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Film / Postcards from the Edge

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A 1990 American comedy-drama film directed by Mike Nichols, adapted by Carrie Fisher from her own semi-autobigraphical 1987 novel of the same name about a recovering addict actress (Meryl Streep) who is forced to move in with her mother (Shirley MacLaine).

The movie also stars Dennis Quaid, Gene Hackman, Richard Dreyfuss, Rob Reiner, Mary Wickes, Annette Bening, Conrad Bain, and Simon Callow.

It was released on September 14, 1990.

Tropes for the film:

  • The Film of the Book: Based on Fisher's book of the same name.
  • Going Commando: Implied. Suzanne Vale rails on her mother, Doris Mann for lifting her skirt up at Suzanne's get-together. Doris states she twirled it up, and Suzanne points out Doris wasn't wearing underwear.
  • Inadvertent Entrance Cue: The counsellor asks Suzanne "This anger isn't about me. Who are you really angry with?" Then Doris arrives.
  • It's All About Me: Doris is extraordinarily vain and self-absorbed, even by aging Hollywood diva standards, to the extent of providing a reasonable Freudian Excuse for Suzanne and her problems. The main subtexts here are Suzanne trying to cope with how much her mother has messed up her life, and trying to get her mother to have a Heel Realization about her self-centered, manipulative behavior.
  • The Oner: The movie starts with a scene lampshading this practice; a misspoken line threatens to ruin the entire shot.
  • Proscenium Reveal: Suzanne flubbing a line during The Oner during the opening.
  • Roman Clef: Carrie Fisher fictionalizes things in an entertaining and poignant way, but it's unapologetically about her and her relationship with her mother Debbie Reynolds.
  • White-Dwarf Starlet: Deconstructed with Doris, and lampshaded with her performance of "I'm Still Here" from Follies.