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 ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (based on the play "The Gingerbread Lady")
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Polly Hines
...
...
Toby Landau
...
David Lowe
...
Vincent Heller (Lou)
...
Man in Bar
Ed Moore ...
Dr. Bob Komack
Byron Webster ...
Tom
Peter Coffield ...
Mr. Tarloff
Mark Schubb ...
Adam Kasabian
Ellen La Gamba ...
Receptionist
...
Nurse Garcia
Nancy Nagler ...
Heidi Stanton
...
Jason
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Storyline

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 Ed Lorusso

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

new york city | based on play | See All (2) »

Taglines:

Kristy McNichol is a daughter who never had a childhood. Marsha Mason is a mother who never grew up. And when they get together, they're the most mismatched roomates since "The Goodbye Girl". See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

25 September 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Neil Simon's Only When I Laugh  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This Neil Simon written movie is considered a mother-daughter version of Simon's earlier mismatched-roommates hit The Odd Couple (1968). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Georgia: Ya hadda look gorgeous today, right?
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Connections

References One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Machine Gun
Performed by Storm
Courtesy of MCA Records
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User Reviews

 
One of Marsha's finest moments!
23 March 2007 | by (Garner, NC) – See all my reviews

Neil Simon adapted his play "The Gingerbread Lady" into this wonderful bittersweet comedy. Kristy McNichol is wonderful as teenage daughter Polly. Marsha Mason deftly portrays boozy Broadway actress Georgia Hines. Veterans James Coco and Joan Hackett lend excellent support as a gay failed actor and fading Park Avenue beauty. Mason is wonderful as Georgia, as written she is a witty, genuine human being. Only When I Laugh is one of Neil Simon's more poignant screen adaptations. Through the good and the bad the viewer is never left wanting. This is one of my all-time favorite Neil Simon vehicles. For a play adaptation it never feels stagy.


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