The Goodbye Girl Reviews
This film is in conversation with other romantic comedies such as Definitely Maybe. Each of these films demonstrate a unique family relationship between parent and daughter as the parent navigates a complicated romantic life. Also, these films paint a picture of a single parent lifestyle in the big city.
A striking quality of this film is the beautiful cinematography showcasing New York City in the fall. This begins with the opening shot in which New York City is reflected in a spinning, dreamlike state off of the windshield of a bus. Furthermore, the fantastic aesthetic quality of the film, such as the apartment draped in tapestries and covered with various potted plants, transports the viewer back to the style of the seventies.
While all the performances in this film are compelling, they are overshadowed by the Oscar Winning performance from Richard Dreyfuss. Dreyfuss manages to strike a balance between oddball behavior and becoming a symbol of attraction. His quirkiness and enthusiasm make for romantic comedy lead unlike any film before it. His performance is overwhelmingly endearing and forces the audience to fall in love with his truly unique character.
Another important aspect of this film is that it acts as an homage to New York City. Not only does it highlight its beauty through its masterful cinematography, but it shows its spirit of ambition and artistry through Elliot and Paula's stage career. Lastly it speaks to the unique strength and witty nature of children raised in the city, as demonstrated through the precocious Lucy.
Despite being made in 1977, this film resonates with audiences of today. Not only are the characters timelessly endearing, but the problems are still relevant today, perhaps more than ever. For example, the challenges of Paula navigating her unique family structure is pertinent today when the nuclear family becomes less and less standard. Additionally, the narrative of the film stems from a problem that may never go away; the difficulty of finding a decent apartment in the city.