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Only When I Laugh (1981)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  25 September 1981 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 839 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 4 critic

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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Title: Only When I Laugh (1981)

Only When I Laugh (1981) on IMDb 6.4/10

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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:
...
Georgia Hines
...
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:

It'll make you laugh...'til you cry. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 September 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Neil Simon's Only When I Laugh  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's original source Broadway play "The Gingerbread Lady" was directed on Broadway by Robert Moore who directed a number of Neil Simon written films such as The Sunshine Boys (1977), Chapter Two (1979), Murder by Death (1976), and The Cheap Detective (1978) but not Only When I Laugh (1981). Moore previously directed this film's lead actress Marsha Mason in Chapter Two (1979). See more »

Goofs

Jimmy is arranging a bouquet of orange flowers to welcome Georgia home from re-hab. He is shown adding a stem of eucalyptus to the bouquet and two branches of orange flowers that stick up much further than the other flower stems in the vase. When the delivery boy comes and Jimmy turns to get the money to pay for the groceries, the bouquet of orange flowers has no eucalyptus stem and the flowers are all the same height again. See more »

Quotes

Georgia: What is that crap you're putting on your face?
Toby: It is from Vienna. It is ninety dollars a tube, do you notice you never see a pore on my face.
Georgia: I've never even seen your face. Who are you, anyway?
Toby: [looking at Jimmy]
Georgia: Who is she? Do you know who she is?
Toby: They take it away form you soon enough. Hold onto it while you can.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Heart
from Damn Yankees! (1958)
Music and Lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross
Performed by Kristy McNichol (uncredited) and Nancy Nagler (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cheap shots
7 July 2007 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Comedy-drama from writer Neil Simon, an expansion of his unsuccessful play "The Gingerbread Lady", has Marsha Mason playing an alcoholic Broadway star just checking out of rehab and back into reality when her estranged teenage daughter tells her she wants the two to be roommates. Fairly lively, bitchy film full of wisecracks and tears becomes flabby in the second and third acts, mostly due to poor editing which might have eliminated the dross (and a few side-plots that lead nowhere). Mason performs one too many dramatic monologues on the telephone, and there's six minutes of wasted film involving two college guys trying to pick up Mason and daughter Kristy McNichol at a health food restaurant. The movie has been designed to show off Mason's range (her vulnerability, her wiseass humor, her pathos, etc.). She's striking walking around New York City in her cape, less so when she's sniffling or giving an actors' seminar on the phone. Mason matches up perfectly with McNichol, but 17-year-old Kristy is shunted off to the side (and I disliked the padded sequence where she gets drunk like mamma). There are some fine moments here, but the picture gets off to a really bad start with an excruciating scene between James Coco and a Hispanic delivery boy. Simon takes one cheap shot after another, and yet the film isn't really about alcoholism at all, it's about masochistic behavior. **1/2 from ****


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