Cinema: Terms Of Endearment

I'VE HEARD THE MERMAIDS SINGING

Poor Polly. She's 31 going on 13, a gamine klutz working as a temp, famished for experiences that will match her soaring fantasies. She takes photographs and records herself on videotape; she is her own and only pal, admirer and shrink. Polly (Sheila McCarthy) needs to find a heroine -- say, the supersoignee curator of an art gallery (Paule Baillargeon). Then she needs to feel betrayed by this designated goddess so she can finally locate her strengths.

This Canadian comedy scans like a fairy tale for feminist preteens -- Ms. Nancy Drew. Like Polly, Writer-Director Patricia...