When this came out dramadies were less box office prevalent than they've been in recent decades, therefore it was a bit novel when it was released. TOE is well-scripted and candid about some then-taboo topics (cancer, infidelity, aging) and the cast do their jobs with aplomb - perhaps then a great film for the time. But times have changed and ouch that wretched score.
Starting my day with watching it was a good idea. The great performances, the good transitions from funny to sad, the very pretty outfits and dresses of MacLaine. I just hate how much it made me weep, but just because a movie makes you cry, doesn't mean it's no good. I just have a weakness for family movies.
Shirley MacLaine is a great actress and she absolutely owns this film with her performance as Aurora. This film is a tear jerker but it earns our sympathy with great acting and well developed characters. This film is about the importance of family and a significant other. This film is an emotional roller coaster that has a lot of wisdom in the details.
Garrett shows up at the hotel, looks up and says simply "Aurora", he climbs the stairs to her, and she finally allows herself to weep for her dying daughter, I bawled like a baby. Schmaltz and all, this is one of my favorite films. Extraordinary talent created relationships that were totally honest. MacLaine and Nicholson are perfection together; the comedy is as good as the drama. I love Brooks' writing.
The only part that struck an emotional chord with me was the, "Give my daughter the shot!" scene. In the end I find myself without a connection to any of the characters and left questioning, "This was nominated for... how many Oscars?"
Off-beat, as they say. All of the characters are pretty odd, hard to relate to. This makes it interesting. I love Debra Winger in this, although the Oscars went to Nicholson and MacLaine. The soundtrack is horrible.