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The Goodbye Girl (1977)
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Customer Reviews:

    The appeal of this movie has not diminished over time. it remains as much of an enjoyable classic today as when it was released.

    Richard Dreyfuss does outstanding work, his character is compassionate enough to allow his apartment to be shared by a single mother and her daughter who had it sublet without their knowledge and have no where to go. The banter between the two leads and their immediate dislike of each other turns softer as the movie goes on. The character of Lucy (the daughter) is played to perfection. She does not understand her mothers bad taste in men or her new dislike. The dialog was very well written.

    Again - a classic. Buy it and enjoy it again and again....more info

  • Hollywood's Golden Upset
    Did you know that the obnoxiously humorous fat cat,. Garfield, was invented by master cartoonist Jim Davis just one year after the release of THE GOODBYE GIRl? In interviews Davis readily admits that he borrowed the name of his feline creation from Richard Dreyfuss's character, the pushy actor Elliot Garfield, and not only the name, but his whole persona of the know it all smart aleck. Methinks the recent animated version of GARFIELD should have used Richard Dreyfuss's voice instead of Bill Murray's. Never mind, Dreyfuss has been laughing all the way to the bank ever since he won the Oscar at age 30 for playing the part in one of show business' most incredible and unaccountable upsets. In Hollywood circles it has long been whispered that on that long ago Oscarcast, presenter Faye Dunaway (the previous year's Oscar winner for best actress) was feeling her oats when she blearily opened the envelope and read the wrong name as the winner. It is said that John Travolta, who might conceivably have won the Oscar instead of Dreyfuss, has refused to speak to Dunaway ever since.

    THE GOODBYE GIRL, although sluggish in places and terribly overacted by Richard Dreyfuss (although, to give him credit, he was just doing what he was supposed to do), is far from the worst Neil Simon movie of the 1970s and indeed might be the best! In fact the success of THE GOODBYE GIRL encouraged producers to keep hiring Neil Simon for another 10 years of imitations of this formula. If GG hadn't succeeded we might have been spared some of the treacle that was to follow, including CHAPTER TWO (where Marsha Mason marries James Caan), SEEMS LIKE OLD TIMES (with Goldie and Chevy) or ONLY WHEN I LAUGH (with Kristy McNichol playing the daughter of Marsha Mason).

    Luckily in this picture the growing friendship between Marsha Mason and the 60s starlet Joan Hackett met with distaste by Mason's husband, and he divorced her ending their incredible partnership not too long afterwards. They had a crazy streak of hits and flops together and will go down in history as the man who wrote the worst parts for an actress with a little bit of talent. After that, for Neil Simon it was Matthew Broderick pictures and the Alec Baldwin-Kim Basinger disaster THE MARRYING MAN. For Marsha Mason, well, there was the tragedy of Joan Hackett's untimely death, one Clint Eastwood movie in which most of her part was cut out, and a welcome return to the big screen last year in BRIDE AND PREJUDICE...more info
  • The Goodbye Girl
    I was very satisfied with the quality and timely manner in which the movie was delivered....more info
  • Absolutely best romantic comedy. Ever.
    When I started watching the movie I didn't know it was actually a romantic comedy, or I'd have switched the channel; I'm kinda wary of that genre, for many reasons. In any case, I left it on, and now, all I can say is that this movie is definitely going to be in my collection! Everything, absolutely everything was so good about this movie: the acting, the plot, the dialogue; there are few things I love best than to watch two witty people fighting; I even sort of expected to keep doing it until the end of the movie, but the way they end up falling for each other compensates for that, it was all very sweet and charming, without being saccharine, and the characters were something else, specially Lucy, the 10 year old girl with a 26 year old mind; and even if it had been just your run-of-the-mill romantic comedy I'd have watched it anyway only to see the part when Dreyfuss' character plays a very effeminate Richard III onstage and then comes home drunk, it was so hysterical. This movie alone puts to shame the host of awful, corny, boring productions Hollywood chokes us with - not that it needs any help with that. I wish I could have given this movie ten stars....more info
  • Great Movie>>>No Xtra Features!
    One of the greatest romantic comedies ever! DVD looks good...just no xtra features whatsoever.....more info
  • This is my one of my favorite movies!!
    I have loved this movie ever since I first saw it on cable tv back in the 70's!! Marsha Mason is one of my all-time favorite anyways and Richard D. is hilarious!!

    This is a MUST have in your movie collectiables! If you have seen the movie as much as I have, you will start repeating the lines...lolol The sound-track of the movie is PERFECT for the theme of the movie,... (goodbye,..doesn't mean forever...)

    **Regular TV did a remake of this movie a couple of months ago, ( the two actors I forgot the names). But it was HORRIBLE acting! The dialong was exactly the same, but the actors did a horrible job. I'm sorry, the acting of Richard D. & Marsha Mason "MADE" what the origianl Goodbye Girl what it is!!!** FANTASTIC & FUNNY!!

    May I HIGHLY suggest watching, "Chapter Two" / also a Neil Simon movie with Marsha Mason!!!...more info

  • the good-bye girl
    My favorite Neil Simon movie! Quick witted dialog, you must not miss a line! A comedic love story that will stand the test of time. As good the first time you saw it! Marsha Mason is an under-rated comedic actress and Richard Dreyfuss is as fine an all-around actor as the famed Gary Grant! A 5 star movie....more info
    IN FILM.
    FRESHNESS AND FLAVOR!!!...more info
  • Marvelous film
    The recent TV movie remake really hammered home the fact that the original theatrical film was perfect. Richard Dreyfuss was so good that Jeff Daniels had to be kidding himself thinking that he could recreate the moment.

    The original movie stands the test of time....more info
  • The Most Perfect Love Story Ever
    I truly have found mine and my husbands "movie". I watch everynight before i go to bed. Heart warming all around. This movie gives hope to those hopeless romantics that love is really out there. A 10!...more info
  • A Romantic-Comedy Classic
    Dumped yet again by her less than scrupulous lover, Marcia Mason is in for quite a surprise when she finds out that her apartment has been sublet to Richard Dreyfuss ( who plays an actor about to begin his first off-Broadway play, Richard III ). Mason's wise-cracking daughter,(played by Quinn Cummings) is fantastic as a cynical 10 year old and almost steals the movie away from the main 2 characters. When Dreyfuss agrees to let Mason and her daughter share the apartment with him, the sparks start to fly. Immediately Dreyfuss begins to assert his egocentric personality by laying down the rules of the house "I DON'T like the panties drying on the rod !! " and their relationship goes down hill from there. But naturally, as it always goes in this type of romantic comedy, the 2 main characters eventually begin to warm up to each other and have a relationship of their own. It's a movie about taking chances and allowing yourself to be vulnerable just ONE more time to let love into your heart. My friend, Debbie, and I have watched this movie so many times we can practically recite the dialogue by heart "mama bear done fixed the cave up good !" This movie is worth watching if just to see Dreyfuss' character play the worst version of Richard III imaginable. He sashays and lisps and flounces around the off-Broadway stage until you are laughing so hard your sides hurt ! I highly recommend this movie to anyone who wants to watch something that is funny and yet touchingly innocent and uplifting, all at the same time....more info
  • Goodbye Girl
    First saw this years ago, but never forgot it. A very funny, intelligent, typical Neil Simon film. Simply heartwarming....more info
  • Dreyfuss as Richard III?
    Ever since I learned that Richard Dreyfuss had won the Best Actor Academy Award for his role as Elliot Garfield in The Goodbye Girl, it had been added to my "must-see" list. I just saw it last night and, like many Neil Simon films, it has its ups and downs.

    When her live-in actor boyfriend Tony leaves for Italy, out-of-work dancer Paula McFadden (Marsha Mason, who was married to Simon and would eventually act in six of his films) is left alone, again, with her 10-year-old daughter Lucy (Quinn Cummings). What she didn't know is that, before leaving and since the lease was in his name, Tony had sublet their apartment to someone else: struggling Chicago actor Elliot Garfield, just in town for his New York premiere as Richard III. After a lengthy set of arguments, they come to an arrangement: they will share the apartment.

    The Goodbye Girl is a romantic comedy so, of course, Paula and Elliot spend the first half of the movie at each other's throat (before coming together at the end) while Lucy delivers the film's best lines and is, in general, adorably charming. Cummings probably gives the film's most engaging performance. Mason is good, but her sharp features left me wondering what the attraction was, although the bearded and bespectacled Dreyfuss is no catch, either. (It is apparent that the cast was chosen for their acting ability and not their matinee idol looks.)

    And now Dreyfuss: did he deserve the Oscar over Woody Allen (Annie Hall), Richard Burton (Equus), Marcello Mastroianni (A Special Day), and John Travolta (Saturday Night Fever)? I'm torn but tend to lean toward the positive, not based on his entire performance, but on specific moments when I went "wow" like when Paula and Lucy go to see him after the opening of Richard III. Every bit of that scene comes through his eyes and facial expression. He doesn't say a word and, probably because of that, my eyes were riveted to him. For the rest, just imagine Hooper from Jaws in love; Dreyfuss usually plays himself. Although I can certainly imagine that Jason Alexander's performance as George on Seinfeld owes more than a little to Dreyfuss' 1970s film persona, especially here.

    Neil Simon stories are generally uneven and The Goodbye Girl is no exception. When he is writing comedy, there is no one better. Unfortunately, he likes to insert moments of drama in his plays, as well, and, after laughing so much, the absence of it is very noticeable. I found myself slowly losing interest toward the end as the romance developed. I'm not intrigued by watching two very ordinary-looking people kissing, and there is at least one intense scene of that alone. Also, Lucy became less prominent as the romance was played out, and that is a loss. And the last quarter of simply didn't have room to be funny. Surprisingly enough, even though The Goodbye Girl is one of the few Simon movies not based on a Broadway play, it feels like one: it takes place almost entirely in one location, and the actors (particularly Dreyfuss) often descend to extreme gestures. I can't imagine watching it again, but I think people should see it, especially actors, if just to watch Dreyfuss play Richard III as a mincing gay man. It's offensive in the best way....more info

  • the goodbye girl
    A wonderful gentle love story about two very unlikely people falling for each other.

    This was great when I first saw it years ago in the theatre and still a favorite today.

    What's great about this movie is that it's just about two ordinary people trying hard to make it through life.

    Unlike most movies today with incredibly "beautiful people" super model good looks Richard Dreyfus and Marsha Mason could be our neighbors or just someone we know.

    Makes you believe in love....more info
  • A chick flick for guys too
    I saw the Goodbye Girl when it first came to theaters. At the time I was 12 and was really not interested in seeing it. I made quite a fuss as my parents dragged me into the theater. Now, many years later I can be honest and tell the world how much I liked the film.

    Richard Dreyfuss and Marsha Mason play mismatched people stuck rooming together when Mason's ex dumps her and sublets his apartment to Dreyfuss. Mason's character has a young daughter, played by Quinn Cummings, and the three end up tolerating each other until resentment turns to acceptance turns to caring turns to love. It's an old story but it's never been done better than this.

    As an adult now, I think the film appeals to me because the male character is more than just window dressing in a story about how hard a woman's life is. Guys don't want to be beat over the head and this movie doesn't do that. Each character has their own chance to have a breakdown, and in the end we find a little of ourselves in all of them....more info

  • AFI's Great Love Stories: #81 "The Goodbye Girl"
    Richard Dreyfuss won the Oscar for his performance in "The Goodbye Girl," and Marsha Mason was married to the playwright, but I remember thinking that it young scene stealing Quinn Cummings who probably had more talent that the other two put together. But then Cummings, after a nice turn on the classic TV domestic drama "Family," has not been seen since "Listen to Me," the 1988 film about college debaters starring Kirk Cameron and Jamie Gertz. Meanwhile, it is Dreyfuss who has resurrected his career as an older curmudgeon.

    In "The Goodbye Girl" Dreyfuss plays a young curmudgeon, Elliot Garfield, a struggling actor who has made the fateful mistake of sub-letting an apartment in the Big Apple from a friend. The problem is that the friend split town leaving behind his girl friend, Paula McFadden (Mason) and her daughter Lucy (Cummings), who are not thrilled with the idea of being put out on the street. After a series of initial diatribes (including the classic scene where each lays down the law for the other in turn), an uneasy alliance is agreed upon and we wait for the inevitable meeting of much more than the minds between the feuding couple.

    The title of Neil Simon's play has to do with the fact that Paula always gets dumped in the end and the prospect of happiness does nothing to deter her absolute belief in the inevitability of her unhappiness. An added treat in this film is Elliot's performance in Shakespeare's "Richard III," which, as directed off-Broadway by Mark (Paul Benedict), insists the king was gay. Really gay. Incredibly, ... out of the closet and way over the rainbow gay.

    Most Romantic Line: "What is it about you that makes a man with a hundred forty-seven I.Q. feel like a dribbling idiot?" What did you expect? This is a Neil Simon story so there are dozens of great one-liners, none of them especially romantic.

    If you like "The Goodbye Girl," then check out these other films on AFI's list: #38 "It Happened One Night," #25 "When Harry Met Sally," #17 "Moonstruck," and #14 "The African Queen." Why? Because these are also films in which two obviously mismatched people are thrown together by circumstances and eventually live happily ever after. Apparently, this is a very successful formula when it comes to romance movies....more info

  • Not as good the second time around
    I wanted to watch this movie because I remember liking it at the movies when it first came out. I couldn't get into it this time. There didn't seem to be much chemistry between the two actors and I ended up falling asleep before it was over. The movie seemed quite dated to me....more info
  • Pretty Romantic.
    A movie I watched with my mom. This movie is comedic and genuine enjoy....more info
  • This movie will restore your faith in romantic comedy.
    Every time I watch this film, I get caught up in the love story that slowly unfolds as if it is my personal story. The scene of Dreyfus and Mason's first kiss is undoubtedly the *best* I have ever seen because it is so true to life. And what a beautiful first date!!! Not many films depict relationships beginning in such a sweet, innocent and loving way as this one....more info
  • I beg to differ....
    This is my least favorite film of all time. Richard Dreyfuss jogging in place in the kitchen while eating yogurt tops the list for images of contrived, neurotic, insipid, self-indulgent pseudo-eccentricity. There was little or no credible chemistry between the main characters, nor were they at all interesting individually. This film made "Love Story" seem like high art by comparison....more info
  • Sorry to Disagree
    I see everyone else gave the movie 5 stars. I hate to be the fly in their ointment, but I didn't care for this movie. I saw it at the show when it first came out way back when. The love story wasn't believable to me. I never could believe Richard Dreyfuss would be attracted to Marsha Mason, or vice versa. I just didn't feel any chemistry between the two. I like Dreyfuss in other roles, but not this one. Even the kid got on my nerves. Sorry to rain on the parade....more info
  • Allen Alda at his best!
    It's wounderful to find vendos that not only have stuff like this but also ship quickly and don't charge an arm and a leg for it....more info
  • "I don't - like - the panties - hanging - on - the rod!"
    In 1977, movie theater audiences were treated to what is probably Neil Simon's best writing with the film "The Goodbye Girl". Directed by Herbert Ross (1927-2001, who later directed "Steel Magnolias" in 1989), the film stars Richard Dreyfuss as the aspiring actor Elliot Garfield, Marsha Mason as former dancer Paula McFadden and Quinn Cummings as Paula's 10-year old daughter Lucy. The film begins with Paula and Lucy returning to their New York City apartment from a long day of shopping. They are preparing to move to California with Paula's boyfriend, Tony Deforest (not shown), who is another aspiring actor that just got an acting job in a Hollywood film. Upon getting home, Tony isn't there, but she finds a note that he left for her. The note is not what Paula wanted or expected to hear: Tony left without her and Lucy. Paula learns from building manager Mrs. Crosby (Theresa Merritt, 1924-1998) the next morning that loveable Tony did something else too: he sublet the apartment. Not having the money to move, Paula decides that she and Lucy will remain in the apartment. When the subletee arrives (Elliot), she reluctantly agrees to share the apartment with him. The resulting mutually antagonistic relationship slowly evolves into something quite different.

    For his work in "The Goodbye Girl", Richard Dreyfuss won the much deserved Oscar for Best Actor. Marsha Mason was nominated for Best Actress and Quinn Cummings was nominated for Best Supporting Actress. The film itself was nominated for Best Picture and Neil Simon was nominated for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen. Some of the very memorable scenes in the film include Paula & Lucy's arrival home at the beginning of the film, Elliot's arrival, the living arrangements, Elliot's rehearsals, Paula's exercises, Lucy's stomachache, Elliot's alternate employment, the Chianti, the rooftop dinner, the carriage ride and the closing scenes. Other memorable characters include Elliot's off-Broadway director Mark (Paul Benedict, known for his portrayal of Harry Bentley in the 1975-1985 TV series "The Jeffersons") and Donna Douglas (Barbara Rhoades).

    Overall, I rate the 1977 version of "The Goodbye Girl" with a resounding 5 out of 5 stars. It's a wonderfully engaging film that continues to entertain to this day. The 2004 television remake that starred Jeff Daniels as Elliot and Patricia Heaton as Paula was not anywhere as good as the original....more info

  • a great Neil Simon story adapted for the screen......
    THE GOODBYE GIRL is a wonderful Neil Simon romantic comedy (with emphasis on screwball). The film takes the formula of THE ODD COUPLE (another wonderful film that examines the relationship between a pair of opposites trying to compromise in a living situation) with a twist. Paula McFadden (Marsha Mason) is an out-of-work dancer and single mother whose boyfriend has abandoned her and her young daughter, Lucy (Quinn Cummings)--not a surprise. However, he also subletted the apartment to his out-of-work actor friend, Elliot Garfield (Richard Dreyfuss). This wasn't what Paula had in mind. This wasn't what Elliot had in mind. Nevertheless, the eccentric Elliot--who chants and eats odd, diet specific food-- and the embittered Paula, who has vowed to stay away from actors--must agree to tolerate each other (to put it nicely). This doesn't come easily.

    This film has so many wonderful and funny scenes, and Marsha Mason and Richard Dreyfuss have wonderful screen chemistry even when they are at each other's throats. Wonderfully entertaining......Dreyfuss basically steals the movie. You'll love it....more info
  • great story
    This movie I watched over 10 times when it came out. Need I say more?
    There is one thing some may not notice do. After his off Broadway play and he comes home drunk, he clears off the table Sticks his head out the window and starts quoting the paper. as he was pulled back in the table was back to normal, but no one had the time to fix it, only little flaw in the film. Well worth adding to your collection of love stories.

    ...more info
  • Neet's review
    I loved this and all of Marsha Mason's movies but, this one especially because I'am also a big fan of Richard Dreyfuss with it's funny and quick dialogue.I watch it quite often since I found it on dvd. There's a remake of the Goodbye girl with Patricia Heaten and Jeff Daniels but it doesn't come close to the original. Great movie a must have. ...more info
  • As good as lovestories get
    Before Harry ever met Sally this film supurbly tells the story of an unlikely match that in the end has to work. Building on a huge history of Amercan films where the guy in the end always gets the girl, you always find yourself arguing with people who think there's no drama in that. But if a film tells the story like this with outstanding performances from Dreyfuss and Mason I'm sold anyway....more info