George Schneider is an author whose wife had just died. His brother Leo gives him the number of Jennie Malone, and somehow they hit it off. And just when things are moving along, the memory... See full summary »
George Schneider is an author whose wife had just died. His brother Leo gives him the number of Jennie Malone, and somehow they hit it off. And just when things are moving along, the memory of his first wife comes between them. Written by
This film was made and released about two years after its source play of the same name by Neil Simon was first performed in 1977. The original Broadway production of "Chapter Two" opened at the Imperial Theater on 4th December 1977 and then transferred to the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on 16th January 1979. It ran for a total of 857 performances until 8th December 1979 two years later. The play was nominated for the 1978 Tony Award for the Best Play. The play premiered in London's West End at the Gielgud Theatre in February 1996 and starred Sharon Gless and Tom Conti. Moreover, though a New York playwright, Simon's play actually premiered in Los Angeles at the Ahmanson Theatre on 7th October 1977. See more »
I am wonderful, I'm nuts about me, and if you're stupid enough to throw someone sensational like me aside, you don't deserve as good as you've got.
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Let's get this out of the way first. Marsha Mason is the type of actress that puts a great deal of herself into every part she plays. What Diane Keaton and Mia Farrow were to the writing skills of Woody Allen, Mason was to Neil Simon. An actress who possessed an instinct for the writers mind and interpreted his material better than anyone. In CHAPTER TWO, Mason is at her best when delivering clever Neil Simon one liners. And although she gives it her all, she cannot on her own be expected to put across some of the stickiest dialogue ever written by Neil Simon. Particularly the self righteous overly emotional speech at the end. Not even Meryl Streep could pull that one off !! Simon had written a similar speech for Mason in THE GOODBYE GIRL. About how the character likes herself now and how far she had come in her life and how grown up and wonderful she feels. Mason should have put her foot down with this monologue in CHAPTER TWO. There is no way short of a miracle that any actor can pull gooey dialogue off like that without setting nervousness up in the viewer. This is not to say that Neil Simon has failed with this piece. Some of his words hit a nice autobiographic mark and I like the confessional speech that George (James Caan) gives about all the reasons why he resents marriage the second time around. It's too bad Caan never becomes the part. He's so wooden and uncomfortable in this. Not as the character, but as an actor who can't find his way through the part. Caan looks to Mason knowing she's carrying the weight of the picture and he's hoping her performance will carry him too. The chemistry between them doesn't jell the way it did in Cinderella LIBERTY. Probably due to some of the icky dialogue displayed here. Fortunately there's top notch supporting work by Valerie Harper and Joseph Bologna. Both are at the top of their game here. Simon seems to have written the best scenes for them. While I can forgive Robert Moore's soapy direction, I cannot for my life excuse the awful music score. Indicative of most music in movies between the decade of 1976 through 1986. Inappropriate and sappy in the worst sense.
Why would anyone want to be in love after watching this picture and hearing it's sticky music? The feeling of this movie is like one of those old butter commercials with the two lovers running in slow motion towards each other. I must admit to feeling lonely before watching CHAPTER TWO. After it was over I was extremely happy that I was not in a relationship and quite content to be single for a while. Thanks Neil !!
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