Streaming Review: THE GOODBYE GIRL β Neil Simon's Timeless Gem
New Yorkers and many more will enjoy viewing The Goodbye Girl, a 1977 movie that has real charm. Written by Neil Simon, his wife Marsha Mason starred in the lead role as Paula McFadden. Directed by Herbert Ross and produced by Ray Stark, the film also featured the acting talents of Richard Dreyfuss as Elliot Garfield; Quinn Cummings as young Lucy McFadden; and Paul Benedict as a quirky Off-Broadway director, Mark. This clever romantic comedy is laced with some thought provoking emotional and dramatic moments.
The Goodbye Girl was well received by both the public and critics. It garnered five Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Ray Stark; Best Actor, Richard Dreyfuss; Best Actress, Marsha Mason; Best Supporting Actress, Quinn Cummings; and Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, Neil Simon. Dreyfuss won for Best Actor making him the youngest at the time to win the coveted award.
The artfully crafted rom-com depicts a relationship between two unlikely people. It also portrays New York City lifestyles and the theatre culture. In the story, Paula McFadden is a former Broadway dancer who lives with her precocious young daughter, Lucy. Unlucky in romance, Paula learns that her lover, Tony has left for Europe leaving only a note behind while subletting their apartment to a struggling actor, Elliot Garfield. Elliot and Paula have a have a contentious day-to-day relationship as roomies yet they share affection for Lucy. When Elliott faces a failure as the lead character in an Off-Broadway production of the Shakespeare play, Richard III, Paula becomes empathetic and kinder to him. Could love be a possibility?
The scenes of NYC will fascinate viewers as modes of transportation, fashion, and neighborhoods have changed over the last four decades. Yet the themes in the movie are remarkably timely. The fine performances of the cast bring to life interesting individuals, human foibles, personal longings, romantic tension, and ardor.
The Goodbye Girl is a gem. You may have seen it way back when, but it is a movie to be rediscovered and enjoyed.
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