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Summary 8.0 great
The Goodbye Girl
Release year: 1977
Director: Herbert Ross
Screenwriter: Neil Simon
Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Marsha Mason, Quinn Cummings, Paul Benedict, Barbara Rhoades, Theresa Merritt
Ratings: 1 Oscar: Best Actor (Richard Dreyfuss). 4 Oscar nominees: Best Picture, Best Actress (Marsha Mason), Best Supporting Actress (Quinn Cummings), Best Original Screenplay. 4 Golden Globes: Best Comedy/Musical, Best Actress Comedy/Musical (Marsha Mason), Best Actor Comedy/Musical (Richard Dreyfuss), Best Screenplay. 1 Golden Globe nominee: Best Supporting Actress (Quinn Cumming).
After returning home one day to discover her boyfriend has left her, Paula (mason) loses all trust in actors. It doesn’t help that the last thing he did was sublease the apartment to an actor friend, Tony (Dreyfuss), leaving Paula no place to live with her ten-year-old daughter Lucy (Cummings). Stubborn she denies leaving and she and Tony come to an agreement that means the three of them living together. But the two of them are very different and it doesn’t help that Tony is an actor.
Written by acclaimed screenwriter Simon (The Odd Couple, 1968) and director Ross (Goodbye, Mr. Chips, 1969), The Goodbye Girl is a talkie-movie with wisecracking dialogue and well-written characters. Mason’s (Heartbreak Ridge, 1986) Paula is stubborn, neurotic and unfair, making her seem incredible real, just as the fights with the more patient Tony feels a bit like spying on your neighbours. The always brilliant Dreyfuss (Jaws, 1975) won his so far only Oscar for the part, which was his first romantic lead, and though you don’t wonder why he won you do wonder why he hasn’t won another. The two fights like cats and dogs, but the spark between them is evident from the beginning. It is not your average rom-com, with a more intelligent script and some delicate insights into human behavior, it speaks to a different audience than your average romantic comedy does. Most humour comes from the quirkiness of life, besides a hilarious take on Richard III, and the movie stars one of those child performances that just works. A movie that at first seems about two people struggling with finding work in the entertainment industry but is more about learning to trust again, The Goodbye girl is a gem of a movie.
At the time, Richard Dreyfuss became the youngest man to win an Oscar when he won for this.
The movie was developed into a Broadway musical in 1993.
The Richard III performance was based on an actual production that Marsha Mason starred in and told her then husband Neil Simon about.
Picture copyrights: Warner Home Video