Postcards from the Edge


Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18

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Critic Reviews

  1. There's a slightness to Postcards From the Edge, and a little too much satirical self-help jargon (the story is all about how Suzanne learns to like herself). But the movie captures — and celebrates — how easy it is to turn your problems into show biz.
  2. Time
    Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    The movie, which drops the postcards but keeps the edge, is a show-biz mother-daughter film par excellence -- Terms of Endearment out of Gypsy. [17 Sept 1990, p.70]
  3. 80
    Their drugs are Cigarettes, Television, and Hostess Cup Cakes. In the end, if I am ever reincarnated and I have my choice between hating my White Trash Mom or hating my movie star Mom. I'm picking the movie star Mom every time.
  4. Postcards From the Edge seems to have been a terrifically genial collaboration between the writer and the director, Miss Fisher's tale of odd-ball woe being perfect material for Mr. Nichols's particular ability to discover the humane sensibility within the absurd.
  5. Among the pleasures to be found here are some amusing sidelong glances at how movies get made and the singing talent of Streep as well as MacLaine. There's not much depth here, but Nichols does a fine job with the surface effects, and the wisecracks keep coming.
  6. 75
    Streep is very funny in the movie; she does a good job of catching the knife-edged throwaway lines that have become Carrie Fisher's speciality. And director Mike Nichols captures a certain kind of difficult reality in his scenes on movie sets, where the actress is pulled this way and that by people offering helpful advice. Everyone wants a piece of a star, even a falling one.
  7. Boston Globe
    Reviewed by: Joan Anderman
    With its wry take on the manic triviality of the industry, it's not only the most sparklingly jaundiced showbiz entertainment since "All About Eve." It's also the gutsiest mother-daughter story since "Terms of Endearment." Call it "Terms of Endurement," plan on laughing a lot, and you won't be far off. [13 Sep 1990, p.97]
  8. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Dave Kehr
    Postcards From the Edge is alive only when it's being as mean and vicious as its little heart can be, which is more than often enough. [12 Sep 1990, p.1]
  9. Postcards is a mixed bag. There are a number of entertaining moments; however, potentially rich characters and situations wither from lack of development for the sake of the central relationship, which is never wholly convincing.
  10. 70
    The movie turns maudlin in the end, but still, nothing matters except the jokes. And Streep. She skates through the picture, unscathed by its lapses, glorying in her chance to strut her comic stuff. This alone is cause for celebration. Tragedy's loss is comedy's gain.
  11. 70
    But for all the jagged, witty chatter -- and Streep and MacLaine do their tragicomic damnedest with it -- Postcard provides the most rudimentary and jury-rigged of outcomes.
  12. 70
    Mike Nichols' film of Carrie Fisher's novel Postcards from the edge packs a fair amount of emotional wallop in its dark-hued comic take on a chemically dependent Hollywood mother and daughter (Shirley MacLaine and Meryl Streep).
  13. The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Postcards From The Edge, is long on witty one-liners but woefully short on coherent structure. [13 Sep 1990, p.C5]
  14. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Mike Nichols may never direct another ground-breaking movie, but even with bit performers he is still Mike Midas. Leads and lesser players alike have pointed things to say in this solid, not great, entertainment; if you think this is a movie for you - it probably is. [12 Sep 1990, p.1D]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Aug 25, 2014
    A deep, often sad, look at the relationship of Mother and Daughter movie stars, disguised as a comedy. It works immensely and has us cravingA deep, often sad, look at the relationship of Mother and Daughter movie stars, disguised as a comedy. It works immensely and has us craving for more wit and grit from Streep and MacLaine. Full Review »
  2. Dec 20, 2010
    Postcards from the Edge is a rather fun comedy. With the excellent Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine, it is definitely a feel-good type ofPostcards from the Edge is a rather fun comedy. With the excellent Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine, it is definitely a feel-good type of comedy. There is nothing overtly special about this film - it is a rather simple success--utter failure--pick yourself up--and success again, type of story. However, the acting, especially by the two female leads (Streep and MacLaine), is just great, and they definitely are believable as celebrity mother and daughter. The storyline, as mentioned, is rather simple, but is underpinned by a deeper story of a cycle of vice that a family can go through and how it can lead to the deterioration of relations within the family, and possibly even lead to fatalities. Overall, this is a rather good film and definitely worth watching, but do not expect to be blown out of your shoes. Full Review »