Friday, December 6, 2013

Oscar Movie Review: "The Goodbye Girl" (1977)

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Oscar Movie: "The Goodbye Girl"
Year Nominated: 1977
Director: Herbert Ross
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 51 minutes
Did It Win?: No.

Paula McFadden (Marsha Mason) is a mother and ex-dancers living in New York. She has just been dumped by her not-yet-divorced, live-in actor boyfriend, who ran off to Italy to take a role in a movie. Before he leaving her high and dry, her boyfriend had sublet their apartment without telling her. In the middle of a rainy night, Elliot Garfield (Richard Dreyfuss) knocks on the door and demands answers as to why she is there. Paula and Elliot come to an agreement that they will share the apartment, so long as they stayed out of each other's way. Paula automatically hates Elliot for two reasons: 1) he knows her ex-boyfriend, and 2) he is an actor. The two must find a way to live together, along with Paula's daughter Lucy (Quinn Cummings), without killing one another.

What an adorable and hilariously sarcastic movie! This was a real treat to watch. I feel like I smiled the entire time it was playing. Richard Dreyfuss won Best Actor for the role of Elliot in this film, and he deserved it. He is all over the map with this role! He's perfect as a quirky actor who tries to live a healthy lifestyle full of supplements, meditation, and guitar playing. He does an equally stellar job as the actor who has just found the role of his lifetime in Richard III, but is forced to portray him as an effeminate, crippled homosexual. Marsha Mason does a brilliant job as the jaded, bitter, actor-hating Paula. They worked extremely well together and you believe their chemistry, something that is so often lacking in modern romance movies. Quinn Cummings does a very good job as Lucy, a wise-beyond-her-years smart-ass 10 year old.

It's definitely wrought with sarcastic humor, so be in the mood for that type of film. Every character has a snarky attitude, but this creates, in our opinion, a fun movie to watch and enjoy. Sure, the one-liners and romance can get pretty cheesy and may seem outdated for some, but for all intents and purposes, it was thoroughly enjoyable, and a movie we would have missed had we not been on an Oscars Quest. I am glad we found this gem, and want to own it on DVD.

My Rating: 8.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 8/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 87%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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