6.5/10
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33 user 10 critic

Starting Over (1979)

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.

Director:

Alan J. Pakula

Writers:

Dan Wakefield (based on the novel by), James L. Brooks (screenplay)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Reynolds ... Phil Potter
Jill Clayburgh ... Marilyn Holmberg
Candice Bergen ... Jessica Potter
Charles Durning ... Michael (Mickey) Potter
Frances Sternhagen ... Marva Potter
Austin Pendleton ... Paul
Mary Kay Place ... Marie
MacIntyre Dixon MacIntyre Dixon ... Dan Ryan
Jay O. Sanders ... Larry (as Jay Sanders)
Charles Kimbrough ... Salesman
Richard Whiting Richard Whiting ... Everett
Alfie Wise Alfie Wise ... Workshop Member
Wallace Shawn ... Workshop Member
Sturgis Warner Sturgis Warner ... John Morganson
Mary Catherine Wright Mary Catherine Wright ... Student 1 (as Mary C. Wright)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Share with someone you love a warm and wonderful romantic comedy! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 October 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Auf ein Neues See more »

Filming Locations:

Boston, Massachusetts, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$41,638,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Features Candice Bergen's only Oscar nominated performance. See more »

Goofs

As Jessica and Phil prepare to go to bed, he slips off underwear below bottom frame line. But as shot continues, actor Burt Reynolds is clearly wearing abbreviated white undergarment. See more »

Quotes

Little Girl: Mommy, she said the F word!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dallas: Starting Over (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Better Than Ever
(1979)
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager
Also sung by Stephanie Mills
Produced by James Mtume (as Mtume) and Reggie Lucas (as Lucas)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Sophisticated Adult Comedy that Nobody Saw...
14 December 2005 | by ijonesiiiSee all my reviews

After several years as a comic book action hero, Burt Reynolds took a calculated career risk at becoming a romantic leading man in the 1979 comedy STARTING OVER and the risk paid off in spades. Reynolds turned in his best performance up to this point as Phil Potter, a writer whose wife (Candice Bergen) has just divorced him who enters, perhaps a bit too quickly, another relationship with a neurotic schoolteacher (Jill Clayburgh. This smartly directed comedy, lovingly directed by ALan J. Pakula hits all the right notes and introduces characters you care about. Bergen also opened up a whole new career for herself, showing a flair for light comedy, which resulted in her first Oscar nomination. Her musical seduction of Burt with "Better than Ever" is one of the funniest scenes in film comedies ever. Bergen's performance here was largely responsible for her being offered the role of Murphy Brown. Clayburgh (also nominated for an Oscar) is just as good, creating a quirky and heartbreaking character who evokes laughs and sympathy. It has been well documented over the years that Reynolds was deeply hurt when both of his leading ladies here received Oscar nominations and he did not. Then to add insult to injury, the Best Actress Oscar that year went to his girlfriend at the time, Sally Field. Burt should have been nominated for this film...it was beautifully controlled performance that was nothing like he had ever done before. Charles Durning and Frances Sternhage offer strong support as Phils' brother and sister-in-law and don't overlook those wonderful scenes with Burt's Divorced Men's support group. A winning romantic comedy that finally proved Burt Reynolds really knew how to act.


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