[Screen It]


(1996) (Shirley MacClaine, Juliette Lewis) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Moderate None Moderate None Minor
Moderate None None None Moderate
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Moderate Moderate Heavy Mild Minor

Drama: A woman must deal with the three adult grandchildren she's raised since her daughter's death.
In this sequel to "Terms of Endearment" (1983), Aurora Greenway (SHIRLEY MACLAINE) is the single grandmother who's still trying to control her three grown grandkids, Melanie (JULIETTE LEWIS), Tommy (GEORGE NEWBERN), and Teddy Horton (MACKENZIE ASTIN), all of whom she's raised since the death of her daughter, Emma. Melanie is a rebel in college, who when not having problems with her boyfriend Bruce (SCOTT WOLF), fights with Aurora about being stifled. Tommy is in prison and wants nothing to do with the family, and Teddy drives a wrecker and has a child out of wedlock. Compounding Aurora's problems is Patsy Carpenter (MIRANDA RICHARDSON) her dead daughter's best friend who believes that she should have raised the children after Emma's death. Patsy competes with her on every subject and is a constant thorn in her side. Aurora finds solace in Rosie Dunlop (MARION ROSS), her housekeeper and friend, and Hector Scott (DONALD MOFFAT), a long time friend and neighbor. In addition she gets help from Jerry Bruckner (BILL PAXTON), a psychiatrist she falls for, and Garrett Breedlove (JACK NICHOLSON), an old friend and former lover. As time marches on and people move in and out of her life, Aurora strives to maintain her sanity, friendships and family.
Not a chance unless they're fans of the original "Terms" or of any of the stars. The subject material just won't be interesting to kids.
This movie was rated PG-13 on appeal for some sexual situations and brief strong language.
  • SHIRLEY MACLAINE plays a grandmother who's just concerned that her grandkids make it through life okay.
  • MIRANDA RICHARDSON plays a woman who always competes with Aurora for the grandkids' attention and with the men in her life (one of which she sleeps with).
  • BILL PAXTON plays a psychiatrist who seems to be the right person for Aurora until he ends up sleeping with Patsy.
  • JULIETTE LEWIS plays a rebellious college student who complains that Aurora is stifling her and thus moves in with her boyfriend before moving with him to another city. Although she turns out okay by the end, she's certainly not a good role model for most of the movie.


    OUR TAKE: 7 out of 10
    This is a very entertaining, but emotionally draining sequel to the hugely popular and very successful "Terms of Endearment." The cast is superb, from the fine performance of MacLaine down to the supporting characters, all of which seem believable and real. Nicholson's brief appearance is a scene stealer and pushes the movie along just as it was starting to drag a bit. During the movie one character calls another an emotional terrorist, and that pretty much sums up this movie. While the first half to three quarters is tissue free, the film makers lay it on for the final lap and maybe go too far, but that's just a personal opinion. Obviously some audience members like to have their emotions manipulated and thus will love what this film does to them by its end. One part I didn't buy was the complete and utter transformation of Tommy, the prisoner, from bad boy to model citizen and family man. While it dramatically works for the plot and makes everything hunky dory, it happens too fast and without any basis to believe it. Other than that, the film works very well and is sure to be a huge crowd pleaser. We give it an 7 out of 10.
    It's doubtful that younger kids will want to see this, but those of you with teenagers might want to read on for the scoop on material you may object to. There isn't a huge amount of profanity, but there are 2 uses of the "f" word (one sexual) that come from MacLaine's mouth. There's implied sexual encounters and two scenes where the act is walked in on, but there's only brief and partial glimpses of nudity and very little movement. Two out of the three grandkids are disrespectful to their grandmother who's raised them, but they come around by the film's end. There's also a moderate amount of drinking, smoking and one character tries to kill herself by a drug overdose but isn't successful. We suggest that you read through the category listings if you or you family are interested in seeing this film.

  • Patsy and Rosie drink some sort of liquor.
  • Hector, Aurora and others have wine at Melanie's going away party and later brandy is consumed by some people.
  • Patsy brings Melanie and Bruce a bottle of wine as their going away gift.
  • A man has a beer in a restaurant.
  • Aurora drinks wine in bed.
  • Bruce drinks a beer.
  • Jerry and Patsy drink bourbon.
  • Patsy orders a bloody mary when she realizes that Aurora has discovered that she's slept with Jerry and then gives the drink to Jerry when he shows up, telling him, 'You're going to need this."
  • Melanie smokes and drinks beer after Bruce has left her. She calls Aurora who's drinking wine after having lost Jerry.
  • Arthur, the next door neighbor, drinks whisky while sitting outside at night.
  • People drink champagne at a wedding reception.
  • None.
  • Tommy isn't nice to Aurora when she visits him in prison and throws away the brownies that she brings him in front of her.
  • Melanie believes that Aurora is too stifling, so she moves out of the house and in with Bruce.
  • Bruce cheats on Melanie twice and finally moves out from their place, leaving her alone in L.A.
  • Patsy always intervenes in Aurora's life and family, much to Aurora's dismay.
  • None.
  • Hector, a former military officer, is seen cleaning his gun.
  • Phrases: "Screw up," "Butt hole," "Pissed off," "Pissing me off," "Sucks," "Tramp," "Balls" (testicles), and "Bitch."
  • Melanie hops in the Ferrari owned by a woman she's found Bruce having sex with. She smashes it into another car on purpose and then speeds down the road.
  • Melanie tries to overdose on pills at Patsy's, but she's found in time and it turns out she only took muscle relaxants that we're told could not hurt her.
  • Teddy's little boy runs across the top of the dining room table while Aurora is trying to give a speech.
  • Hector sings an old army song that talks about Hitler having only one "ball" (testicle) and other military figures having "none at all."
  • None.
  • None.
  • None.
  • 2 "f" words (1 used sexually), 3 "s" words, 3 hells, 2 "ass" words, 2 damns, 1 slang term for breasts ("t*ts"), and 8 uses of "Oh God," 3 uses of "God," and 1 use each of "Oh my God," "Jesus," "Christ," and "God damn" as exclamations.
  • Teddy and Jane have a child out of wedlock.
  • Tommy and his girlfriend have a child out of wedlock.
  • Aurora walks in on Melanie and Bruce having sex. He's briefly seen on top of her, but hops off when Aurora walks in. There may be a flash of nudity, but it's very, very brief. Bruce then stands there with a stuffed animal covering his private parts and finally throws it to Aurora. While we don't see him nude, Aurora does and seems amazed at his implied endowment.
  • Melanie walks in and finds Bruce and a woman having sex. She's seen on top of him and a brief glimpse of the side of her breast is seen. No movement is seen, but some sexual sounds are heard.
  • Melanie and Bruce are seen in bed together, implying that they've had sex. Bruce is then seen in his underwear as he poses like an underwear model.
  • Hector says that he was stationed in L.A. after the war and "never had so much sex in my life."
  • Aurora jokes that she and Jerry are on a date. "Not on a date like we're going to sleep together" she adds "which would be preposterous." He wonders why it would be and she then asks him if he wants to sleep with her. He replies, "Would that be so bad?" She then replies that if she did, she'd be "lost on so many levels." After joking that she's not his type, he says that his type is a woman "with really big t*ts, dumb as a post, and the younger the better." She then storms out.
  • It's implied that Aurora and Jerry have had sex as they wake up in bed together and are later seen in bed several times, but no nudity or sexual activity is seen.
  • It's implied that Jerry and Patsy have had sex as Aurora finds Patsy's belt under Jerry's bed. Later Aurora confronts them and asks, "How long have the two of you been f*cking?"
  • After Patsy accuses Aurora of "emotional terrorism," Aurora asks her is she's been sleeping with a CNN reporter (implying that's where she got that term).
  • Melanie is often seen smoking (once with Patsy) and Teddy and his girlfriend are also seen smoking.
  • Aurora is upset that two out of three of her grandchildren don't like her and find her to be stifling.
  • The family must deal with several deaths that occur.
  • Getting along with other family members.
  • Learning to accept the hand that life has dealt you.
  • Melanie hops in the Ferrari owned by a woman she's found having sex with Bruce. She smashes it into another car and then speeds down the road.
  • Melanie breaks a window at Patsy's to get into the house.
  • Aurora and Patsy loudly argue on a plane. Aurora then grabs Patsy by the shirt, pulls her into the galley and then pushes her out and throws some sort of liquid on her. Patsy then picks up a coffee pot to go after Aurora but the scene ends there.

  • Reviewed December 9, 1996

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