Top Mother’s Day Films in Weepy Melodramas

April 23, 2023 12:03 am26 commentsViews: 107

This category carries with it a stigma worse than romantic comedy. Among this list of favorites, though, are films that hit just the right note of sentiment, sprinkled with a few guilty pleasures that shamelessly wallow in the sap.

Terms of Endearment

Terms of Endearment: The greatest of its genre, seamlessly melding comedy and drama. It also features fierce performances from Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger, and one of trademark cool from Jack Nicholson. It’s the story of Aurora Greenway (MacLaine), and her daughter, Emma (Winger). The two share a volatile relationship, full of intense love and hate. The film follows decades of their lives, as they deal with each other, as well as significant others. MacLaine and Nicholson both won well deserved Oscars for their performances, and this remains James L Brooks’s crowning directorial achievement. Despite real-life rancour (or, perhaps, because of it), MacLaine and Winger strike a beautiful and brutal chord of truth, on-screen. The film’s overall sense of uncomfortable realism garners as many laughs as tears.

Steel Magnolias: An estrogen-fueled cast of powerful performers makes this one a standout. Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Sally Field, Daryl Hannah, and Dolly Parton round out the all-star cast. It’s Julia Roberts, though, who garnered the most attention (and her first Oscar nomination) for her pre-Pretty Woman performance, as the ill-fated Shelby. The film, itself, effortlessly shifts between humor and heartache.

The Way We Were: A must-see for Babs fans (that’s Ms. Streisand for non-believers). The timely political backdrop gives this weeper more weight.

Love Story: So retro it’s like new again. Rip-offs like Sweet November and Autumn In New York are just warmed over imitations.

Titanic: Dialogue is clearly not writer/director James Cameron’s forte’. Still, despite some clumsiness, this film was embraced by a barrier-free audience. That kind of scope can’t be ignored.

The English Patient: Ralph Fiennes ripping off Kristin Scott Thomas’ dress, then sewing it back together. Enough said.

The End of the Affair: This gorgeous 1999 adaptation of Graham Greene’s novel features Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore as star-crossed lovers.

Far From Heaven: This heartbreaking homage to classic melodramas manages to outshine them all.

An Affair To Remember: The final act is overrated saccharine, but the playful (and heavily ad-libbed) courtship banter between Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr is inspired.
Beaches: By far the guiltiest confection of the bunch, but a classic weeper, in the truest sense of the word. Best of luck trying not to tear up during the climactic “Wind Beneath My Wings” montage.


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