The Evening Star

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The Evening Star
Evening star.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Robert Harling
Produced by David Kirkpatrick
Polly Platt
Written by Larry McMurtry
Robert Harling
Starring Shirley MacLaine
Bill Paxton
Juliette Lewis
Miranda Richardson
Music by William Ross
Cinematography Don Burgess
Edited by David Moritz
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • December 25, 1996 (1996-12-25)
Running time 129 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $20 million
Box office $12,767,815

The Evening Star is a 1996 sequel to Academy Award for Best Picture-winning Terms of Endearment, starring Shirley MacLaine, who reprises the role of Aurora Greenway she won an Oscar for playing in the original film. The script is by Larry McMurtry, based on his novel, and Robert Harling, who also served as director.

The story takes place about fifteen years after the original, following the characters from 1988 to 1993. It focuses on Aurora's relationship with her three grandchildren, her late daughter Emma's best friend Patsy and her longtime housekeeper Rosie. Along the way Aurora enters into a relationship with a younger man, while watching the world around her change as old friends pass on and her grandchildren make lives of their own.

Miranda Richardson co-stars as a Houston divorcee and Aurora's rival, Patsy Carpenter. Juliette Lewis plays Aurora's rebellious granddaughter, Melanie Horton, with Marion Ross as Aurora's housekeeper (Golden Globe nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category) and Bill Paxton as Aurora's psychiatrist and lover.

The movie was Ben Johnson's last, in a career that spanned over 60 years. The film is dedicated to him.

Jack Nicholson returns in an extended cameo appearance, playing the role he played in Terms of Endearment, retired astronaut Garrett Breedlove.

Plot[edit]

Years have passed since the death of her daughter. Aurora Greenway is still her usual strong, willful self, but all is not well with the three grandchildren she raised after Emma's death, particularly eldest boy Tommy, who is serving time in jail on a drug charge.

Younger brother Teddy now has a girlfriend and a son. Melanie, the youngest, is all but grown, still living with Aurora at home but giving serious thought to moving out. Aurora's only true companion is housekeeper Rosie, particularly now that a man she's been spending time with, the General, is a friend, not a romance.

Her late daughter's old friend Patsy still has a home in Houston and thinks of herself as Aurora's friend now, dispensing advice to Melanie, something that Aurora doesn't appreciate.

Rosie is being courted by an elderly gentleman named Arthur, who has bought astronaut Garrett Breedlove's former house next door. On seeing how lonely Aurora obviously is, Rosie tricks her into seeing a storefront psychiatrist, Jerry, to whom Aurora admits that she's still seeking "the love of my life."

Thoroughly unprofessional in almost every way, Jerry jumps into a romantic situation with Aurora himself. But he has an ulterior motive, which she soon learns. Aurora is cheered up only by a brief visit from Garrett, who advises her to find that true love soon because "there aren't that many shopping days left till Christmas."

Needing a cause, Aurora decides to take charge after Melanie moves to California to try to become an actress. She is peeved to discover that Patsy has exactly the same idea. Melanie succeeds in landing a role on a television show. Aurora comes home to a new problem, however, when it turns out that Rosie is critically ill. She is left once more facing the prospect of being alone.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Unlike Terms of Endearment, the film was not a box-office success, grossing only $12,767,815 (unadjusted) and received poor reviews from critics, as it currently holds a 23% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[citation needed]

Roger Ebert, in his Chicago Sun-Times review of Dec. 27, 1996, described The Evening Star as "a completely unconvincing sequel," awarding it only one-and-a-half stars of a possible four.

External links[edit]