Expertly reworked by Neil Simon from his play The Gingerbread Lady, Only When I Laugh is positively profligate with its witty dialogue, yet resolves itself into something of dramatic weight. In his first film as producer, Simon assembles a trio of New Yorkers who, like all his best characters, are smart enough to know which part they are playing, and support each other via a droll orgy of facetious self-mockery. Coco is the fat, gay actor who feels he should be a star but is turned down for haemorrhoid commercials; Hackett, the placid beauty anxiously approaching her fortieth birthday; Mason, the central character, a Broadway actress who comes home from the boozers' clinic, a little wan but puckish glamour restored. Though full of good intentions re daughter (McNichol) and career, we know she's going to take that fatal drink sometime in the next three reels.
Cast and crew
John Bennett Perry