The Neil Simon Blogathon – Only When I Laugh (1981)


This is the second of 2 posts dedicated to The Neil Simon Blogathon being held over at Caftan Woman and Wide Screen World.

Tnx Rich and Paddy for letting me take part!

“O, God! I want to be a star so bad! I don’t mean a little star, I want to be a big star! With three agents, and a business manager, and a press agent. And then I would fire all of them and I would hire new ones because I am such a big star! And I would make everyone pay for the 22 years I have poured into this business. I wouldn’t do benefits, I wouldn’t give money to charity, I would become one of the great sh*t heels of all time! Isn’t that a wonderful dream, Georgia?” – Jimmy

Number of Times Seen – 1 (11 Oct 2018)

Brief Synopsis – An alcoholic actress just out of rehab tries to get her life and career back on track with the help of her friends and her teenage daughter.

My Take on it – This is a film that I heard about years ago, yet never got around to seeing what it was all about so I’m glad I chose to check it out fro this blogathon.

Unfortunately, the story seems to be more suited for the stage than for the screen and seems to lose points by the way it is presented.

Marsha Mason is fine in the lead but she is constantly outshone by her costars – James Coco, Kristy McNichol and Joan Hackett who are all better developed as characters.

The story is told in a good way yet unfortunately, they never manage to endear us to the main character where the viewer can really care about what she has gone through and where she is headed for.

As with all Niel Simon scrips (plays and movies) are filled with great dialogue and this film is no exception but something feels lacking that would have eventually made this film even better and more engaging than it actually is.

Bottom Line – Interesting idea that probably works much better on a stage than on screen. Mason is fine in the lead but she is constantly overshadowed by Cooco, McNichol and Hackett. The story is told pretty well but they don’t manage to endear us enough to the lead character to care so much about what she has gone through and where she is headed.  The dialogue is great (as with all Simon scripted plays/films) but something still feels missing that would have made this an even better and more engaging story.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – James Coco became the first and only (to date) actor to be nominated for both an Academy Award and a Razzie for the same performance. Coco won neither award. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)

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Here is a link to my movie index A-Z

2 thoughts on “The Neil Simon Blogathon – Only When I Laugh (1981)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1981 |

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