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Terms of Endearment

Members say: Entertaining, Great acting, Disappointing, Slow, Dated
67
Critics
59
31 reviews
Members
71
86 reviews
 

Molly Ringwald stars in a stage adaptation of the Oscar-winning movie. 59E59's production is the US debut of this play based on both Larry McMurtry's novel and James L. Brooks' screenplay.

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'Terms of Endearment' traces the complicated relationship between a challenging mother, Aurora Greenway (Ringwald), and her equally stubborn daughter, Emma. A funny and heartbreaking story about love in the face of life's challenges, both large and small, this show examines the delicate and sometimes fractured bonds between mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, and lovers, both new and old.

 

Cast & Creatives (19)



Reviews (117)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
59
Avg Score

40
The New York Times

"The stage version, directed by Michael Parva, is largely pedestrian. Whereas the movie jerked tears and evoked laughs, too, the stage adaptation more often evokes yawns...Ms. Ringwald, in long red curls, gives a satisfactory if perhaps insufficiently feisty performance as the self-involved Aurora..The film performances were indelible, and the ghosts of them inevitably hover over the production like a dampening shroud." Full Review

35
Theatermania

"Gordon has neither opened up the source material for the theatrical medium, nor managed to prove why the work needs to exist in play form. There's a laziness that exists throughout as Gordon ultimately creates a crib sheet edition of ‘Terms of Endearment,’ hitting all of the original plot points and using a significant chunk of Brooks' dialogue, but not in service of saying anything new…While this production provokes the occasional chuckle, it doesn't implore us to cry or care." Full Review

30
The Hollywood Reporter

"Other than to capitalize on the famous title, this cynical exercise has little reason for being…The play dutifully recreates the key dramatic and comic moments of the movie beat for beat, making it feel somewhat like a theatrical CliffsNotes…Without any kind of fresh perspective or reinterpretation of the iconic source material, 'Terms of Endearment' mostly feels like one of the endless knockoffs of popular movies and old TV shows currently littering our television screens." Full Review

90
BroadwayWorld

"The direction by Michael Parva is absolutely superb. With a stellar cast, it is a must-see production. 'Terms of Endearment' is an enthralling, realistic portrayal of humankind with all of its affection, humor and conflict...Bravo to the remarkable cast. Even if you are familiar with the story of 'Terms of Endearment,' you will be fascinated by this company's passionate and compelling performances...This charming yet heartrending story is one to cherish this holiday season." Full Review

35
Time Out New York

"Aurora is an irresistible conundrum: by turns haughty, caustic, tender and raw. The role, firmly embedded in popular memory by Shirley MacLaine’s film turn, is an actor’s dream…except that yet another iteration, even a live one, raises the question: Why try to improve on perfection? Molly Ringwald does not succeed in doing so. Limited in affect, she is also not well served by Gordon’s CliffsNotes script, which has reduced the screenplay to brief, talky, faux-cinematic scenes." Full Review

40
Lighting & Sound America

"Little more than a scrapbook of scenes from a beloved film...Very few, if any, scenes end with any kind of a 'button' or climax; more often than not, they simply trail off. You can get away with this in a film, through artful editing; onstage, it is living death...What works in the film is often painfully limp here, thanks to the disjointed structure, the aimless pacing of Michael Parva's direction, and the fact that Shirley MacLaine, Jack Nicholson, and Debra Winger are missing in action." Full Review

40
Theatre's Leiter Side

“The question arises regarding the idea of turning a terrific movie into a claustrophobic stage play on a cramped stage: as they say, if it ain't broke don't fix it...Without the illuminating performances of MacLaine et al., the story seems unexceptional, even dull, with its tragic twist more manipulative than ever...A pallor of superficiality pervades Michael Parva's heavy-handed production...Ringwald, who can be a delightful stage presence...is simply out of her element here.” Full Review

60
The Huffington Post

"A by-the-numbers adaptation...Molly Ringwald as the mother Aurora Greenway to Hannah Dunne’s daughter Emma Greenway acquit themselves well under Michael Parva’s direction. Or well enough...Ringwald and Dunne rise to the tear-jerking occasion—as do Brown and Milord—but the thought remains that the production is somehow superfluous." Full Review

35
New York Daily News

"This iconic story is chockablock with themes that can grab you. And they did in the 1983 film...Theater audiences deserve better than a screenplay-tracing script and blah no-frills staging. Molly Ringwald, now 48, could use more shading as Aurora. Hannah Dunne is quietly persuasive as the doomed doormat Emma. Rent the movie." Full Review

25
Deadline

"The script is a disaster twice removed from the novel...Perfunctorily staged by Michael Parva on a barebones set by David L. Arsenault, the show’s emotional landscape is as flat as east Texas. That leaves the stars adrift, struggling to make a meal of slim pickings…The show’s sole spark of life comes from the Garret Breedlove of Jeb Brown…It’s a refreshingly ribald intrusion on an otherwise straitlaced and mostly painful two hours." Full Review

30
Theater In The Now

"Flat-out frustrating, if not infuriating. The script is superfluous. The direction lacks rules and guidelines. And it’s all due to how it is structured...This ensemble did all they could with tough material and rough direction to navigate...I could go on and on about the flaws of Michael Parva’s direction but deep down, with a cinematic text, there was no way this production was going to be able to properly find hope." Full Review

75
TheaterScene.net

“It isn't until the second act of ‘Terms of Endearment’, based on both the Larry McMurtry novel as well as the Academy Award-winning screenplay by James L. Brooks, that the play takes off. Featuring the now grown-up film star Molly Ringwald in the role of Aurora Greenway that won Shirley MacLaine the 1984 Oscar for Best Actress, the first act jumps around, skipping huge chunks of time as you can in movie cutting, but seems like something has been left out on stage.” Full Review

60
Talkin' Broadway

"The production comes alive most fully with the appearance of Jeb Brown as Breedlove…Unfortunately, the basic plotline unfolds like a checklist…Garrett Breedlove awakens Aurora's heart through a middle-aged love affair. Their banter, their moments of honest affection, and even their sexual sparks are the highlights of what otherwise is the CliffsNotes version of McMurtry's novel and Brooks's screenplay." Full Review

60
Front Row Center

"Hannah Dunne as Emma Horton shines. She wins our hearts, just as the script intends. Molly Ringwald and Jeb Brown do fine jobs as Aurora Greenway and astronaut Garret Breedlove, whose name says it all, but it’s unfair to compare anyone to Shirley MacLaine and Jack Nicholson in these iconic parts...The story gets across, with its sad ending....All in all, the play is not a distinct enough creation to put the movie out of your mind, but how could it, after all?" Full Review

60
CitiTour

"For all its virtues–including a trio of fine performances–the reality of the production is that it could never top the multi-Oscar winning 1983 film. And I honestly am not sure what was the point in trying…Ringwald brings a sort of regal dignity to Aurora. She doesn’t quite have enough bite to make some of Aurora’s carefully chosen barbs sting as strongly as they should, but she melts beautifully…Like the film, the play has both tears and laughter. It just lacks transcendence." Full Review

60
WNBC

"'Terms' takes the points of highest emotional intensity from its source material, and strings them together, without the quiet interludes the film used to help us ease into the characters…Ringwald isn’t a prickly wisecracker, like MacLaine, but she’s solid here as an opinionated woman too involved in the life of her daughter…I enjoyed Brown as the sloppy space musketeer, with all his leering, heavy breathing and slouching…Endearing? Sometimes. But not a must-see." Full Review

85
Wolf Entertainment Guide

"'Terms of Endearment' has all the makings of a tearjerker, but as staged here under the direction of Michael Parva, it is so much more than that. There is much humor present, thanks to the level of the performances and the writing, and one gets to feel that this is ultimately a very human and even entertaining story that rises above button pushing to elicit tears and instead evokes real emotions and well-earned wet eyes...It stands as an impressive work well worth visiting." Full Review

90
Theatre is Easy

"A beautiful adaptation of a movie classic, using a light touch to illuminate the deepest and most important expressions of compassion and human decency...There is not a wasted word or superfluous gesture in this taut, and often funny, production...'Terms of Endearment' is a terrific production, touching every major cradle-to-grave issue, from love, loyalty, and commitment to illness, medical malfeasance, and death. It’s well worth two hours of your time." Full Review

75
Theater Pizzazz

"Although abbreviated, both the humor and devastation of a complicated mother/daughter relationship pushes its way through.…The ending still resounds as the tear-jerker you recall in the film. Molly Ringwald gives a fine performance…This is a yeoman’s job bringing 'Terms of Endearment' to the stage...Probably an undertaking best left untouched." Full Review

90
BlogCritics.org

"Gordon’s adaptation is reminiscent of the Oscar-winning comedy-drama…In this thoughtful production director Parva teases out fine performances from the always engaging Molly Ringwald and others in the cast. They marshal their talents to hit their mark on the comedy and the poignancy…Gordon has maintained the story’s brilliant dialogue and humorous events…If you adore the book and/or the film, then the play 'Terms of Endearment' will not disappoint." Full Review

70
CurtainUp

"The production feels like a live digest of the movie…Ringwald counteracts the anemia of the enterprise by making Aurora her own in a way that's more McMurtry than MacLaine. She and Hannah Dunne invest their duologues with wit, steering the poignant passages clear of mawkishness…Efficiently directed by Parva with brisk pacing that prevents the most melodramatic moments from being syrupy.…'Terms of Endearment' seems content to be an attraction for fans of flicks from the 1980s." Full Review

75
Manhattan Digest

"Dan Gordon’s stage adaptation remains faithful to the source material and, under Michael Parva’s direction, it provides a moving and pleasant evening of entertainment that should appeal to both newcomers and longtime fans of the film…Ringwald lacks the natural austere demeanor of MacLaine and, dare I say, she may be miscast. Still, the chemistry she has with Dunne feels sincere...Gordon’s treatment is a fond trip down memory lane." Full Review

85
NY Theatre Guide

"It is directed by Michael Parva, who lends his tremendous experience to telling this heartbreaking, heartwarming story with sensitivity...He has crafted satisfying moments of emotional intensity and comedic charm…The chemistry between Ringwald and Brown was superb…Theirs is the pivotal, essential relationship in the play, and they held the center strong with their potent performances…A very well made play. And it’s a tidal wave tearjerker." Full Review

60
Epoch Times

"It’s a show with heart, insight, and funny and touching moments. Unfortunately, some glaring weaknesses combine to make the production far less than it could be...For a work of this nature to really come alive, the characters must be totally believable and that’s not always the case here...Many of the early scenes have an almost sitcom-like feel. It’s mostly due to the efforts of Ringwald and Brown that the play has redeeming qualities." Full Review

90
Reflections in the Light

"Molly Ringwald gives a powerful performance directed by Michael Parva, who manages to assemble a cast that puts us in mind of the film's iconic stars without trying to imitate them…This production really is a perfect representation of the popular film…Gordon's script captures all of the humor of the characters and the emotion of their relationships. I don't think I ever have heard such sobbing in the theater." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
71
Avg Score

100
Funny, Absorbing, Delightful, Must see, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy drama with a twist of humor and want to see an actress of film & movie fame

Don't see it if you don't enjoy movies brought to the stage. You don't want to see a show involving real life tragedies

Also This was, by far, the best show I've seen this year on or off Broadway... Read more Read less

50
Indulgent, Disappointing, Slow, Dated

See it if You LOVED the movie, and want to see it rehashed, with lesser performances, and choppy blocking and staging.

Don't see it if You really want to like it. I really wanted to like it. It seemed like the actors watched the movie and just mimicked what they saw.

74
Entertaining

See it if you like family dramas. Engaging to watch with very good acting. Last half act a bit too melodramatic for me.

Don't see it if you don't like sentimental endings to plays.

70
Parallels plot of the movie by the same title

See it if If you are curious to see a live staged version of the movie & retain your worship of Molly Ringwald from the 1980's John Hughes movie era

Don't see it if You expect to be as moved by the sadder plot elements and heartwrenching performances as those in the movie version.. does not translate.

70
Saw it back to back very different experiences

See it if you haven't seen the film.

Don't see it if you have seen the film---they did it better

Also The performances were wildly different.... Read more Read less

79
Funny, touching, good acting

See it if you liked the movie. Molly Ringwald terrific as is her costar who plays the Jack Nicholson role with charm, warmth and humor. Sweet play.

Don't see it if you don't want to sit through a second act of a dying woman writing to her children. A bit long. But overall, worthwhile.

69
Intelligent, Entertaining, Humorous, Unoriginal, Retro

See it if you were a fan of Molly Ringwald or the movie, Terms of Endearment. If you like emotional stories regarding mother-daughter relationships

Don't see it if you are expecting anything new of a play based on a famous movie. If you like big extravaganzas instead of intimate plays.

Also Molly Ringwald in Terms of Endearment was entertaining, but not blow-a... Read more Read less

79
Funny, Great acting

See it if you're a Molly Ringwald fan...

Don't see it if you don't like sad stories...

Also The acting was good, IMHO...

72
Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Overrated, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy a low key story about dysfunctional relationships. If you like simplicity in stage, story and acting

Don't see it if You expect a lively storyline, superb acting or fancy staging

66
Intelligent, Relevant, Banal, Cliched, Insipid

See it if you like typical 59 east 59th Street - interesting but missing pazaaz

Don't see it if you aren't patient and into coasting through the moments.

73
Funny, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if if you are a fan of the movie and molly ringwald. if you like mother/daughter stories.

Don't see it if you are not into female based stories.

75
Funny, Great acting, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you like stories about mothers and daughters. The actors were great and molly ringwald did an amazing job making Auroura her own.

Don't see it if You don't like plays about a mother losing a daughter to cancer...Hope that was not a spoiler alert.

74
Great acting, Must see, Relevant, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy dramatic presentation of classic movies. See it if you can grasp Molly Ringwald as a grandmother. Hannah Dunne is upcoming star

Don't see it if You have the mindset that Molly Ringwald is only a sweet sixteen year old coming of age.

80
Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining, Nostalgic, Great staging

See it if you are interested in drama that explores intense family issues.

Don't see it if you saw the movie and will be distracted by the differences.

Also I was a fan of Molly Ringwald in her heyday and expected to find this ... Read more Read less

75
Funny, Ambitious, Great acting, Intense, Romantic

See it if You liked the movie, you like tear jerkers. I thouoght Molly Ringwald was great in the Shirley McLaine role and Jeb Brown was great in the

Don't see it if Jack Nicholson role. The play was more about them than the daughter. I saw many people with tissues crying.

Also Other than the 2 main roles, the other characters were not fleshed out... Read more Read less

79
Funny, Delightful, Raunchy, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if Really loved the movie and want to see a pretty good interpretation of it. The actor who plays the Jack Nicholson character is hysterical.

Don't see it if Did not enjoy and movie and do not like shows with sad endings.

69
Ambitious, Entertaining, Nice try

See it if you liked the movie and are curious to see it staged. Doesn't quite make it. The acting is good and for the stage size, the set works.

Don't see it if you want to be disappointed that the emotions of the movie do not carry through this stage version.

70
Disappointing

See it if Your a fan of Molly Ringwald. She does a fine job as Aurora Greenway.

Don't see it if The film opened the story up more, which made for a better story. The play seemed to condensed and rushed from scene to scene.

79
Fluffy, Enjoyable, fun

See it if you want to see a copy of the original movie performed on stage in a scaled down version with not the punch of the movie.

Don't see it if the movie is a favorite and you don't want to make comparisons and be disappointed.

60
Disappointing, Unemotional, Stiff

See it if you feel like you have to (like I did)... but try to resist. I'm not sure if they're bad actors or were directed poorly, but it's bad.

Don't see it if ...just don't see it.

78
Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Dated

See it if You want to see your favorite actors up close, you like family dramas, you don't have expectations of how the story should be presented

Don't see it if You have certain expectations especially after being a fan of the movie

84
Funny, Absorbing, Enchanting, Great acting, Profound

See it if Absolutely terrific acting, directing, and score; a great mother and daughter story, the space made it intimate.

Don't see it if if you did not have a good realation with your mother, or if you do not like sentimental stories.

60
Static, Unnecessary, Pale by comparison, Game cast, Tough sell

See it if You grew up on Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club + Sixteen Candles + want to see Molly Ringwald play a grandmother in an iconic film role.

Don't see it if You're a fan of the movie with it's Oscar winning roles and would rather not be thoroughly underwhelmed by this unnecessary stage treatment.

Also A static set does nothing to enhance this on-the-cheap production. Add... Read more Read less

35
Banal, Disappointing, Excruciating, Cliched, Slow

See it if To see Molly Ringwald do her best at recreating a role made famous by Shirley MacLaine. You go with the expectation of setting the bar low.

Don't see it if You are better off saving the money and renting the film. I only lasted till intermission and decided that I'd had enough. It was so stale.

70
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if You're a Molly Ringwald fan interested in seeing how she performs live and in a serious role

Don't see it if You're expecting something as engrossing as the film -- some scenes didn't translate all that well to the stage