson’s character hilarious. He is such a player and she’s so prim and proper—the contrast is perfectly amusing. Thank heavens for comic relief!
 


 

 

What was your favorite movie as a kid? Have you seen it recently?

26 comments:

  1. I do remember seeing at least parts of this film. Yes, comic relief is always welcome. It reminds me of Shirley MacLaine's role in Steel Magnolias.

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    1. Suze--yes, and I loved that movie too. That is a classic movie for much the same reason as Terms of Endearment, although I remember Steel Magnolias having a little more humor in it.

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  2. Very very sad movie. I don't remember a whole lot else about it but I can certainly see how life experience would change one's perception. Thanks for joining us!

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    1. It's amazing how we see movies, read books, etc. through the lens of our age and life experiences. I've had the same thing happen when I watched movies that I thought hilarious as a child. When I see them now, the humor seems silly. I'm enjoying the bloghops!

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    2. Absolutely. And that's part of how you know the good ones are really good. If life experience enriches your appreciation, you know the work is truly special.

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  3. I am not sure I liked this movie. I had so many problems with the Daughter and Mother plus all the sadness, cancer plus I vaguely remember the husband was not as all helpful (?) So maybe I am projecting my life onto this movie.
    But I do love Shirley MacLaine. I remember a funny story when both our homes were burning in the wildfires of 1993. She is a hoot !

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. You are correct. The husband is a dolt in this movie, and it's actually hard to believe he could be so disconnected from his children. But I actually like and relate to the mother/daughter relationship (maybe a little too much). However, I'm not sure I could watch repeatedly--the death scene is a lot to take. Wow! Both of your homes were burning at the same time? I would love to hear the story. MacLaine has been fabulous in the last two seasons in Downton Abbey.

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  4. I looove this movie. Everything about it is so good. What gets me every single time is when she tells her oldest son that even though he's being a punk, she knows he loves her.

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    1. Yes, Nicki. I sobbed through that whole scene. It gets me when her younger son starts to break up while visiting her in the hospital. His little face just crumples, and the crying is so genuine.

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  5. I do remember seeing this movie as a young adult and had a family friend who was dying from cancer at the time so it was poignant and sad as her mother was still alive. I'm trying to think of a movie from my youth and I'm drawing a blank, LOL.

    betty

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    1. Betty, my sister-in-law passed a few years ago from cancer, and now all movies in which people die of the disease take on new meaning after having been so close to it. Don't worry...I had trouble thinking of one, too! :)

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  6. I saw this film for the first time a couple years ago and I thought it was a fine film. Sometimes when I see movies as an adult that I liked when I was a child I'm almost surprised about how aware I actually was about what was going on in the films.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I think you're right that often young people are surprisingly perceptive about the deeper issues in a film. I see this with the students I teach sometimes.

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  7. I saw that movie when I was younger and remember sort of crying at the death scene. I've never seen it again though. As for my fave movie when I was younger - it was "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom." I even still have my metal lunchbox featuring that movie and I use it to store craft paint supplies. :) In my teens I was obsessed with "Aliens" and "The Lost Boys." I wonder what I would think of those movies now ... (probably not much about the last 2!)

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    1. L--I almost talked about Indiana Jones, as that really was my favorite movie as a kid. However, I haven't seen it recently...I never saw Aliens, but I LOVED The Lost Boys. I actually watched that movie about two years ago, and it held up pretty well, although the ending vampire-killing scene was a little much for me these days. Gross.

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  8. This is not one that I have seen. I think I would have the same reaction as you describe having with the death of Winger's character... it's hard when you know from real life how tragic it is to lose friends or family.
    Thanks so much for sharing about this on our Bloghop!

    Nancy at Hungry Enough To Eat Six

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    1. Nancy, yes--it was hard to watch in parts due to my own experience with family dying from the disease. I'm enjoying the bloghop!

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  9. I found Debra Winger's acting choices weird...she always added her own special touch to roles and they were often odd! She was also quite the diva, so the rumor goes, although in recent years she's said that her behavior came from insecurity. Sounds like she didn't get the memo that if you take that act too far, nobody will work with you anymore, no matter how talented you are.

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    1. Stephanie, you know the other thing about Debra Winger is that she always chose roles where she died of cancer! She was also in Shadowlands (played Joy Gresham, C.S. Lewis's wife), and Dawn Anna (a lifetime movie where she met the same fate). I, too, heard she was a pill to work with! And you're right, we don't see her much anymore...

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  10. Man, do I remember this film. GRAB the box of tissues. The scene when Winger's son is in the hospital and she is dying.... WATERWORKS...
    But on the fun side the chemistry between MacLaine and Nicholson and priceless!

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    1. Yes, I think it may be on the list of top 5 tear jerkers of all time! But there is still some great comedy in it as well...

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  11. One of the saddest movies I've ever seen, but it was so great. Superb acting. As far as my favorite movie as a kid, I have to go with Raider of the Lost Ark or Goonies!

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    1. Who doesn't love those two movies? Raiders is simply a classic. Goonies I don't remember as well, but I seem to remember it starred the two "Coreys"??

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  12. You've been tagged: http://stephie5741.blogspot.com/2014/06/4-questions-on-writing.html

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  13. That is a good one. Thanks for sharing. Love Jack Nicholson.

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