Terms of Endearment (1983) (mini-review++)


(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)

(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)

The mini-review:

acting 9

directing 7 

effects 6

editing 7

writing 9


3.8 out of 5 🐙


I was 9 when this movie came out. Needless to say, when I saw Shirley MacLaine on a movie poster standing next to Debra Winger, it looked like a really boring adult movie about old people romance. Despite being able to read, I thought that’s what this movie was about till 3 days ago when I finally saw it. Man, I do love it when movies surprise me. This feels like a movie directed by Robert Altman. But I’m sure I’m not the first to feel the similarities between James L. Brooks and him. They are both skilled practitioners and absolute masters of characterization. Both draw such deep and complicated characters. Jack Nicholson gets high billing on this movie but he’s nothing more than a fine subplot. It is the best friendship between mother (MacLaine) and daughter (Winger) that this movie rests on. They are wonderful actors but they also have sharp, funny dialogue to work with. Masters working with the best tools. It’s a movie about a life in full, far greater than the terrible title would prepare you for.




Review process: (this is always evolving, I’m sad to say. I’m more of a watcher who makes mostly unhelpful observations about things I have absorbed. I am not unlike a pop culture blob.)

Two scores are assigned: (I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me)

(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.

(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)

(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so.

(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant). 

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