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Starting Over (1979)

R  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  5 October 1979 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 1,581 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 9 critic

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.



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


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


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


Comedy | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

5 October 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Auf ein Neues  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Originally director Alan J. Pakula did not want Burt Reynolds for the Phil Potter part, feeling he was not the right type; he wanted a more New York-trained actor along the lines of Al Pacino or Dustin Hoffman. But Reynolds lobbied hard for the role and Pakula finally let him audition. After two auditions, Reynolds had the role and Pakula subsequently has praised his work in the film. See more »


Moving mic shadow is visible on wall in scene where Phil meets Marie's children. See more »


Man in Market: Just relax. Panama and Nicaragua border Costa Rica.
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Better Than Ever
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager
Sung by Candice Bergen
See more »

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User Reviews

Now this is what a "romantic comedy" should be like
24 June 2001 | by (Korea) – See all my reviews

Man, what a difference 20 years or so makes! I'm not sure when I saw this movie, but since it came out in 1979, and I saw it on TV (probably cable at my brother's house)-it was surely in the early 80s. I couldn't remember the movie very well (though I do distinctly remember Burt Reynolds taking the polaroids of Jill Clayburgh in the shower, and her laughing at the tall basketball player) but I knew that I thought it was funny. In fact it was funny enough to go on my short list of movies to watch again soon (you know that one that you never seem to get to). Well imagine my surprise when I saw this video in the bargain-bin of the video store here on the U.S. Army base in Yongsan Korea for two bucks!

Well I liked the movie back then, but I watched it with totally different eyes as a 37 year-old man. It was still funny, but in a much more relative way. Back then I thought Reynold's antics were charming, now I see them as irrepressible. I'm sure I thought Clayburgh's character was a little strange back then, now I see her as vulnerable and true.

This is a very good movie with numerous scenes that are funny and touching. In an industry flooded with banal romantic-comedies this should set the mark.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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