Ann Wedgeworth won the 1978 Tony Award (New York City) for Best Supporting or Features Actress in a Drama for "Chapter Two" for the role of Faye Medwick. Appearing in the film version in the same role, actress Valerie Harper was not Oscar nominated for the part but she did get a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Supporting Role for it.
Neil Simon's play "Chapter Two", on which this film is based, opened on Broadway in Dec. 4, 1977, at the Imperial Theatre, transferring to the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on Jan 16, 1979. It ran for a total of 857 performances until December 8, 1979. It 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.
Neil Simon's play of the same name is essentially a four-character comedy-drama. The setting of the film's source play is described in the play's intro as: "Jennifer Malone's upper East Side apartment and George Schneider's lower Central Park West apartment. A late February afternoon through mid-Spring."
Neil Simon once said of his play "Chapter Two" in "The Play Goes On" (1999): "Before I could write the play Chapter Two...I felt I had to go to Marsha to get her consent...If this was too personal to go public with, despite the fact that I would try to give the characters their own personalities separate from ours, I would still have to adhere to her wishes. When I finally asked her, she said, 'It's fine with me because what you'd be telling is your story, not mine. You'd write about what was going on in your head and could only presume what was happening to me. If I want to tell my story, maybe I'll put it in my own book one day.' I was enormously grateful for her consent and encouragement, and although I knew I'd made no promises to her, I would have to treat the story as truthfully as I could."
Neil Simon's original title for the play was "George Feiffer Meets Annie Malone. However, the character names had to be changed when it was discovered that Annie was the name of the Annie character in the musical of the same name, which had just opened in 1977. Similarly, George Pfeiffer was the name of a real-life spy novelist, the character in the play also being a writer of espionage fiction.
Marsha Mason plays a character based on herself and her relationship with writer 'Neil Simon (I)' (Fqv), Mason is essentially playing herself. Similarly, in her next Neil Simon film Only When I Laugh (1981), she plays an actress who does a play written by her writer ex-partner, who based it on their relationship. As such, she plays an actress playing a part in a play based on her character, her character in the play is essentially playing her character self.
"Chapter Two" was based on the early part of writer Neil Simon's marriage to actress Marsha Mason which was Simon's second marriage. Similarly, the play and film of Barefoot in the Park (1967) was based on the first early weeks of Simon's first marriage to Joan Baim.
The amount of time that Jennie MacLaine (Marsha Mason) and George Schneuder (James Caan) knew each other before they got married was ten days. In real life, Marsha Mason and writer Neil Simon knew each other for 22 days before they got married.
The character name of Jennie Malone in Neil Simon's play "Chapter Two" was changed to Jennie MacLaine for this feature film version. Similarly, the profession of George Schneider was changed from being a playwright in the play to being a novelist in this film.