Shirley MacLaine reprises her award-winning performance as Aurora Greenway in this sequel to Terms of Endearment. Fifteen years after the death of her daughter Emma, Aurora is still keeping an eye on her three grandchildren and not having very good luck with it. Tommy (George Newbern) is currently doing time on drug charges; Teddy (MacKenzie Astin) has a job with no future and an ill-mannered child whose mother, Jane (China Kantner), doesn't believe in traditional discipline; and Melanie (Juliette Lewis) is bound and determined to put Aurora through as much grief as Emma did. Aurora has a number of other adversarial relationships to contend with; she often spars with Patsy (Miranda Richardson), a friend of Emma's dead mother, and her housekeeper Rosie (Marion Ross), who is having a tentative late-term romance with the next-door neighbor, Arthur (Ben Johnson). Aurora's own love life is not doing so well. Her affair with The General (Donald Moffat) is on its last legs, she ends up sleeping with her analyst Jerry (Bill Paxton), and she confesses to her former flame Garrett (Jack Nicholson) that she has yet to meet the love of her life. Like Terms of Endearment, The Evening Star was based on a novel by Texas author Larry McMurtry; this was the final film for actor Ben Johnson, who died before it was released and who received an Academy Award and made a major comeback for his work in another film based on a McMurtry novel, The Last Picture Show.