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 »

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Writers:

(screenplay), (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:
... Georgia Hines
... Polly Hines
... Jimmy Perrino
... 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  »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some movie posters for this film ran with a long preamble which read: "Kristy McNichol's a daughter who never had a childhood...Marsha Mason is a mother who never grew up. For 16 years, they've been practically strangers...And when they get together, they're the most mismatched roommates since The Goodbye Girl (1977)." 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.
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Connections

Features Gilda (1946) See more »

Soundtracks

Machine Gun
Performed by Storm
Courtesy of MCA Records
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User Reviews

 
Neil and Marsha
10 December 2017 | by See 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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