With men and women across the world obsessed with rom-coms, Emma Kiely looks back on one that will melt even the coldest of hearts.
Paula McFadden (Marsha Mason) is a thirty-something dancer who already feels too old for the job and has been hurt by one too many men. She has a loud-mouthed precocious young daughter Lucy (Quinn Cummings) and they live in Manhattan with Paula’s actor boyfriend, Tony. When Tony abandons them to film a movie in Europe, he tells his fellow actor friend Elliot (Richard Dreyfuss in an Oscar-winning performance) that he can take his room. Paula and Lucy are forced to allow Elliot in when he threatens to throw them out as they don’t legally own the apartment. What ensues is a hilarious clash of two neurotic characters who never back down and so, a turbulent but hilarious love story begins.
“a hilarious clash of two neurotic characters who never back down and so, a turbulent but hilarious love story begins.”
Paula’s money worries and struggle raising Lucy coincides well with Elliot’s struggle to become an acclaimed actor due to his pretentious theatre director wanting him to play Richard III as camp as Rupaul (with hilarious consequences). The two characters are both so caught up in their own struggles that they fail to see how perfect they are for each other.
The stellar dialogue comes from a true master, playwright Neil Simon who wrote The Odd Couple and Barefoot in the Park. The only thing that matches the quality of the dialogue is the performance of Dreyfuss. His performance showcases his endless wit, his balance between endearment and charm and that behind the grey curls and massive glasses, is a true heartthrob. It also features one of the very few child characters who is self-aware and mature beyond their years, whilst remaining neither annoying nor a cliché.
“The only thing that matches the quality of the dialogue is the performance of Dreyfuss.’’
This old rom-com is a definite must-see. It’s a sweet, charming tale of two lost souls coming together to find themselves without the over-the-top cringe-worthy clichés we get in so many current romance films. It doesn’t drench itself in wealth or indulgence. It’s a true, honest love story that will leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling and with a little more optimism the next time you go on Tinder.