A classic from 1981 with Marsha Mason in the role of Broadway actress Georgia Hines and Kristy McNichol as her estranged daughter Polly. Neal Simon wrote the screenplay based on his play “The Gingerbread Lady”.
James Coco as her “gay” friend Jimmy Perrino and Joan Hackett as youth-obsessed Toby Landau are great in their supporting roles. It’s funny, it’s manic, it’s sad and it’s one of those movies I’ve come back to over and over again.
Trailer from dailymotion.com
Only When I Laugh is a 1981 American comedy-drama film based on Neil Simon’s play The Gingerbread Lady. The story is about an alcoholic Broadway actress who tries to stay sober while dealing with the problems of her teenage daughter and her friends: an overly vain woman who fears the loss of her looks and a gay actor relegated to small roles in third-rate shows.
Simon changed the main character’s name to Georgia Hines for the film adaptation; the character was named Evy Meara in the stage version. The main character went from being a cabaret singer to a Broadway stage actress. The film, written by Simon and directed by Glenn Jordan, stars Marsha Mason, Joan Hackett, James Coco and Kristy McNichol.
It was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Marsha Mason), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (James Coco), and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Joan Hackett).