Watch Only When I Laugh
- 2 hr
Only When I Laugh is a 1981 comedy-drama film that explores the personal struggles and triumphs of a group of actors in a hospital ward. The movie, directed by Glenn Jordan, features a talented ensemble cast that includes Marsha Mason, Kristy McNichol, James Coco, and Joan Hackett. The story centers around Georgia Hines, played by Marsha Mason, a once-famous actress who checks herself into a hospital after a nervous breakdown leaves her unable to cope with the pressures of her career and personal life. While in the hospital, Georgia meets her former roommate, Polly, portrayed by Kristy McNichol, a young woman who was involved in a car accident and is now paralyzed from the waist down. Polly is a spunky, determined person who refuses to let her condition get the best of her. She is constantly making wisecracks to lighten the mood in the hospital ward, and her infectious personality eventually rubs off on the other patients.
James Coco plays Jimmy Perrino, an actor who is also staying in the hospital. Jimmy is wracked with guilt because he believes he caused the car accident that injured Polly. He is also dealing with his own medical issues, as he is suffering from terminal cancer. Despite his tragic circumstances, Jimmy maintains his sense of humor and uses his acting skills to entertain the other patients. Joan Hackett plays Toby, a wealthy woman who is in the hospital for an undisclosed ailment. Toby is a bit of a mystery, as she is very private and seems to be hiding something from the other patients.
As the film progresses, the characters bond and develop deep, meaningful relationships with each other. Georgia finds comfort in Polly's unwavering optimism, and the two become close friends. Jimmy's friendship with Polly helps him come to terms with his guilt, and he finds solace in Toby's understanding presence. Meanwhile, Toby slowly opens up about her past and the hardships she has faced, and the other patients rally around her to offer support.
Only When I Laugh is a film that deals with weighty issues like mortality, guilt, and mental illness, but it does so with a light touch. The movie is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of friendship. The performances are excellent, with Marsha Mason and Kristy McNichol standing out in particular. Mason brings depth and nuance to the role of Georgia, a woman who has lost her sense of self but eventually finds it again with the help of her new friends. McNichol is a revelation as Polly, delivering a performance that is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. She injects the character with a sense of vitality and determination that is truly inspiring.
The film's themes are universal and timeless, and the humor and heartache of the characters will resonate with audiences today just as much as it did in 1981. Only When I Laugh is a poignant, funny, and touching movie that will leave you feeling uplifted and inspired. If you haven't seen it yet, it is definitely worth checking out.
Only When I Laugh is a 1981 comedy with a runtime of 2 hours. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4.