Postcards from the Edge (1990)
Carrie Fisher's semi-autobiographical story about an underachieving, middle-aged Hollywood starlet struggling with drug-addiction (Meryl Streep) and her alcoholic mother who cannot quite handle her faded stardom (Shirley MacLaine) rings true in several ways. As directed by Mike Nichols, it's a satirical, lighthearted mocking of some of Hollywood's least glamorous characteristics, even if that ultimately means an inevitable self-mockery as well. The film's most valuable asset, in addition to Fisher's wealth of caustic one-liners and comebacks written for the Streep character, is the relation between the mother and the daughter, which is drenched in an often warm but hopeless melancholy. You'll find yourself feeling for these characters, even though they're not sympathetic enough to really care for. Streep shows off her abundance of talent despite being slightly miscast, whereas MacLaine is very much in her right element. Dennis Quaid, Gene Hackman and Richard Dreyfuss contribute with fine supporting roles, but it's a young Annette Bening who steals the show with her one scene with Streep.