Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Terms Of Endearment (1983)

Yup, I had never seen this before.  Not for any reason, I just never, I don't know, thought about it. But then in the past couple weeks I have been listening to an interview on Marc Maron's WTF Podcast, a two parter done back in August with Judd Apatow. In it they delved into Apatow's youth, and the comedy he was brought up on, and, of course, at some point they got to talking about him delving into movies. It was really fascinating for him to trace his sort of lineage that would eventual lead to what people, I think, refer to as an "Apatowian" comedy.  He talks about movies that have inspired his style, which he himself made honed and made his own. He mentioned Annie Hall, but he also mentioned Terms Of Endearment. It being "Oscar Month", they had it on On Demand, and with nothing much going on last night I decided to finally watch it. There's a few things here: I can see how this might have influenced Apatow in some ways, the funny scenes, particularly with Jack Nicholson, in a Supporting Actor Oscar-winning role as the next door neighbor/former astronaut trying to seduce Shirley MacLaine's widow. Seriously, I could have watched them courting them forever. This is before Jack Nicholson would fall completely into self-parody. I could see what Apatow was talking about, he has honed his skills enough to balance comedy and real emotion, but I don't think any of his stuff yet has tipped the scales into outright tragedy and drama that Terms of Endearment eventually becomes. But in the context, it worked, and I can see why this was such a big hit back in the day. James L. Brooks really had the magic touch, and, seeing this, I can see how he could be included in the comedy/dramatic lineage that would eventual inspire Apatow to produce his comedies. After all, James L. Brooks also brought us The Simpsons, which most certainly is a part of the evolution of that very certain type of comedy, which has become more prominent in about the past ten years. Overall, I would say I was pleasantly surprised. (And I might, MIGHT, who could tell for sure, shed a few tears towards the end there.)


No comments:

Post a Comment