In this film, three Jewish widows who live in Pittsburgh help each other on a mutual journey through bereavement. During this scary period, their friendship helps alleviate the loneliness, grief, and anxiety they all feel about starting their lives over again.
Doris (Olympia Dukakis) is a conservative and humorless woman whose world has been completely shattered by the death of her beloved husband. Her visits to the cemetery are pilgrimages based on duty.
Lucille (Diane Ladd), on the other hand, had an unhappy marriage to a philandering mate. She's now embarked on a quest for male attention. This attempt at revenge keeps her busy.
Esther (Ellen Burstyn) has chosen to neither sanctify nor to compete with her deceased husband. Perhaps that's why Ben (Danny Aiello), a retired cop who drives a cab, chooses to go out with her rather than with either of her friends.
Director Bill Duke draws out immensely appealing performances from his outstanding cast. This bittersweet comedy is based on Ivan Menchell's Broadway drama. It zeroes in on the challenges women over 50 face as they try to put the past behind them and move into uncharted territory.
Esther's cautious relationship with Ben helps her find the inner strength and will to love again. All three women test their friendship and hopes for the future as they struggle to create new possibilities for themselves. This comic and cathartic movie has an important moral fear life a little less and embrace the unknown a little more.