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14 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

One of the most delightful character comedies I have ever seen.

Author: budmassey ( from Indianapolis, IN
27 July 2002

I've always known intuitively that critics don't know beans about movies. Now I have empirical evidence. One hot, lazy evening, while perusing the listings on digital cable, I was presented the choice of this, Romantic Comedy, and There Goes My Baby (of which, see my review). There Goes My Baby got three out of fours stars, and is one of the most abysmally bad movies I have had the misfortune to watch. Romantic Comedy got only one star, and is one of the most delightful character comedies I have ever seen.

Director Arthur Hiller is known for solid comedy fare like Plaza Suite, and classic melodrama like Love Story. Writer Bernard Slade also gave us Same Time Next Year, as well as an impressive portfolio of small screen classics.

Dudley Moore, while not as impressive as in Arthur a couple of years earlier, is at his peak as Jason Carmichael, a playwright looking for a new writing partner whom he finds in Phoebe Craddock, played by Mary Steenburgen. Unlike Moore, Steenburgen's career was on the rise with Romantic Comedy, and deservedly so, coming on the heels of her Oscar for Melvin and Howard.

The problem with this movie is that it isn't a movie. It's a play. Sometimes that translates well, but here the feeling remains decidedly Broadway. That's not necessarily a problem, and in fact is one of the reasons I love the movie as well as the play. But the reliance upon dialogue and character inherent in plays, and at which Romantic Comedy excels brilliantly, is lost on the sensibilities of an American movie-going audience numbed by the sensory overload of lesser films.

The supporting cast is remarkable, with Frances Sternhagen as Blanche, Jason's agent and friend, and Ron Leibman as Steenbergen's other love interest. There are too many great one-liners to site, since, after all, this is a play, but two of my favorites are "Oh I just love New York. Every time I come here I just feel like going down on the whole city." and "We're you eavesdropping? Of course not, Blanche, who can hear anything over the clatter of your bracelets." And if these leave you a little cold, remember you're not getting them with the benefit of the timing and delivery of the consummate talent in this little gem, which returns me to my original point.

Play acting, as in "acting in plays" takes a far greater talent than the totally manufactured portrayals we see in most movies. These people can do it in spades, and that's why you should see this movie... I mean play. It is now available on DVD. Get it, and refresh your palette.

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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Fun, Romantic and overall Entertaining.

Author: ellesmom from Donaldsonville, LA
4 August 2000

I found this movie light and entertaining. I really don't understand why it was abused by the critics. The perfect Dudley Moore vehicle, consisting of comedy in an all too real and serious romantic life situation. NO... it's not an Oscar winner, but it certainly doesn't deserve the bad rating originally heap on it. If you are looking for a true Romantic Comedy... this is the movie you are looking for. It doesn't require that you think and worry about every twist and turn, but does bring true laughter and entertainment into your home.

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9 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Light, pleasant and agreeable.

Author: Hermit C-2 from Marietta, GA, USA
31 July 1999

I've never quite understood why this movie has so bad a reputation. It's not Tracy and Hepburn, to be sure, but I found Dudley Moore a lot more likable in this than I usually do and Mary Steenburgen is great, I think. It should appeal to those who like Neil Simon and movies set in the Manhattan theatre world. There's some funny stuff here and there and I thought the characters were agreeable. 'Romantic Comedy' is certainly no classic for the ages but I think that people who enjoy the genre in the title should like it.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A prolonged but wonderful story of collaboration!

Author: Predrag ( from Serbia
13 June 2016

The film consists of more than two hours of a couple of writers, somehow in love with each other but unable or unwilling to marry, fussing, fighting, and shouting. And in the end, even though their sexual escapade proved less than thrilling, they end in a clinch on a couch. Happing ending. The film is not very romantic and certainly isn't funny. The moral dimensions of the script are wholly secular and consistently depressing. Marriage and children are nothing when compared to sexual urges, booze, and fame.

But there are some good lines in places. And the acting is superb. Dudley Moore and Mary Steenburgen are something to behold. The music is above average, and Arthur Hiller displays his usual excellence as a director. But even the stars of the film were unable to put life into a lame script that is at least 30 minutes too long.

Overall rating: 7 out of 10.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

You Can't Leave Me, I've Named My Dog After You

Author: Jay Raskin from Orlando, United States
17 October 2009

I saw this the same week that I saw Dudley Moore's other 1983 romantic comedy, "Love Sick". While I have to give the edge to Marshall Brickman's "Love Sick," this is also a sophisticated and easy-going comedy that delivers lots of smiles and a few good chuckles. Dudley Moore was only a leading man for 13 years (1979-1992) and starred in only 13 films. While I didn't care for his boozy millionaire in "Arthur" and "Arthur 2," I think his work in Blake Edwards "10" and "Micky and Maude" was excellent. He plays an average guy with a little bit of charm and intelligence very well. Here, he plays a playwright without a great deal of talent. He has to get by on the talent of his collaborators. Mary Steenburgen is the real standout in the movie. It may be her best performance. She works very well with Moore. Steenburgen is really more of a character actress and that is where she does her best work, see "Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School." She really can't carry a movie as a lead, but here she plays straight man to Moore and the chemistry works. The story is about a man and a woman who should fall in love and get married, but their careers and lives force them out-of-sync, so they become friends instead. The movie isn't a laugh riot and it won't knock your socks off, but it is a sad/sweet two hours of mature and sophisticated banter.

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Even the stars can't save this one

Author: Gideon24 from United States
14 March 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Romantic Comedy was a 1983 comedy that is about as predictable and generic as its title and the stars definitely deserve better.

The film stars Dudley Moore and Mary Steenburgen as Jason and Phoebe, a pair of writers who start writing together and become a very successful writing team while fighting an attraction to each other, despite the fact that they're married to other people.

I don't know what even moved me to review this film because this was one of my most forgettable experiences at the movies. Arthur Hiller's pedestrian direction does no justice to Bernard Slade's screenplay, based on his own play. It's amazing that a playwright actually came up with such a dull movie about playwrights.

The fact that Moore and Steenburgen have little or no chemistry with each other or with Janet Eiber and Ron Leibman, who play their respective spouses, who are both in deep denial about the fact that their married to people who are not really in love with them.

I'm trying to think of something positive to say in a way of recommending this film, but I'm drawing a blank. Only hardcore Moore and Steenburgen fans should even bother.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Delightful Dialogue, Rotten design.

Author: brandt_tim from United States
14 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I first ran across "Romantic Comedy" when it was on cable while I was in High School. (In 1984!!!) I found myself watching it over and over, loving the clever plotting and dialogue. I was just getting involved in acting and stage design then, and knew it was based on a play, having seen the superb "Same Time, Next Year" which is very similar.I love, love , love this movie. More so since I've now played "Jason Carmicheal" on stage. The 2 things that spoil this movie for me are big factors in what made "Same time...." so effective. First, they "open up" the movie to show New York. All well and good, but as with the previous film, the whole idea is that these characters are sealed in a world of their own making. The play takes place entirely in Jason's study. Second, and worse, the costume design, hair and makeup. The story begins in the 50's, and here's Phoebe in the opening credits, with long hair, no hat, no gloves, knee socks!! The only nod to the 50's is she's wearing saddle oxfords. She's a school teacher, not a school student.If they'd done the periods correctly, the changes in her character would have been even more evident. Think of the cast meandering through the 60's. Big hair, loud makeup, short dresses, then the 70's, the environment, falls, polyester, then into the preppy 80's which is pretty much where the entire film looks like it's set. A shame really, this film is so good, and would have been EVEN better if they'd stayed true. But, put that aside. There are great actors, terrific dialogue and wonderful music to be had here. Enjoy!!!!!

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4 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Romantic, Yes! Comedy, Not really!

Author: steinw
19 August 2002

As a light romantic drama this is a good film. As a fan of Dudley Moore as a comic actor, I was looking forward to seeing this movie.

The Norwegian video-cover indicated that it should be a very funny movie about am man who loses his partner and his wife on the same day, and how he manages his life after that. (Not a very good summary of the film!)

I didn't find this movie particularly funny. But I really liked the film! The romantic tension is present whenever Moore and Steenburgen is in the same room. The lack of romantic tension between Moore and Eilber is even better made.

The way it all turned out was very clever made, and when I thought that I understood how it was going to end, the story made an new turn.

Not one of the biggest moments in movie history, but a good film when you are in a romantic mood, and want something light to relax with.

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3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

"Is getting drunk the answer?.... No, but it makes you forget the question"

Author: TequilaMockingbird63 from United States
24 August 2005

The story involves Jason (Moore) and Phoebe (Steenburgen) as a couple of Broadway playwrights who collaborate on some hits and a few misses, while trying to overlook the fact that they have fallen in love at first sight. The following dialog i really liked and I really had my hopes up for this being an interesting film. He interviews her for potential partnership. Jason: "I have some questions Ms. Craddock do plan on getting married?

Phoebe: Eventually

Jason: That's not good enough.

Phoebe: I'm sorry I didn't know this was an exam.

Jason: The point is I don't wan't to invest in a partnership and then suddenly have you get the urge to become a nursing mother.

Phoebe: I see.

Jason: No you don't! You don't know a damn thing about the Theatre! The working conditions are intolerable the people you have to deal with are ego-centric maniacs and its filled with rejections on every level. When you're writing comedy the opposite of success isn't failure it's embarrassment and it's very public Ms.Craddock, they write HEADLINES".

Rooted firmly in the early-1980's comedy mindset of "divorce plus adultery plus Dudley Moore equals entertainment," The two leads spark little chemistry together, Romantic Comedy is neither romantic nor comedic, but I give it 5 out of 10 only because Dudly Moore and Mary Steenburgen ARE good actors and fun to watch despite the weak plot.

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2 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Thin but entertaining.

Author: var-1 from Midwest
4 July 2002

Having seen Mary Steenburgen in the Butcher's Wife, I wanted so see what else she's done. The library had this film with Dudley Moore. Since I liked his work, I thought this would be a good flick. I was disappointed. The actors were ok, but the script was very thin and had to much patch work. The ending was dragged out poorly. The humor was generally good and was delivered well by the actors. This was the only saving grace for this movie.

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