6.5/10
1,053
14 user 5 critic

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:

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

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

Film Composer David Shire had lyrics written to his lively main theme by Richard Maltby, Jr., and the song "Only When I Laugh" was recorded by Brenda Lee. For reasons unknown, the song was not included in the film. However, MCA Records released it as a 7-inch single with the label credit "From the Columbia Motion Picture". The song was also nominated for a for a Worst Original Song Razzie Award. See more »

Goofs

In one of the opening scenes when Marsha Mason's character is leaving the "Betty Ford Clinic" of the time, there is an employee, Sandy, who passes her by the stairs says good-bye but addresses her as Mrs. Simon instead Mrs. Hines the character's real name. See more »

Quotes

Bartender: What's the problem?
Georgia: Do you see cigarettes? That's the problem.
Bartender: How much money did you put in?
Georgia: Twelve dollar like it says.
See more »

Connections

Features Gilda (1946) See more »

Soundtracks

Machine Gun
Performed by Storm
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great Film
8 September 2005 | by joygu1See all my reviews

This is a great Film, not only is it a fast moving film, but it also shows how alcohol can ruin someone's life and what effects it will have not only on themselves but also on those around her. It has a great mother daughter relationship that is being tested from the beginning of the movie. This movie also shows the support of her good friends and how much they are will to put up with! This movie was ahead of it time for when it came out in the early 80's and touched on a lot of subjects that were not discussed even for 1981!! Marsha Mason plays a woman with a drinking problem, has a gay best friend and a friend who is obsessed with her looks, she is divorced and she is not the parent who raised her daughter because of her alcohol problems. Kristy McNichol plays the daughter who really only wants her mother to notice her and pay attention to her.

Yes, it maybe somewhat similar to The Goodbye Girl but there are some major differences. It also has great story and moves along fast, is funny, and at one point you really do not like Marsha Mason character, which is what a good movie does!!! But this is a movie you need to see for yourself and make your mind up!!


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