A boozy Broadway actress comes out of a 12-week cure to face the problems of her best friends as well as her needy daughter. She tries to balance the terrors of returning to work with the ...
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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 »
Susan is a young, beautiful and successful flute player, but because of her physical handicap, a lame leg, she is having difficulties finding Mr. Right. While on tour in France, she decides... See full summary »
This film is made up of three segments that share no plot but have a general thematic relationship. In the first segment, Virginia and her three children are left by her shiftless husband ... See full summary »
A rather naive, middle-class man is admitted to a hospital ward and finds that he is sharing it with a working-class layabout and an upper-class hypochondriac. All three of them cause headaches for the hospital staff.
A boozy Broadway actress comes out of a 12-week cure to face the problems of her best friends as well as her needy daughter. She tries to balance the terrors of returning to work with the demands of all around her with humor and insight, while staying off the booze. Written by
It is a characteristic insight by Neil Simon, who once admitted that he could not have written "Only When I Laugh", at least "not in its present form", without the experience of having raised his own two daughters. "You don't get nearly enough time to enjoy your kids and if you blow it, you'll never know what you missed", Simon once observed. "During the past few years, my oldest girl, Ellen, suddenly grew up. She became a wife, a mother, a woman in her own right. And I had to relinquish some of my precious parental rights. It wasn't easy. But I've always had an open relationship with Ellen and my younger daughter, Nancy, the kind I wished I had had, but didn't, with my own parents. And I found that the more I gave up, the more we came together, in a new and different way". His children, Simon adds, have frequently been his toughest critics. "They have said things to me which were so strong and honest that I was taken aback. But beneath it, there's always been affection and humor". See more »
When Georgia arrives home from re-hab she waits outside her apartment door holding a full bouquet of pink roses and baby's breath wrapped in green tissue paper. The grouping of the pink roses and the baby's breath changes remarkably after she enters her apartment. See more »
[as kids beat on her car]
God damn them! Why do you live in this neighborhood? Why don't you move?
Because, it only costs me $300 a month. It's a sublet from Mary Todd Lincoln.
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Only When I Laugh-It Hurts So Much to Be So Good ***1/2
Another marvelous Marsha Mason performance as a recently returning actress from rehabilitation.
Neil Simon's script is as crisp and vivid as ever. Too bad that both Miss Mason and Diane Keaton's performance in "Reds" were overlooked by the Academy when the Oscar went to the sentimental Katharine Hepburn for "On Golden Pond." Academy members were apparently voting for Henry Fonda for best actor in record numbers and just went down the line for Hepburn as well. What a shame.
The film deals with the frustrations and hopes of 3 people and that doesn't even include a worthy performance by Kristy McNichol as the daughter.
As the gay actor, desperately trying to succeed, the late James Coco was excellent. In the supporting category, he is well matched by the late Joan Hackett, tremendous as Mason's best friend, whose marriage is apparently falling apart.Those glittering grayish clothes that she wore expressed her emotions so well. No one could also wear those poncho outfits that Mason wore. They depicted a troubled, but independent lady.
This is an excellent case study of 3 friends in turmoil and how they try to cope while supporting each other emotionally. Trouble is that Georgia (Marsha Mason) allows herself to fall back and drink again. She says that as a youngster she wanted to be another Susan Hayward. She sure is crying tomorrow and smashing up her life.
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