Then...it's not TERMS OF ENDEARMENT, in my opinion. That's much darker in storyline than 1983's TERMS OF ENDEARMENT. It cancels out the warmth and humor we loved about the original version. How do you feel about that? I say just write Oprah an original AIDS drama script and shoot that. I love me some Oprah but this remake doesn't seem like a great idea to me.
Director James L. Brooks wanted Aurora Greenway, the widowed Houston mother, to seem constantly tense. On my VH1 talk show, Shirley MacLaine told me about Brooks' direction.
In my New York City years, I had a few encounters with actress Celeste Holm. The first one was when I interviewed her on WPIX TV. In the make-up room before the taping, we chatted about different stuff. She talked about a Fox musical she made that she felt was awful, an ex-husband she divorced because he was screwing every other dame he could...but they became good friends after the divorce...a line she had in ALL ABOUT EVE that she didn't like, and we discussed TERMS OF ENDEARMENT. I told her that I loved it and saw it more than once. Celeste Holm said that she couldn't believe Shirley MacLaine would've had a daughter who looked like Debra Winger. Why? Because Winger looked "...too Jewish."
I disagreed. In the first TERMS OF ENDEARMENT scene, the daughter is a baby in a crib and Aurora is watching her like a White House bodyguard. You hear Aurora's husband off-camera. You never see Mr. Greenway before his death, but you hear his voice. Actor Albert Brooks did the voice.
If you have never seen TERMS OF ENDEARMENT -- the original -- I highly recommend that you do. Have plenty of tissues nearby.