California Suite (1978) - Rotten Tomatoes

California Suite1978

California Suite (1978)




Critic Consensus: Maggie Smith's acidic turn is the standout in this stacked ensemble, but broad characterizations and an unsure tone make for a disappointingly uneven adaptation of Neil Simon's episodic play.

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Movie Info

Neil Simon's hit Broadway comedy -- a sequel of sorts to his Plaza Suite -- enlists the same format of four distinctive sketches, this time set in the sun-soaked Beverly Hills Hotel. But Simon is texturing his stories with a darker veneer than the older sketches from Plaza Suite, with self-conscious and variable results. The first episode concerns Bill and Hannah (Alan Alda and Jane Fonda), a divorced couple who meet at a suite at the hotel to figure out who will get the custody of their child. Sidney Cochran (Michael Caine) and Diana Barrie (Maggie Smith) are a couple of pretentious movie stars who rent a suite while waiting the Oscar ceremony. Willis Panama (Bill Cosby) and Chauncey Gump (Richard Pryor), two black doctors, rent another suite at the hotel for a family vacation, all goes wrong, and they end up fighting with each other. In the final episode, Marvin (Walter Matthau) has to explain to his wife (Elaine May) why he's been found in the sack with a hooker.

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Alan Alda
as Bill Warren - Visitors from New York
Michael Caine
as Sidney Cochran - Visitors from London
Bill Cosby
as Dr. Willis Panama - Visitors from Chicago
Jane Fonda
as Hannah Warren
Walter Matthau
as Marvin Michaels
Elaine May
as Millie Michaels
Richard Pryor
as Dr. Chauncy Gump
Maggie Smith
as Diana Barrie
Sheila Frazier
as Bettina Panama
Herb Edelman
as Harry Michaels
Michael F. Boyle
as Desk Clerk
Gino Ardito
as Plumber
Jerrold Ziman
as Man on Phone
Clint Young
as Doorman
Brian Cummings
as Autograph Seeker
William Kux
as Autograph Seeker
Zora Margolis
as Autograph Seeker
Bert May
as Waiter
Army Archerd
as Army Archerd
Judith Brown
as Oscar Winner
Gary Hendrix
as Her Date
Paolo Frediani
as Young Man
Nora Boland
as Passenger
David Rini
as Airline Rep.
John Hawker
as Sky Cap
Colleen Drape
as Stewardess
Kelly Harmon
as Stewardess
Tawny Moyer
as Stewardess
Leslie Pagett
as Stewardess
Vicki Stephens
as Stewardess
Nan Wylder
as Stewardess
Linda Ewen
as Stewardess
David Sato
as Salesman
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News & Interviews for California Suite

Critic Reviews for California Suite

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (4)

Less than successful, veering from poignant emotionalism to broad slapstick in sudden shifts.

October 3, 2007 | Full Review…

Means middle-class angst covered with a thin veneer of snappy one-liners and presented in the most anonymous directorial style imaginable.

October 3, 2007 | Full Review…

Quick and varied comedy, highly suited to Neil Simon's machine-gun gag-writing.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Middle-level Simon, bright lines, brightly delivered, but too theatrical.

April 4, 2003 | Rating: 3/5
Top Critic

The first scene is perhaps the worst.

May 27, 2020 | Full Review…

Any movie which allows Jane Fonda and Maggie Smith to stalk through it like modern-day versions of Tallulah Bankhead and Gertrude Lawrence cannot be easily dismissed. They make California Suite seem like manna from heaven.

October 29, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for California Suite


Neil Simon don't do a very good work, like another films written by he. The first hour, California Suite is nothing poignant. After, the movie get better, but the audience in that point don't want continue to watch.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer


Good movie, GREAT cast

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

Another all-star fiasco. This movie is supposed to be funny and dramatic, but it's in fact very boring and has very little humor. There are a couple of really funny scenes, but most of the time it isn't funny at all. The only real reason to watch this is to see all the famous actors.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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