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Starting Over 1979

R CC
4.4 out of 5 stars (81) IMDb 6.5/10

Burt Reynolds plays Phil Potter, a low-key, contented magazine writer who tries to put his life back together after his wife (Candice Bergen) opts for independence as a singer-songwriter.

Starring:
Burt Reynolds, Jill Clayburgh
Runtime:
1 hour, 45 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Romance, Comedy
Director Alan J. Pakula
Starring Burt Reynolds, Jill Clayburgh
Supporting actors Candice Bergen, Charles Durning, Frances Sternhagen, Austin Pendleton, Mary Kay Place, MacIntyre Dixon, Jay O. Sanders, Charles Kimbrough, Richard Whiting, Alfie Wise, Wallace Shawn, Sturgis Warner, Mary Catherine Wright, Daniel Stern, George Hirsch, Ian Martin, Aerin Asher, Ben Pesner
Studio Paramount
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
This is one of the great cult classic romantic comedies, right up there with "The Heartbreak Kid." The writing by James Brooks is, as always, smart, dry, and very funny; and Alan J. Pakula gets great performances from everyone in the amazing cast. (I've always thought Charles Durning is one America's best character actors.) I have to disagree with one of the other reviewers who thought Jill Clayburgh was miscast. Her performance is charming and droll, a perfect match for Burt Reynolds, who gives a great performance that works particularly well because he's playing against type -- a macho star who gets big laughs when, during a love scene with Clayburgh where she's groning happily, says "I'm not that good."

I have only one complaint about this film -- it's not available on DVD, and I can't figure out why. Wake up, Paramount!
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Format: VHS Tape
I first saw "Starting Over" in the theatre when it first came out in the fall of 1979 and then many years later on home video and I still find it enjoyable. It was directed by the late, great Alan J. Pakula("All The President's Men" from 1976,"Sophie's Choice" from 1982)and the screenplay was written by James L.Brooks(one of the writers on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the '70's,"Terms of Endearment" from 1983,"Broadcast News" from 1987, "As Good As It Gets" from 1997), and starred Jill Clayburgh and Candice Bergen and the underrated Burt Reynolds.Ms. Clayburgh was nominated for Best Actress for her role as the school teacher looking for love,(Sally Field won for "Norma Rae").Ms. Bergen was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in her role as the aspiring songwriter(Meryl Streep won for "Kramer vs. Kramer").Burt Reynolds wasn't even nominated for his role as Phil Potter.He was a superstar at the time and the No.1 box office attraction in America and it seems he was snubbed by the Academy.It was too bad because after all he was the lead role in the picture as the just divorced man who was starting over in a new life.The Academy did finally give him a nomination nearly 20 years later in 1997 for his fine performance in "Boogie Nights",(Robin Williams won for "Good Will Hunting").At least the Academy finally recognized his work.
"Starting Over" features funny supporting roles for Charles Durning as Phil Potter's older psychiatrist brother and Frances Sternhagen as his sister Marva Potter.The movie has many funny moments,like when Candice Bergen,as Phil's ex-wife breaks out in song and Phil's reaction to this musical moment.Burt Reynolds has said in interviews that Phil Potter in "Starting Over" was his personal favorite film role.I can see why.
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By A Customer on November 2, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Starting Over is a romantically funny movie! Candace Bergen is hysterical as the wife who leaves Burt Reynolds to become a country western singer (what a voice!). Jill Clayburgh's first encounter with Burt Reynold's character is extremely funny. And wait until you see what happens when this Starting Over couple attempt to purhcase a couch at the mall! It's true this movie is well over twenty years old, but I still remember it with great fondness. This was Burt Reynolds at his very best. I'm glad I came across it on Amazon.com. I hope it has stood up to time and that you will enjoy it as much as I did.
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By Ciaramine on September 28, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I wish there were more movies like this one. Three great performances from Bergen, Reynolds and Clayburgh, who show perfect comic timing and real chemistry. The humor comes from real, often poignant situations, and every scene, from the more intimate scenes between Reynolds and Clayburgh to those at the group therapy sessions, are the real thing. The supporting players are also terrific. It's got one of the best endings ever. Listen closely or you might not hear the last line uttered by Clayburgh because the credits are already rolling. It's a beauty.

It's great that they've brought this film out on DVD. Now if someone would just release another great Clayburgh film, An Unmarried Woman, on DVD, I would be first in line to buy it.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I won't say this is a great film but it's a movie that is worth enjoying. I am a great fan of the director Alan J. Pakula.
I own most of his movies <Presumed Innocent><Klute><Pellican Brief><All The president's Men><Sophie's Choice><The Devi's Own> and this one.
I love them all. The great thing about this director is he is both good at romantic and action movies.
This one is a small story about Burt Reynolds who just got divorsed and meets this woman Jill Clayburgh who lives alone. She is kind of a unique lady that sometimes hard to deal with. She is like a climate that always changes so easily.
On the other hand, his ex-wife even though had divorsed with him, she kept contact with him. I think she wants him back.
The other problem with Burt is he is afraid of a new relationship.
He do loves Jill but is afraid of sleeping with her which makes her angry. She thinks he doesn't love her because of that.
He goes to a group meeting where divorsed men talks about their problem. That meeting is funny as well. Some of the actors are quite well known in that meeting and I enjoyed that meeting very much.
But the biggest thing I laughed at was But Raynolds' laughing. It was so funny when he laughs. I don't know why but it just was so funny that I laugh out loud too whenever he laughes.
When Burt reunited with his ex-wife I was kind of sad but after all when he ran into his girlfriend and confesses that he truely loves her and the movie ends as a happy ending, I was relieved.
As I said, the movie was not a perfect one and I don't even know I will watch this again but for this once, it was quite enjoyable. Especially because there was Burt Reynolds.
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