Terms Of Endearment (1983)
The Film: An independent minded young mother, Emma (Debra Winger), clashes with her own, overbearing and controlling mother, Aurora (Shirly Maclaine).
Why So Serious? The film deals with issues of parenting and how Emma’s upbringing by her interfering Mother affects how she raises her own two sons.
There are many scenes that tug the heartstrings, as Emma and Aurora clash heads and reconcile, as Emma’s husband commits adultery and the young family struggles to pay the bills.
A scene in a supermarket shows Emma unable to pay the total, and deciding what to put back, her young son offering his chocolate bar back to the checkout girl, stating “I don’t need it”. Bless.
As it goes in this type of film, Emma goes and gets cancer, and as she begins to fade in her hospital bed, she and Aurora talk through their relationship.
Aurora helps Emma do her make-up so she can say goodbye to her sons, and in a standout scene, runs round the hospital screaming at the nurses to give her daughter some painkillers to ease her suffering.
Emma passes away while her mother and husband sleep alongside her. Aurora has two new charges to raise, and a new outlook on motherhood.
Will It Make You Cry? As Emma says a tearful goodbye to her two young sons, you’ll be going through the Kleenex faster than a teenage boy with an internet connection.
Will It Uplift You? Apart from a few laughs courtesy of Jack Nicholson’s retired astronaut Garrett Breedlove, this is no Slumdog Millionaire.
Cynicism Score: 8 – Debra Winger died in order to make Shirley Maclaine a better mother? Wouldn’t a chat with Dr. Phil accomplish the same?
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