6.5/10
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30 user 9 critic

Starting Over (1979)

A divorced man falls in love, but somehow he can't get over his ex-wife. This affects his love life in comic ways. Based on Dan Wakefield's novel.

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(based on the novel by), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Michael (Mickey) Potter
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Marva Potter
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Paul
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Marie
MacIntyre Dixon ...
Dan Ryan
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Larry (as Jay Sanders)
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Salesman
Richard Whiting ...
Everett
Alfie Wise ...
Workshop Member
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Workshop Member
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John Morganson
Mary Catherine Wright ...
Student 1 (as Mary C. Wright)
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Storyline

Burt Reynolds is an attractive middle-aged man who suffers a crisis of confidence when ditched by his ambitious singer wife (Candice Bergen), until he begins to forge a new new relationship with an equally insecure teacher (Jill Clayburgh). But when the wife attempts a reconciliation - seduction followed by a truly excruciating song she has composed for him - he realizes where his loyalty lies. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Phil Potter would like to straighten out his life...One way, or the other. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 October 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Auf ein Neues  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film in 1980 was Oscar nominated for two Academy Awards, both for actress' acting, for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Jill Clayburgh and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Candice Bergen, but neither won, losing to Sally Field for Norma Rae (1979) and Meryl Streep for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) respectively. See more »

Goofs

In the scene in which Marilyn is teaching her pupils to sublimate their anger by stomping their feet rather than hitting, she asks the children what they should do instead of hitting. One little boy, screen left, begins stomping his feet and making fists, despite the fact that Marilyn hasn't demonstrated the technique yet. An adult next to him leans down and whispers in his ear, and he not only stops, he wanders off behind some playground equipment and hides, apparently embarrassed at jumping the gun. See more »

Quotes

Little Girl: Mommy, she said the F word!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Broadcast News: James L. Brooks - A Singular Voice (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Better Than Ever
(1979)
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager
Also sung by Stephanie Mills
Produced by James Mtume (as Mtume) and Reggie Lucas (as Lucas)
See more »

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User Reviews

Burt's best!
12 January 2003 | by See all my reviews

Exceptionally funny and moving romantic comedy from Alan J. Pakula (Klute, All the President's Men) is a lost late '70's classic! Burt plays Phil Potter, a married every-man who's dumped by his self-consumed wife (Candice Bergen) only to stumble into love with an insecure school teacher (Jill Clayburgh).

Basically it sounds like An Unmarried Woman for men but Starting Over is its own film made with a gentle touch courtesy of Pakula and writer James L. Brooks and features some outstanding performances: Burt Reynolds -displaying vast amounts of charm and sex appeal- can be so beautifully restrained and sensitive (Deliverance, Boogie Nights) but then quickly turn and flash that devil's grin and deliver a line with a comic timing that's pure genius. He's amazing here and Phil is his best creation. Candice Bergen was sensational in Carnal Knowledge but her shallow Jessica is invested with a played-to-the-hilt quality and she shows a hilarious narcissiscm that wouldn't be seen again until Murphy Brown. (See if you can get her delightfully out-of-tune vocal rendition of Better than Evah out of your head after you've watched this!) Jill Clayburgh never found another part like Erica in An Unmarried Woman but then again she really didn't need to and her Marilyn is a slightly high-strung but charmingly shy wallflower and she plays off Reynolds perfectly; the two of them carry Starting Over to its finish with great style.

Starting Over is one of those movies that people vaguely remember and you almost never come across while channel surfing. (It's not even available on DVD and most video stores don't even have a copy of the VHS tape!) It's a shame it's not more available because it has an honest, acutely observational intelligence going for it and feels like a romantic comedy made for people who don't like romantic comedies. It's a great movie!


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