Only When I Laugh (1981) - Rotten Tomatoes

Only When I Laugh1981

Only When I Laugh (1981)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Only When I Laugh Photos

Movie Info

In this pathos-filled comedy from Neil Simon, a popular actress finds herself struggling to cope with her own alcoholism and the deteriorating relationship with her teenage daughter. Simon adapted the plot from his play The Gingerbread Lady. The film is also known as It Hurts Only When I Laugh.

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Marsha Mason
as Georgia
John Bennett Perry
as Lou: an Actor
Guy Boyd
as Boxing Fan in Bar
Ed Moore
as Dr. Komack
Peter Coffield
as Mr. Tarloff
Mark Schubb
as Adam Kasabian
Ellen LaGamba
as Receptionist
Venida Evans
as Nurse Garcia
Henry Olek
as George the Director
Rebecca Stanley
as Denise Summers
Nick LaPadula
as Bartender
Birdie M. Hale
as Super's Wife
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Critic Reviews for Only When I Laugh

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (1)

Anyone consulting this movie for insights into alcoholism would be better off asking a bartender.

October 23, 2004 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

The insipid script is saved by a splendid cast. [Full Review in Spanish]

August 23, 2019 | Full Review…

Neil Simon reworked his play Gingerbread Lady for this tale of alcoholic actress (real wife Marsha Mason) and precocious daughter, but the result is just as stagy, schmaltzy and predictable, with the expected witty but utterly theatrical one-liners.

January 11, 2008 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

Belabored Neil Simon script with Marsha Mason.

July 13, 2005 | Rating: 3/5

Only When I Laugh is a film about family ties, friendship and coping in a competitive world.

January 31, 2004 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Only When I Laugh


Lesser Neil Simon dramedy with a fine performance from Marsha Mason. The problem is that her character is so selfish it's difficult to sympathize with her, since she's the focus of the piece that's vital. The result is that you feel detached from the proceedings. Joan Hackett gives her customarily excellent performance for which she was Oscar nominated but the part isn't award worthy. Still since this was her final feature film role before her death it nice that she was so honored for her many years of work.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

This starts out as a good drama about a mother and daughter, but it gets more and more predictable as it goes on. The actors are good, and I like theatre themed movies, but this one is just okay.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Only When I Laugh Quotes

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