Movie News

A Movie A Day: THE GOODBYE GIRL (1977)
Don’t make me happy. I hate that goddamn ‘It’s Wonderful To Be Alive’ feeling.

Published at: Jan. 4, 2009, 3:02 p.m. CST by quint



Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s installment of A Movie A Day. [For those now joining us, A Movie A Day is my attempt at filling in gaps in my film knowledge. My DVD collection is thousands strong, many of them films I haven’t seen yet, but picked up as I scoured used DVD stores. Each day I’ll pull a previously unseen film from my collection or from my DVR and discuss it here. Each movie will have some sort of connection to the one before it, be it cast or crew member.] Take everything I didn’t love about Neil Simon’s THE PRISONER OF SECOND AVENUE and reverse it and you have the beginnings of an idea of how I felt about THE GOODBYE GIRL.

Can I start off by pledging my undying hero-worship of 1970s Richard Dreyfuss? I mean, yes. JAWS, of course. That goes without saying. But also AMERICAN GRAFFITI, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS… I still haven’t seen THE APPRENTICESHIP OF DUDDY KRAVITZ, but I’m sure I’ll love him in the movie. You know, growing up watching JAWS on repeat, I was always struck by Dreyfuss in that film because he is Hooper. In CLOSE ENCOUNTERS he doesn’t look or act like Hooper. In other films I knew him for as a kid… like STAKEOUT and DOWN AND OUT IN BEVERLY HILLS and WHAT ABOUT BOB? he didn’t look a thing like he did in Jaws. Maybe one of the reasons I instantly loved this film was seeing the step between Hooper and Roy Neary. He has his coke-bottle glasses, the curly hair and even wears the same kind of clothes in this movie. He has Hooper’s manic energy here, too.

But, yes. Richard Dreyfuss was, is and always will be the man. I don’t care if he’s supposed to be bugnuts insane, he’s a brilliant screen personality, the likes of which we don’t have today. I mean, we still have Dreyfuss (his Cheney was awesome), but we don’t have a young Richard Dreyfuss and we don’t seem to have those roles, either. I don’t hate Zach Braff and he’s going for that vibe, but he doesn’t have the charisma Dreyfuss did. Here Dreyfuss is playing a struggling Chicago actor who moves to New York after landing the lead in Richard III off-Broadway only to find that his actor friend that he sub-leased his apartment from never bothered to tell his now ex-girlfriend, who is living there with her daughter. Marsha Mason plays Paula McFadden, a poor soul who has been dumped on and strung along her whole life. When she returns home expecting to find her boyfriend packing and getting ready for a move to Los Angeles with the whole family and instead finds a letter saying he’s absconding to Italy and it’s over, she’s nearly destroyed. To make matters worse, her landlady starts asking when she and her 10 year old daughter, Lucy, are moving out. Turns out actor douche McGee subleased the apartment so he could have some cash in Italy and when Richard Dreyfuss shows up the next night in the pouring rain trying to get into his new apartment the friction really starts.

A shaky arrangement is made since legally Dreyfuss is in the right, but he doesn’t have the heart to enforce it and kick out a single mother and her daughter. But Mason is on the defensive and is trying to keep in control of the situation, not giving up an hint that she knows she’s completely at his mercy. The defenses are up. She’s not gonna let her ex still crush her down. Just going off the DVD cover (and the fact that it’s Neil Simon) I knew it was a romance, but I think it’s a great compliment to Simon, Dreyfuss, Mason and director Herbert Ross that I didn’t feel like Dreyfuss and Mason were just running through the numbers before falling in love.

A lot of that rests in Dreyfuss not being the typical love-interest. Not just in appearance, but in personality and character. He dishes it back just as good as Mason can and doesn’t let himself get boxed in. He still stands up for himself, laying down the law when he has to. For instance he alerts her to his regular routine of sleeping in the nude and says if she doesn’t want a cheap thrill or for her daughter to get an early education on male anatomy that they should sleep with the door closed… and he also plays guitar to himself late at night if he can’t sleep and meditates with full-on chanting and incence burning early every morning. The real connection between the two is made when Paula’s daughter, Lucy (Quinn Cummings), takes a liking to Dreyfuss’ Elliot Garfield. Cummings was nominated for her work and she deserved the nom (she lost to Vanessa Redgrave for JULIA). Cummings belongs in the child actor talent pool with people like Jodie Foster, Dakota Fanning and Haley Joel Osment (give the last two shit all you want, but Osment’s work in THE SIXTH SENSE is still fucking incredible and Fanning might be an old soul in a young body to a creepy degree, but it’s hard to deny her natural acting ability).

Cummings’ Lucy is the least fucked up character in the movie, actually. Mason’s all defensiveness because of the horrible ride she’s had, Dreyfuss is a tad up his own asshole and eccentric to a nutty degree… only Lucy seems to be willing to see things as they are and isn’t self-conscious about being blunt about it. Unlike yesterday’s THE PRISONER OF SECOND AVENUE this definitely didn’t feel like a recorded stage play. The camera moved, there was a lot set outside and I never felt trapped in a single space. Dreyfuss’ limitless energy is injected into the celluloid every second he’s onscreen. Mason was married to Neil Simon at the time and rumor has it this play is fairly autobiographical. I don’t know nearly enough about either person or their relationship to comment on how much so, but I can say that there’s an authenticity to these people that is heads and shoulders more than in any other Neil Simon film I’ve seen. I got lots more coming up, so maybe I’ll find more.

Final Thoughts: Forgetting the sweet romance, great and layered character work, superb performances and hit-you-right-in-the-gut writing… leaving all that out, we have a vastly entertaining movie. The DVD menu is one of those that starts the movie if you don’t make a decision within the first 45 seconds, so after I finished the film and started writing it cycled on again and I had to stop it because I could have just gone back to watch it again instead of focusing on this column. It’s a very sweet movie, a very funny movie and a touching movie. All that adds up to a great piece of filmmaking. Keep an eye out for a cameo by Nicol “Merlin” Williamson. And note that Richard Dreyfuss won the Oscar for best Actor for his role here, supposedly based somewhat on Harlan Ellison… but I don’t completely see it. I’ve met Harlan and couldn’t help but be intimidated and I didn’t get that vibe off of Dreyfuss in this film. But I can definitely see Harlan’s sharp wit and biting sense of humor.

Here are the final run of A Movie A Day titles: Sunday, January 4th: LOST IN YONKERS (1993)

Monday, January 5th: THE SUNSHINE BOYS (1975)

Tuesday, January 6th: CALIFORNIA SUITE (1978)

Wednesday, January 7th: A BRIDGE TOO FAR (1977)

More Richard Dreyfuss and Neil Simon up next with LOST IN YONKERS!! -Quint quint@aintitcool.com



Previous Movies: June 2nd: Harper
June 3rd: The Drowning Pool
June 4th: Papillon
June 5th: Gun Crazy
June 6th: Never So Few
June 7th: A Hole In The Head
June 8th: Some Came Running
June 9th: Rio Bravo
June 10th: Point Blank
June 11th: Pocket Money
June 12th: Cool Hand Luke
June 13th: The Asphalt Jungle
June 14th: Clash By Night
June 15th: Scarlet Street
June 16th: Killer Bait (aka Too Late For Tears)
June 17th: Robinson Crusoe On Mars
June 18th: City For Conquest
June 19th: San Quentin
June 20th: 42nd Street
June 21st: Dames
June 22nd: Gold Diggers of 1935
June 23rd: Murder, My Sweet
June 24th: Born To Kill
June 25th: The Sound of Music
June 26th: Torn Curtain
June 27th: The Left Handed Gun
June 28th: Caligula
June 29th: The Elephant Man
June 30th: The Good Father
July 1st: Shock Treatment
July 2nd: Flashback
July 3rd: Klute
July 4th: On Golden Pond
July 5th: The Cowboys
July 6th: The Alamo
July 7th: Sands of Iwo Jima
July 8th: Wake of the Red Witch
July 9th: D.O.A.
July 10th: Shadow of A Doubt
July 11th: The Matchmaker
July 12th: The Black Hole
July 13th: Vengeance Is Mine
July 14th: Strange Invaders
July 15th: Sleuth
July 16th: Frenzy
July 17th: Kingdom of Heaven: The Director’s Cut
July 18th: Cadillac Man
July 19th: The Sure Thing
July 20th: Moving Violations
July 21st: Meatballs
July 22nd: Cast a Giant Shadow
July 23rd: Out of the Past
July 24th: The Big Steal
July 25th: Where Danger Lives
July 26th: Crossfire
July 27th: Ricco, The Mean Machine
July 28th: In Harm’s Way
July 29th: Firecreek
July 30th: The Cheyenne Social Club
July 31st: The Man Who Knew Too Much
August 1st: The Spirit of St. Louis
August 2nd: Von Ryan’s Express
August 3rd: Can-Can
August 4th: Desperate Characters
August 5th: The Possession of Joel Delaney
August 6th: Quackser Fortune Has A Cousin In The Bronx
August 7th: Start the Revolution Without Me
August 8th: Hell Is A City
August 9th: The Pied Piper
August 10th: Partners
August 11th: Barry Lyndon
August 12th: The Skull
August 13th: The Hellfire Club
August 14th: Blood of the Vampire
August 15th: Terror of the Tongs
August 16th: Pirates of Blood River
August 17th: The Devil-Ship Pirates
August 18th: Jess Franco’s Count Dracula
August 19th: Dracula A.D. 1972
August 20th: The Stranglers of Bombay
August 21st: Man, Woman & Child
August 22nd: The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane
August 23rd: The Young Philadelphians
August 24th: The Rack
August 25th: Until They Sail
August 26th: Somebody Up There Likes Me
August 27th: The Set-Up
August 28th: The Devil & Daniel Webster
August 29th: Cat People
August 30th: The Curse of the Cat People
August 31st: The 7th Victim
September 1st: The Ghost Ship
September 2nd: Isle of the Dead
September 3rd: Bedlam
September 4th: Black Sabbath
September 5th: Black Sunday
September 6th: Twitch of the Death Nerve
September 7th: Tragic Ceremony
September 8th: Lisa & The Devil
September 9th: Baron Blood
September 10th: A Shot In The Dark
September 11th: The Pink Panther
September 12th: The Return of the Pink Panther
September 13th: The Pink Panther Strikes Again
September 14th: Revenge of the Pink Panther
September 15th: Trail of the Pink Panther
September 16th: The Real Glory
September 17th: The Winning of Barbara Worth
September 18th: The Cowboy and the Lady
September 19th: Dakota
September 20th: Red River
September 21st: Terminal Station
September 22nd: The Search
September 23rd: Act of Violence
September 24th: Houdini
September 25th: Money From Home
September 26th: Papa’s Delicate Condition
September 27th: Dillinger
September 28th: Battle of the Bulge
September 29th: Daisy Kenyon
September 30th: Laura
October 1st: The Dunwich Horror
October 2nd: Experiment In Terror
October 3rd: The Devil’s Rain
October 4th: Race With The Devil
October 5th: Salo, Or The 120 Days of Sodom
October 6th: Bad Dreams
October 7th: The House Where Evil Dwells
October 8th: Memories of Murder
October 9th: The Hunger
October 10th: I Saw What You Did
October 11th: I Spit On Your Grave
October 12th: Naked You Die
October 13th: The Wraith
October 14th: Silent Night, Bloody Night
October 15th: I Bury The Living
October 16th: The Beast Must Die
October 17th: Hellgate
October 18th: He Knows You’re Alone
October 19th: The Thing From Another World
October 20th: The Fall of the House of Usher
October 21st: Audrey Rose
October 22nd: Who Slew Auntie Roo?
October 23rd: Wait Until Dark
October 24th: Dead & Buried
October 25th: A Bucket of Blood
October 26th: The Bloodstained Shadow
October 27th: I, Madman
October 28th: Return to Horror High
October 29th: Die, Monster, Die
October 30th: Epidemic
October 31st: Student Bodies
November 1st: Black Widow
November 2nd: The Ghost & Mrs. Muir
November 3rd: Flying Tigers
November 4th: Executive Action
November 5th: The Busy Body
November 6th: It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World
November 7th: Libeled Lady
November 8th: Up The River
November 9th: Doctor Bull
November 10th: Judge Priest
November 11th: Ten Little Indians
November 12th: Murder On The Orient Express
November 13th: Daniel
November 14th: El Dorado
November 15th: The Gambler
November 16th: Once Upon A Time In America
November 17th: Salvador
November 18th: Best Seller
November 19th: The Holcroft Covenant
November 20th: Birdman of Alcatraz
November 21st: The Train
November 22nd: Gunfight At The O.K. Corral
November 23rd: Mystery Street
November 24th: Border Incident
November 25th: The Tin Star
November 26th: On The Beach
November 27th: Twelve O’Clock High
November 28th: Gentleman’s Agreement
November 29th: Panic In The Streets
November 30th: The Hot Rock
December 1st: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
December 2nd: The Day of the Dolphin
December 3rd: Carnal Knowledge
December 4th: The Cincinnati Kid
December 5th: Pocketful of Miracles
December 6th: Mikey & Nicky
December 7th: Two-Minute Warning
December 8th: The Sentinel
December 9th: How To Steal A Million
December 10th: What’s New Pussycat?
December 11th: Being There
December 17th: The Party
December 18th: Casino Royale
December 19th: The StrangerDecember 20th: Brother Orchid
December 21st: The Petrified Forest
December 22nd: Moontide
December 23rd: Notorious
December 24th: The Inn of the Sixth Happiness
December 25th: The High Commissioner
December 26th: The Silent Partner
December 27th: Payday
December 28th: A Stranger Is Watching
December 29th: The New Kids
December 30th: Serial
December 31st: The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
January 1st: Irma La Douce
January 2nd: The Prisoner of Second Avenue

Readers Talkback

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  • Jan. 4, 2009, 3:07 p.m. CST

    Great movie.

    by DocPazuzu

    Dreyfuss being forced to do Richard III as a gay is COMEDY GOLD.

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Stage Play

    by hellcatsagogo

    Goodbye Girl was actually a film before it hit the stage, which may be why it never felt like a play as filmed. And they turned it into a Martin Short / Bernadette Peters musical instead of a straight play. Suffers a bit for it, could have definitely been one of Simon's instant classics on stage if done straight. (And stay away from the TNT remake - so blah. Jeff Daniels is no Dreyfuss and Patty Heaton still holds to much "raymond" in her system.)

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 3:26 p.m. CST

    Wow

    by Sparhawk38

    Some great movies coming up. I agree with you about Dreyfus. It is why I am so non-plussed by Brad Pitt. Maybe there is some meaty talent in there waiting for the right material...but Ben Butt was not it. I watched Braveheart the other day and for all its predictable grab for emotion there are moments of great acting by Mel. I also think his break down in Signs is really great. I bring it up because Mel is/was a pretty boy who also has the acting chops...

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 3:36 p.m. CST

    "I don't like the panties...

    by Wyatt Wingfoot

    ...hanging on the Rod!!!" --Harlan Ellison to Nichele Nichols (ca. 1967)

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 3:45 p.m. CST

    I keep meaning to watch this

    by stvnhthr

    Richard Dreyfuss in the 70's is golden, then sporadic in the 80's. What the heck happened to his script choices

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 4:10 p.m. CST

    my favourite movie of all time....

    by earlfist

    Well if you judge a movie by how many times you've seen it then this is it for me. It's not flawless and some of the jokes have aged but this is a masterful rom-com. It was originally begun by Mike Nichols with Robert Deniro, it all went pear shaped as Deniro, according to Nichols "couldn't do joy" bob walked, and Simon re wrote the part for Dreyfuss. There are so many things I love that this would be the longest tb ever. If you like this check out "the owl and the pussycat" with Streisand and George segal. (try and get the uncut version as babs has an amazing nude scene and she's hot!)

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Ps

    by earlfist

    I took my name for this site only to find when I got the DVD the line is actually "earl this !" is there anyone sadder than me?

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 4:19 p.m. CST

    To Bad...

    by codymr

    Dreyfuss does not do this kind of stuff anymore. I can't say he has much range - he kinda does Dreyfuss being hunted by a shark... Dreyfuss seeing UFOs... Dreyfuss on a steak out with a sheen brother... etc etc. <P> But even in bad movies he's interesting to watch. Dreyfuss needs to get more leading roles again or at least Oscar worthy supporting roles.

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Good film

    by pilotgrl

    This comes on TV occasionally and it still holds up well. Another decent Dreyfuss film is The Competition with Amy Irving.

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 4:41 p.m. CST

    Harvey Weinstein just read this column

    by DougMcKenzie

    and he is already on the phone to remake this with Jennifer Aniston, and like you said, Zack Braff.

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 5:11 p.m. CST

    One of my favourite films

    by elab49

    Although it has all but ruined Richard III for me - I just keep seeing a camp arm waving up and down!

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 5:17 p.m. CST

    if you have Comcast On Demand service

    by mrgreentheplant

    you have this movie for free!

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 5:18 p.m. CST

    "last run of AMAD titles"

    by keyserSOZE

    Quint, no! Come on man, this has been the best feature on AICN in...well hell, maybe ever! I hope that I'm misinterpreting "last run" and you don't mean you're actually ending this column. Please don't, it's been too great! I'm sure you can find more old school movies you haven't seen, right? Right? Come on man!

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 5:21 p.m. CST

    by Red43jes

    I still love this movie. I remember watching it as a kid, with my mom. Marsha Masons character reminds me so much of my girlfriend, single mom, the way how shes always on the defense. If you guys haven't seen it, and want a date DVD movie, get it. Dryfuss is funny in this one.

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Fun movie

    by Continentalop

    And yes, it does have the best adaptation of Richard III on film ever! <p>Like many of you, I always wondered what happened to Richard Dreyfuss, but the answer is that he simply went down the path many great actors of that period did. He become irrelevant or just a bit supporting actor, just like stars like James Caan, Robert Duvall, Roy Schneider, Ryan O’Neal, George Segal, Elliot Gould, etc. It is always sad when such great talents are forgotten or wasted, but it is a simple truth of the movie business that some actors just can't stay a star forever. <P> As a side note, if you want to see Dreyfuss in a different light, check him out in “Dillinger”, directed by John Millius and starring Warren Oates, where Dreyfuss plays a very psychotic “Baby Face” Nelson. A great, fun movie.

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 6:05 p.m. CST

    ContinentalOp

    by Paul Bucciarelli

    That has happened to a lot of big stars. For every John Wayne or Clint Eastwood you have a Burt Reynolds or a Richard Dreyfuss. It's entirely possible that the same thing will eventually happen to Brad Pitt.

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 6:06 p.m. CST

    And it's even worse

    by Paul Bucciarelli

    for actresses. Jill Clayburg anyone?

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 6:44 p.m. CST

    michael bay is remaking this

    by bacci40

    with giant robots and big explosions

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 7:18 p.m. CST

    Quinn

    by nolan bautista

    Cummings..uhh-huhh..uhh-huhh..Cummings

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 7:22 p.m. CST

    You haven't seen "A Bridge Too Far"?

    by jiblets

    wow...that's one hell of an omission. Just for the cast alone, it's one of the biggest movies ever made. The score is another thing altogether. The main theme is one of the most memorable I've ever heard outside of a John Williams soundtrack, and it's perfect for the movie - A brave, heroic and noble cause who's outcome is almost a foregone conclusion, and yet... I saw it when it came out in the theaters in '77 and twenty years later I could still hum it almost note for note, having only seen it once on cable since.

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 8:03 p.m. CST

    Old Dreyfuss was great

    by Volstaff

    The last movie I remember seeing him in that still had that firey spark was called " Once Around".. he starred with Holly Hunter and played this likeable obnoxious asshole in it. I do think he's aged better than Reynolds and some of his other peers from that era though.He still seems to work regularly and hasn't done anything too embarrassing yet.

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 8:28 p.m. CST

    When I think about Dreyfuss I think we dont have actors

    by Larry of Arabia

    Even the great actors we have are forced to be personalities on screen. There is nothing wrong with that. The Duke was all personality, so was Carry Grant. Great actors of the day who could have coasted on personality, though, like Jimmy Stewart, didn't. Can you think of many working actors at the height of their popularity taking on say Vertigo? The sad thing is that even the modern actors who have proven they can really, really act just don't. Like Will Smith in "Ali" and "6 Degrees" Tom Cruise in "Magnolia" or, heck with it, the old, GOOD Nicholas Cage. Cage could have been a modern great but decided to sit back on his crazy charisma routine and "Nic Cage." They can act, they just don't. Dreyfuss could have sat back like they do now, but he didn't. Where are the actors like that today?

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 8:29 p.m. CST

    P.P.S.

    by earlfist

    (Dammit, why didn't I call myself Charles Dagastino?) Anyway quick excuse to quote my favourite line "capital P, capital U , capital TRID"

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 8:51 p.m. CST

    Perm

    by Darthkrusty

    I remember being shocked at Dreyfuss' new doo in the movie poster for THE BIG FIX after getting used to his look in this and previous great works. I wound up liking Bix Fix too..

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 8:53 p.m. CST

    my girlfriends favourite movie

    by Obscura

    so ive seen it a few times, and i must admit its pretty damn great. never gets boring, and considering the subject matter (and my comic book fueled brain) is quite an achievement. Richard Dreyfuss is fantastic in everything, but especially this. his balance of comedy, pride, passion and anger in this role really is impressive.

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 9:07 p.m. CST

    Are you decent?

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    I've never seen the movie except for that little clip.

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 9:12 p.m. CST

    Paul Benedict??

    by Bumpasses Dawg

    Double damn I say!

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 9:29 p.m. CST

    Always

    by Bumpasses Dawg

    That was the name of the film with Holly Hunter, a few years before "What About Bob." One of my favorite roles of his was the narrator in "Stand By Me." Not a lot of physical screen time, but it resonated.

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 9:37 p.m. CST

    "Deniro, according to Nichols "couldn't do joy" "

    by Prossor

    earlfist, i knew it. DeNiro is the best at playing the toughguy, he has it down pat though but even when he tries to do comedy it is still in his toughguy mode, Midnight Run, Meet the Parents, Analyze This. Even Pacino took a shot at the whimsical joyful person in Arthur! Arthur! (1982)

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 9:58 p.m. CST

    Hey Quint

    by psychedelic

    I also certainly hope "last run" does not mean the column is ending. I'd be sad :( Also, you mentioned elsewhere you might do a top ten of AMAD for the past year. I think that'd be cool.

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 10:23 p.m. CST

    psychedelic

    by Quint

    I am indeed doing a look back on my favorites of AMAD, but I will probably do that next week... when the column ends. I announced it when I reviewed Notorious, the 200th title in the column... This year's going to be a hugely busy one for me and I just can't keep it going. I do love writing about vintage film and I will keep doing so on the site, but it's just not going to be on a forced schedule.<BR><BR>I also have a special series hitting right after AMAD, which I'll announce in the final article. Keep an eye out for that one.

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 10:45 p.m. CST

    This film was a big hit when it came out.

    by LoneGun

    Dreyfuss really hit the peak of his career with this one, winning his well-deserved Oscar. He's terrific in it. And the movie is wonderful. When I was a kid, I used to watch it whenever it was on TV.<p>By the way, Quint, if you haven't seen the courtroom drama, NUTS, I'd recommend that one for another excellent Dreyfuss performance, opposite Barbara Streisand.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 1:34 a.m. CST

    Dreyfuss took time off. (many times)

    by gotilk

    He did some teaching from what I understand, some narration, small roles. Manic depression (bi-polar disorder) took him out for a while, I guess. Can you imagine being him and people wondering why you're not ON? Must have been tough when he was down and overwhelming when he was UP. And in this film you can tell he has almost TOO MUCH energy. <br> <br> I can't imagine him ever being out of demand. But as far as embarrassing roles go, probably Tin Man? I saw Goodbye Girl when I was a kid based only on him being in it. It's a huge favorite. I think I've seen it maybe 10 times. And I'll see anything he's in. Even if it's a disaster film.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 2:55 a.m. CST

    Paul Bucciarelli

    by Continentalop

    I completely agree with you. I should have phrased my comments better, mentioning that it didn't just happen to the actors of his period but actors of every period. I mean, for a short while Paul Muni was a huge star in the 30's before he became box office poison. So was Eric Roberts and Ryan O'Neal. And Tony Curtis was a huge star for over a decade before having to fill in for Walter Mathua as manager of the Bad News Bears when they went to Japan. It is the nature of the business, that only a few actors can stay on top as stars for more than two<p> And yes, female actresses have it a lot harder. The truth of the matter is most actresses are just the flavor of the month. I mean Jordana Brewster was the talk of the town just a two years ago, now no one could care less about her.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 6:25 a.m. CST

    ContinentalOp

    by Paul Bucciarelli

    Jordana Brewster. Now there's a name I haven't heard in a long time. A very long time.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 8 a.m. CST

    Again ,I saw as a kid ,

    by Morpheus777

    and it is one of the flix that was always on the early days of cable ,so iwatched it a FEW times .Dreyfess made a few good romcoms in the 70's and 80s.I forget the name of the flick where he is in love with this chick ,who loves another guy and he puts up with all her Crazy shit just to keep fuckin her and then falls for a young susan sarandon(I just checked imdb ,The movie is the Buddy System )this is a great flick that I loved from Dreyfuss .it was good to see someone who didint look like a movie star getting the girl .anyways i enjoy your movie a day column ,or shall I call it a blog.ciao!

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 8:42 a.m. CST

    The Sunshine Boys

    by beatleMatt

    is a brilliant film - you're gonna love it Harry.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 8:48 a.m. CST

    What insanity is that "best laughter yet" poster?

    by skimn

    Looks like it was designed by someone on mesc.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Dreyfuss is BiPolar?

    by BobParr

    That wold explain why he seemed so out of it during recent interviews during the DNC. I thought he was drunk but he's probably on a lot of meds.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 12:50 p.m. CST

    Dreyfuss is good in:

    by palimpsest

    THE COMPETITION (as mentioned above), WHOSE LIFE IS IT ANYWAY?, SILVER CITY, ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD, CE3K, JAWS, TIN MEN, AMERICAN GRAFFITI, THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT, JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH, THE BIG FIX for starters.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 3:57 p.m. CST

    smart movie

    by taff

    The weekend the movie was released I saw it with someone new, who became an important relationship. The next night I was double-dating with a different girl and the other guy bought tickets early in the day without consulting anyone else. I saw the movie back-to-back evenings with no regrets. Incredible dialogue. I have always loved the movie.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 4:18 p.m. CST

    If you really want to see Dreyfuss at his best...

    by danofan59

    Check out "Inserts," a real-time ensemble piece with Bob Hoskins, Jessica Harper and Veronica Cartwright. Now THAT features an Oscar-worthy performance by Dreyfuss, which includes some very witty dialogue and great one-liners, in addition to a monologue about the death of Wallace Reed that would make a terrific actor's audition piece were it not so brief.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 6:59 p.m. CST

    hey quint,

    by sonnyhooper

    if you get a chance check out MAX DUGAN RETURNS. it's another neil simon/ marsha mason film that might have flown under your radar.

  • Jan. 6, 2009, 5:11 p.m. CST

    My tribute to T.G.G.

    by Shatner_Wins_An_Oscar

    ..funny, I remember going back to the theater to watch RD's performance, again and again - the moment when he comes in drunk and we see a glimpse of his true agility as an actor, I honestly think that part of film history has a lot to do with why I became a producer and director. After all these years, the varied and different projects I have worked on, then a couple months ago I decided to take a crack at the backstage antics of an off-Broadway theater company and I swear, until I say Quint's review, I didn't even realize where some of it came from, but there it is - in black and white. While I have been struggling to tell stories that were completely original, I now understand that a kernel of what I am doing, comes from my deep love and respect of The Goodbye Girl. So in tribute to Simon, Dreyfuss, Mason and Cummings, I dedicate my new web series EXIT Stage Left, to their work (how cool is that?). http://tinyurl.com/7ydfp3

  • Jan. 6, 2009, 5:29 p.m. CST

    Long ago on SNL

    by TimBenzedrine

    John Belushi and Gilda Radner do a spot on film recreation of a few scenes from Goodbye Girl. It was brilliant.

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