Terms of Endearment
Closed 2h 0m
Terms of Endearment
70

Terms of Endearment NYC Reviews and Tickets

70%
(86 Reviews)
Positive
61%
Mixed
34%
Negative
5%
Members say
Entertaining, Great acting, Disappointing, Slow, Absorbing

About the Show

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.

Read more Show less

Member Reviews (86)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
35
Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow, Cliched, Banal

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.

49
Superficial, Disappointing, Slow, Cliched, Dated

See it if soap operas are your thing.

Don't see it if believable characters matter. Read more

Critic Reviews (31)

The New York Times
November 17th, 2016

"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."
Read more

Time Out New York
November 16th, 2016

"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."
Read more

The Hollywood Reporter
November 16th, 2016

"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."
Read more

Deadline
November 16th, 2016

"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."
Read more

New York Daily News
November 17th, 2016

"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."
Read more

Theatermania
November 16th, 2016

"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."
Read more

BroadwayWorld
November 18th, 2016

"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."
Read more

Lighting & Sound America
November 22nd, 2016

"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."
Read more

Talkin' Broadway
November 16th, 2016

"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."
Read more

TheaterScene.net
December 5th, 2016

“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.”
Read more

Theatre is Easy
November 17th, 2016

"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."
Read more

Theater Pizzazz
November 16th, 2016

"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."
Read more

CurtainUp
November 23rd, 2016

"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."
Read more

Front Row Center
November 17th, 2016

"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?"
Read more

Exeunt Magazine
November 17th, 2016

"Despite the aura of the movie hanging over nearly every scene, this production reminds us that, even if we know how it ends, a good story will still be good whether on stage or screen...The snippets of music between scenes are also very short and end abruptly, creating an uneven pace that suggests that director Michael Parva just wants to get to the real heart of the play. That seems to arrive with Jeb Brown...The chemistry between Brown and Ringwald is real and they bring the play to life."
Read more

T
November 24th, 2016

"Too much and yet not enough happens in the play’s five-year time span to effectively establish a sufficient dramatic arc. There is no character growth or building of relationships. At times it feels as though there are several solo performers each telling their own stories. The cast works admirably with the material they are provided but are not afforded the time or circumstance for them to form strong bonds. Except for the final scenes, they appear as personalities rather than people."
Read more

C
November 16th, 2016

"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."
Read more

Theatre's Leiter Side
November 16th, 2016

“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.”
Read more

The Huffington Post
November 18th, 2016

"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."
Read more

Wolf Entertainment Guide
November 24th, 2016

"'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."
Read more

Theater In The Now
November 28th, 2016

"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."
Read more

BlogCritics.org
November 16th, 2016

"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."
Read more

WNBC
November 16th, 2016

"'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."
Read more

Manhattan Digest
November 22nd, 2016

"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."
Read more

Epoch Times
November 24th, 2016

"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."
Read more

NY Theatre Guide
November 16th, 2016

"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."
Read more

Reflections in the Light
November 22nd, 2016

"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."
Read more

BroadwaySelect
November 21st, 2016

"Seeing Ringwald resemble MacLaine reminds us, though, that we’re watching a story we’ve already seen...Why remind us that we’ve had the quintessential 'Terms of Endearment' experience long ago, especially if you can’t do it as well on stage?...The playwright uses clunky exposition all too often, and starts too many scenes with such lines as 'It’s been two weeks' and 'It’s been five years'...Just another reminder of how much 'Terms of Endearment' relies on the film."
Read more

Says Me Says Mom
November 17th, 2016

"The show works best in the small intimate moments. Seeing these moments brought to life on stage draws the audience in much more than is possible in a movie. However, some of the larger moments which are only mentioned in the show but actually occur in the movie don't always come across as well in the show...All in all although the show is perfect for mother/daughter bonding, it can be enjoyed by anyone whether they've seen the film or not."
Read more

W
November 28th, 2016

"Between Brown’s charisma, Ringwald’s gravitas and their chemistry together, this is a production not to be missed...Parva, who has worked with playwright Dan Gordon before, have worked together to craft a graceful, flowing, nearly seamless production...Unfortunately, due to space and time constraints, there are some really powerful moments in the film that simply don’t happen in this version. It’s a disappointment, but not enough to keep from recommending this production."
Read more

Plays to See
November 17th, 2016

"While it is easy to find fault with Ringwald’s somewhat shallow interpretation of the complexities of Aurora’s personality, one must acknowledge that an actress is guided by a script...A great deal of effort is put into the visuals...The actors manage to migrate nicely from scene to scene."
Read more

Watch This Next (3)

83
Great
150+ Reviews
Open run
Six
NYC: Midtown W

An exuberant, pop celebration of 21st century girl power featuring the wives of Henry VIII.

Buy
82
Great
500+ Reviews
Open run
NYC: Midtown W

An actor drinks heavily (think Comedy Central's 'Drunk History') and tries to corral others into enacting a…

Buy
77
Good
134 Reviews
Ends Oct 10
NYC: Midtown W

Following a sold-out run at LCT3, "Pass Over" will come to Broadway for a limited run this August.

Buy