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Critic's Pick

'Terms of Endearment'

June 18, 1995|Peter Rainer

Lots of tears were shed and lots of laughs were expended in James L. Brooks' 1983 adaptation of the Larry McMurtry novel starring Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger (from left) as a mother-daughter team. It's full of heartbreak and slapstick and, when it works, it's very funny--especially in the scenes with Jack Nicholson, who plays an ex-astronaut with a paunch and an attitude. His chemistry with MacLaine is classic. The film is less successful when it's trying to wring sobs from us. Winger gives one of her best performances here, but the Oscars went to MacLaine and Nicholson (Cinemax Saturday at 2:15 p.m.).

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