Only When I Laugh 1981 R CC

Amazon Instant Video

(31) IMDb 6.5/10
Available in HD

This story is about a Broadway actress, Georgia Hines (Marsha Mason), who six years earlier gave up custody of her daughter, Polly (Kristy McNichol), in order to "straighten out her life." But now, just as Georgia is about to star in a play, Polly decides she's going to move in with her mother.

Starring:
Marsha Mason, Kristy McNichol
Runtime:
2 hours 0 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

Only When I Laugh

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Comedy
Director Glenn Jordan
Starring Marsha Mason, Kristy McNichol
Supporting actors James Coco, Joan Hackett, David Dukes, John Bennett Perry, Guy Boyd, Ed Moore, Byron Webster, Peter Coffield, Mark Schubb, Ellen La Gamba, Venida Evans, John Vargas, Nancy Nagler, Dan Monahan, Michael A. Ross, Tom Ormeny, Ken Weisbrath, Henry Olek
Studio Columbia Pictures
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Great story, great performances.
Harry
Marsha Mason, James Coco, Joan Hackett...all magnificent.
Finley H.
Now I'm hoping it will soon come out on DVD.
Laurel-Rain Snow "Rain"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By F. Gentile on July 9, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This is a terrific movie. Marsha Mason is wonderfully funny and touching as "Georgia", the recently re-habbed actress. Written by her then husband, Neil Simon, and taken from his original stage play, "The Gingerbread Lady", it is full of witty New York theater repartee, as only Simon could write, incomprabley delivered by Marsha Mason. It starts with "Georgia's" somewhat premature (fresh out of rehab) re-immersion into the world of theater via the starring role in a somewhat biographical play, written by her former lover , with whom she had the turbulent relationship that preceded her breakdown. Through the emotion of that experience, and her relapse, she is accompanied by her two best friends, also wonderfully played by James Coco and Joan Hackett. Their 3 way friendship would be called co-dependent nowadays, then...it was just being a supportive good friend. (I think we were better off without the present definition.) You will want these kooky, dear, flawed people as your friends. Kristy McNichol projects just the right quality as the on-the-ball off-spring. Georgias attempts to re-establish a relationship and trust with her previously somewhat ignored daughter are very funny and very touching, with McNichol often ending up as the parental figure. This is just a wonderful, under-rated little gem of a movie, a sweet story in which Marsha Mason gives one of the best performances I've seen. I consider her a terrific actress, and it's a shame that, for whatever reason, she is not creating more wonderful roles. She takes a good story and makes it great. A lovely, funny film about friendship, human frailties, perseverence, and the resilience of the human spirit. LOVE it !
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Christopher M. MacNeil on November 13, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Another classic Neil Simon-Marsha Mason collaboration (when they were married), "Only When I Laugh" is aptly-titled: as Mason's character explains, she laughs only when her heart is pierced. In her case here, that happens a lot and is masterfully crafted by Simon's bittersweet perspective of his lead character's life, and Mason's flawless delivery. Her character is a recovering alcoholic, and it is her rocky road to recovery that is the benchmark of this film. On the surface, it's much too easy to assess the film as a story about alcoholism. Actually, it's about recovery. And, as most recovering addicts do (God bless 'em), Mason's character finds that life even without chemicals isn't always a bed of roses. As Mason's daughter, Kristy McNichol is the poster child for Al-Anon, and she is awesome as the child of a recovering addict. Sadly, the two strongest supporting performers aren't with us anymore, but Joan Hackett and James Coca are truly magnificent as the friends who carry Mason through the harshness of recovery and, all too commonly, her "slip." It's a timeless message about recovery, and it's a jewel made all the more remarkable by Simon's obvious knowledge about his subject.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By scott a kennedy on November 27, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Marsha Mason received her fourth and last (to date) Best Actress Oscar nomination for this touchingly funny and bittersweet role. She truly shines (as does Hackett and Coco) in this Neil Simon work. It is one of those movies that if you are channel surfing for something to watch and you come across it, it will grab you, no matter what scene you're at, and keep you until the end! But don't wait for TNT or TBS, buy it and pop it in once or twice a year or only when you want to laugh.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jon on April 4, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
If ever there was such a thing and I controlled the ballots for the Best Actress Oscar in 1981, I would have given the golden boy to Marsha Mason for her amazing performance as Georgia Hines in the always entertaining ONLY WHEN I LAUGH. Once again, Ms. Mason outdoes herself in this "dramedy" about sordid lives, real addictions and mother-daughter dilemmas handled with craft and skill by Neil Simon. Not only does she deliver the goods here, Mason is supported by some real pros including James Coco and Joan Hackett as friends who adore Georgia but have their own hang-ups & dramas to deal with. I feel Kristy McNichol is a bit miscast in this film as Georgia's confused teenage daughter, but does her best with the material at hand. ONLY WHEN I LAUGH is pure entertainment filled with some biting dialogue and dramatic touches bringing it to a nice simmer. At the height of her career, Ms. Mason's stunning performance as a formerly overweight, down-on-her-luck stage actress with an unquenchable thirst proves she's go what it takes to make you laugh, cry and relate to her character on many levels. As far as acting goes, this is as good as it gets!! PLEASE NOTE THAT ALONG WITH THE OTHER REVIEWERS, WE NEED THIS MOVIE ON DVD. MY VHS TAPE HAS SEEN ITS BETTER DAYS. AMAZON--PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE MAKE SOME NOISE WITH COLUMBIA PICTURES TO TRANSFER THIS FABULOUS FILM TO DVD. ITS TIME HAS COME!!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl Meril on November 27, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
I hope they come out with a DVD of this classic soon. This is a very special movie. If they don't convert it to digital soon, I'm going to burn a VHS into DVD. They don't even have this movie in stock on Amazon anymore.
Kristy McNichol rocks in this movie. Marsha Mason did an award winning performance. If this doesn't get converted to DVD soon, I'm going to complain to the movie company that holds rights to the movie.
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