Terms of Endearment
DIRECTOR: JAMES L. BROOKS
CAST: SHIRLEY MACLAINE, DEBRA WINGER, JACK NICHOLSON, DANNY DEVITO, JEFF DANIELS
Brooks’s debut feature is so often discussed as the quintessential tearjerker that we sometimes lose track of the fact that it is also a truly magnificent American film, an empathetic human epic that doesn’t strike a single false note. At the film’s heart is the thorny mother-daughter relationship between Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger, followed over the course of thirty years, through bust-ups and makeups, in sickness and in health. With Jack Nicholson as MacLaine’s alcoholic, womanizing ex-astronaut neighbor, who weaves into and upends her too-tidy life.