I’m Checkin’ Out

Postcards from the Edge is a deeply personal mother-daughter story. The original 1987 novel by Carrie Fisher was inspired by her own complicated relationship with her mother Debbie Reynolds. Though Reynolds and Fisher didn’t always get along, I’m confident they loved each other till the end. Names may be changed, but it’s hard not to see Carrie Fisher in Suzanne Vale or Debbie Reynolds in Doris Mann. It helps that both characters are elevated by Oscar winning actresses Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine. Suzanne is a drug addict trying to get her career back on track after attending rehab.

Doris can be overbearing toward her daughter, but her only real flaw is her drinking problem. When they’re forced to live together, they learn to reconcile their relationship in true Hollywood fashion. The rest of the cast is a who’s who of recognizable stars. Gene Hackman steals a few scenes as Suzanne’s director who calls her out and comforts her at the same time. Suzanne’s messy love life is shown with a manipulative performance by Dennis Quaid. A young Annette Bening is another more dimwitted actress that he also sleeps with.

Richard Dreyfuss makes the most of his time as the doctor who pumps Suzanne’s stomach. CCH Pounder is her concerned therapist and Rob Reiner gives her drug testing information. I also recognized Mary Wickes as her equally overbearing grandmother and Robin Bartlett as her rehab roommate. There’s also Conrad Bain, Simon Callow, Gary Morton, Anthony Heald, and Oliver Platt. Streep’s humorous performance received another expected Best Actress nomination, but MacLaine wasn’t nominated despite being just as committed. The country song “I’m Checkin’ Out” that Suzanne sings for her mother was at least nominated for Best Original Song too. Postcards from the Edge speaks to generations of movie fans.

Postcards from the Edge

Suzanne and Doris go out

4 thoughts on “I’m Checkin’ Out

  1. They aired this last night on Turner Classic Movies as part of their Mother’s Day line up. Never really been a fan of Bio Films as they often change too much around. The cast is impressive for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I watched this while reading a bunch of Carrie Fishers books so it was interesting to see the stuff that was real. And Streep is really great in these roles I wish she’d do more comedies.

    Liked by 1 person

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