The Evening Star continues the story of the life of Aurora Greenway (Shirley MacLaine), the controlling and vibrant mother whose daughter Emma died in Terms of Endearment. This meddlesome woman is now trying to bring some order, meaning, and zest into the chaotic lives of her grandchildren.
Tommy (George Newbern) is serving time in prison. Teddy (Mackenzie Astin) is saddled with a wife and child who dislike Aurora, and 18-year-old Melanie (Juliette Lewis) is head-over-heels in love with a self-absorbed cad (Scott Wolf).
In order to gather the varied strands of her life together, Aurora begins assembling a series of scrapbooks. She also has a brief fling with a therapist (Bill Paxton) whom she characterizes as "my bridge over shark-infested waters." Aurora's mission to discover the love of her life is aided by members of her extended family including Rosie (Marion Ross), her best friend; Patsy (Miranda Richardson), her enduring enemy; Hector Scott (Donald Moffat), an old flame; and Garret Breedlove (Jack Nicholson), a flash from the past.
The Evening Star boldly explores the adventure of aging and the benefits of life review. Writer and director Robert Harling nicely orchestrates the confusion that swirls around Aurora and her search for meaning. In the end the film provides a fine meditation on Joel Goldsmith's view that "the only reason there is for living is love. There is no other reason for staying on earth."