6.5/10
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Only When I Laugh (1981)

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 »

Director:

Glenn Jordan

Writers:

Neil Simon (screenplay), Neil Simon (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:
Marsha Mason ... Georgia Hines
Kristy McNichol ... Polly Hines
James Coco ... Jimmy Perrino
Joan Hackett ... Toby Landau
David Dukes ... David Lowe
John Bennett Perry ... Vincent Heller (Lou)
Guy Boyd ... Man in Bar
Ed Moore Ed Moore ... Dr. Bob Komack
Byron Webster Byron Webster ... Tom
Peter Coffield Peter Coffield ... Mr. Tarloff
Mark Schubb Mark Schubb ... Adam Kasabian
Ellen La Gamba Ellen La Gamba ... Receptionist
Venida Evans ... Nurse Garcia
Nancy Nagler Nancy Nagler ... Heidi Stanton
Dan Monahan ... 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:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 September 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Neil Simon's Only When I Laugh See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,880,870, 27 September 1981, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$25,782,304, 6 December 1981
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Rastar Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of five films written by Neil Simon, that featured his former wife Marsha Mason. The movies include The Goodbye Girl (1977), Chapter Two (1979), The Cheap Detective (1978), Only When I Laugh (1981), and Max Dugan Returns (1983). See more »

Goofs

When Georgia (Marsha Mason)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

Polly: Who redid my room?
Jimmy: She hates it, I can tell.
Polly: It's a little Brady Bunch, but I can work with it.
Jimmy: The room is wonderful! Get rid of the kid!
See more »

Alternate Versions

NBC edited 24 minutes from this film for its 1984 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Version of Drobecky z perníku (2001) 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

 
Neil and Marsha
10 December 2017 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

Broadway star Georgia Hines (Marsha Mason) has finished with her rehab. Her friends include gay struggling actor Jimmy Perrino and socialite Toby Landau. Her estranged daughter Polly (Kristy McNichol) wants to move in for a year. Her former boyfriend David Lowe has written a play about her and wants her to play the part.

The combination of Neil Simon and Marsha Mason makes this an almost instant awards bait movie. That comes with both good and bad baggage. There is something writery about Neil's writing. He's trying too hard with the humor. It doesn't feel natural sometimes. I do like the mother daughter chemistry. The boyfriend is problematic and I hoped for her to avoid him at all costs although I understand the needs of an actress. This definitely has Neil's sensibilities but it doesn't have enough cinematic flair. It's a step down from their earlier collaboration. Also watch out for young hottie Kevin Bacon. Then there is falling off the wagon. It hits on certain good notes but I'm uncertain about other notes being played.


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