Newest Reviews
Matrix, The
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Newest Articles
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
  Goodbye Girl, The The Odder Couple
Year: 1977
Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Marsha Mason, Quinn Cummings, Paul Benedict, Barbara Rhoades, Theresa Merritt, Michael Shawn, Patricia Pearcy, Gene Castle, Marilyn Sokol, Anita Dangler, Robert Costanzo, Raymond J. Barry, Powers Boothe, Nicol Williamson
Genre: Comedy, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: It was all going so well. Paula McFadden (Marsha Mason) was all set to move to California from her New York City apartment with her ten-year-old daughter Lucy (Quinn Cummings), as invited by her live-in boyfriend who was an actor, but once they returned home from shopping today they had a nasty surprise waiting for them. The boyfriend was nowhere to be seen, but a note he had left was there, and it told them both he was off to Italy for six months to make a movie - and his wife was going with him. Not only that, but now Paula discovers as he had the lease on the apartment, she is now being thrown out...

Not everyone likes Neil Simon's way with words, but in 1977 few would disagree that this adaptation of his own stage play saw him at his best, and even more than The Odd Couple was the best translation of his work from stage to screen. Two people who might not be so pleased with it were director Mike Nichols and star Robert De Niro, who had been hired to bring this to life, something that may not seem too incredible in the case of Nichols, but to envisage De Niro, fresh off his success in Taxi Driver, in the role subsequently filled by Richard Dreyfuss is a big stretch. According to Simon, he was let go because he didn't do "joy" very well, and you can see where that may well have been the case.

Still, De Niro went onwards and upwards, and Dreyfuss... had a very good decade in the seventies, but after that was strictly character actor material; his problems with drug abuse were well-publicised, but watching him here in the part which won him his Oscar (the youngest ever winner at the time) you could appreciate a performance that was as good as he would ever give, and so engaging in the process that you'd be charmed by him for the duration. Not everyone would think he was the correct winner on the big Academy Award night, but watch The Goodbye Girl now and you'll see he shone as brightly as any of the stars who had been garlanded with the gong before, and indeed after.

The key to the film's ability to win you over was that you noticed neither of the potential romantic couple are exactly without flaws. Paula has been damaged so often by her poor choices of men that she's a class A neurotic even if she is holding it all together for the sake of her daughter, and the fear that time is running out for her is only exacerbated when she has to go back to work as a dancer on the stage only to find she's too old for the jobs she's going after. Meanwhile ego-driven Elliot Garfield (Dreyfuss) has been invited to New York to star in an Off-Broadway Richard III, but in hilarious scenes his director (Paul Benedict) has insane ideas of how it should be played: screamingly camp, basically, which lands Elliot in a career crisis. Not helping are his living arrangements.

How this is established is when Elliot appears at Paula's apartment one rain-soaked night, having leased the place from her now-absent boyfriend, which leads to a long argument about who has the right to stay there. A compromise is reached when they agree to be roommates, though that brings up all sorts of complications in itself, and if you can see where this is going because it's that kind of movie, Simon's sympathy for his characters for all their faults was the solid bedrock for some highly amusing setpieces and frequently laugh out loud dialogue, but it was the interplay between Elliot, Paula and Lucy (Cummings was quite a discovery, though lasting fame eluded her, something she wasn't terribly upset about apparently) which generated the personality and believable relationships to invest in their happiness. Interestingly, this went past the happy ending to another more uncertain one, but was another example of director Herbert Ross doing well with a famed American humourist's play after Woody Allen's Play It Again, Sam. Music by Dave Grusin.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2987 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (2)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf


Last Updated: