February 9, 2010

Only When I Laugh (1981)

Neil Simon should have done more research about alcoholism before writing Only When I Laugh because Marsha Mason does not live (or in this case, act) like any alcoholic that I've known (and I've known a few). The script is dated, full of stagey one-liners in place of characterization and ends sappily with a metaphoric Hollywood hug between Mason and her chip-off-the-old-block daughter, Kristy McNichol. The saving graces are the supporting performances from James Coco and Joan Hackett who bring truth to their contrived lines.




2 comments:

Hillary said...

I disagree. The movie takes place in the very early 80s and is based on a mid 70s play. Rehabs and Programs were unlike today. We do not know how important the role of AA was during that time. Also remember she went back to work just a few days after leaving rehab, against the advice of everyone...

a man and a mouse said...

I appreciate your comment but the AA program was developed in the 30s. So by the time this film was made it was playing an important part in the lives of many alcoholics. But she left rehab and not once went to a meeting? Just not real.