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Romantic Comedy (1983)

PG | | Comedy | 7 October 1983 (USA)
Two of the screen's finest comic actors, Dudley Moore and Mary Steenburgen, star as successful writing partners whose timing is perfect on stage but amusingly pathetic in their love life. In HD.


Arthur Hiller


Bernard Slade (play), Bernard Slade (screenplay)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dudley Moore ... Jason
Mary Steenburgen ... Phoebe
Frances Sternhagen ... Blanche
Janet Eilber ... Allison
Robyn Douglass ... Kate
Ron Leibman ... Leo
Rozsika Halmos ... Maid
Alexander Lockwood Alexander Lockwood ... Minister
Erica Hiller Erica Hiller ... Young Woman
Sean Patrick Guérin Sean Patrick Guérin ... Timmy (6)
Dick Wieand ... TV Reporter
Brass Adams Brass Adams ... Bartender
Stephen Roberts Stephen Roberts ... Maitre D'
Santos Morales Santos Morales ... Bus Boy
Fran Bennett Fran Bennett ... Doctor #1


Two of the screen's finest comic actors, Dudley Moore and Mary Steenburgen, star as successful writing partners whose timing is perfect on stage but amusingly pathetic in their love life. In HD.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

new york city | based on play | See All (2) »


He was married, she was single . . . It was a case of unsynchronized passion [Australia Theatrical] See more »




PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

7 October 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Romantic Comedy! See more »

Filming Locations:

Greenville, South Carolina, USA


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,366,025, 10 October 1983, Wide Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono | Dolby Stereo (uncredited)


Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


It was during the Broadway run of this play that Mia Farrow met and began seeing Woody Allen. See more »


You have Leo's last name listed as Janowitz. In the film, he is called Leo Jessop. See more »


Jason Carmichael: You could have broken a rib! Who the hell do you think you are?
Phoebe Craddock: I'll tell you who I am, you're full of shit, that's who I am!
See more »


Written by Marvin Hamlisch, Carole Bayer Sager, Burt Bacharach
Performed by Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack
Produced by Carole Bayer Sager
(P) 1983 Capitol Records Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the most delightful character comedies I have ever seen.
27 July 2002 | by budmasseySee all my reviews

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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