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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Starting Over (1979)

After splitting up with his wife (Candice Bergen), a distraught magazine writer (Burt Reynolds) moves to Boston to be near his brother (Charles Durning). The brother and his wife (Frances Sternhagen) arrange a blind date with a school teacher (Jill Clayburgh) but he finds he can't get over his ex-wife so easily. A departure for the director Alan J. Pakula (ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN, KLUTE), this is an above average romantic comedy that really gets to the core of the emotional messiness of entering the dating arena after the break up of a relationship. The script by James L. Brooks (TERMS OF ENDEARMENT) co-written with Dan Wakefield (based on his book) is intelligent and adult. The performances are spot on. Reynolds has never been better, no one does neurotic better than Clayburgh (well, maybe Diane Keaton) and Bergen (in an Oscar nominated performance) is the real surprise here. We could use more of this stuff today. The easy on the ears underscore is by Marvin Hamlisch with the song lyrics (excrutiatingly sung by Bergen) by Carole Bayer Sager. With Austin Pendleton, Wallace Shawn and Mary Kay Place.

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