The Goodbye Girl
THE GOODBYE GIRL (PG)
D: Herbert Ross
MGM (Ray Stark)
USA 🇺🇸 1977
W: Neil Simon
DP: David M. Walsh
Ed: John F. Burnett
Mus: Dave Grusin
Richard Dreyfuss (Elliott Garfield), Marsha Mason (Paula McFadden), Quinn Cummings (Lucy MacFadden), Paul Benedict (Mark Morgenweiss), Barbara Rhodes (Donna Douglas), Theresa Merritt (Mrs. Crosby)
It's The Odd Couple again, from the same screenwriter Neil Simon, and while the plot isn't completely original, the dialogue still feels fresh and the performances make a very funny and enjoyable watch.
A lettings misunderstanding over the lease of an apartment results in an up-and-coming actor (Dreyfuss) and a theatrical dancer (Mason) and her young daughter (Cummings) having to house share.
They despise each other at first, but a relationship soon develops between them.
The on-screen chemistry between the two leads is absolute gold, though they're both nearly upstaged by the prepubescent Quinn Cummings as Mason's daughter, who gets the majority of the funniest dialogue.
Neil Simon knows what works and what doesn't, and while the plotting isn't too dissimilar from his previous work, perhaps he also knows that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."