The Goodbye Girl (1977)


“You know I love listening to you talk. I hate living with you but your conversation is first rate.” – Elliot

Number of Times Seen – 2 (14 Feb 2000 and 20 Nov 2017)

Brief Synopsis – A single mother and a struggling actor must learn to live together when they are forced to share an apartment in New York City.

My Take on it – I have always enjoyed Niel Simon plays and this is another great one that he wrote that is filled with his beautiful dialogue which makes the characters and their situations feel even more real and genuine.

This film works so well largely due to the amazing on-screen chemistry between the two leads played by Marsha Mason and Richard Dreyfuss.

The connections between the characters can be felt no matter what kind of conversation or argument the characters may be having at that particular moment.

Dreyfuss was the deserving winner in 1977 for the Oscar for Best Actor for this role.

Besides Dreyfuss and Mason, Quinn Cummings gives a great performance as the 10 year old daughter of Mason. I’m actually a bit surprised that this role didn’t help springboard her into meatier Hollywood roles.

This wasn’t the best film of 1977, but it does come quite close.

Bottom Line – This film works so well mostly due to the amazing chemistry between its two leads, Dreyfuss and Mason.  Even when they clash, you can feel the connection between the characters.  As with most Simon plays, the dialogue is superbly written and watching the conversations performed onscreen is amazing because it makes you truly believe that you are watching a live conversation/argument.  Dreyfuss deservingly won an Oscar for Best Actor for this role.  It wasn’t the best film of ’77, but it comes awfully close. Cummings is also great in a supporting role… it’s too bad this film didn’t help launch her career. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The disastrous production of Shakespeare’s “Richard III,” in which Elliot Garfield (Richard Dreyfuss) portrays the title character as gay, was based on an actual production that Marsha Mason attended and told her husband, Neil Simon, about. Like the production in the film, it took place at Joseph Papp’s Public Theatre in New York in 1974, and starred Michael Moriarty. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy

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7 thoughts on “The Goodbye Girl (1977)

  1. A favorite of mine as well. Agree with you about Mason and Dreyfuss. I always wondered – at the Oscars that year – when Dreyfuss won – and the envelope was opened and the first name was “Richard” – whether Richard Burton – for a split second thought – “At last…” I think he’d been nominated for “Equus”. Alas, he did not win, and never did.

    Liked by 1 person

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