The Goodbye Girl

1977 PG 1h 50m DVD

The Goodbye Girl

1977 PG 1h 50m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Ex-Broadway hoofer Paula (Marsha Mason) lives with her daughter in the New York flat of her most recent lost love -- who has sublet the place. Enter brash actor and sublessee Elliot (Richard Dreyfuss, in an Oscar-winning performance), who doesn't have the heart to oust mother and child. A mismatch from the get-go, Paula and Elliot are mutually contemptuous. But that changes when his vulnerability shows after a wretched theatrical debut.
Richard Dreyfuss, Marsha Mason, Quinn Cummings, Paul Benedict, Theresa Merritt, Barbara Rhoades, Michael Shawn, Patricia Pearcy
Herbert Ross
Widescreen 1.85:1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
PG - Some material may not be suitable for children. Parents urged to give parental guidance. May contain some material parents might not like for their young children.
age 13+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 13+
age 13+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that The Goodbye Girl is a warm-hearted romantic comedy with an Academy Award-winning performance by Richard Dreyfuss. A struggling actor and a single mom with a precocious daughter are forced by circumstances to share an apartment. First angry sparks fly, and then, happily and predictably, bells ring and love is in the air. There's lots of swearing ("hell," "Christ," "s--t," "bastard," "crap," "goddamn"), occasional sexual bantering, some kissing, and partial nudity in a strip bar. Additionally, a lead character is drunk in one scene. There are two dated gender issues in this 1977 film: a woman desperate to be taken care of by a man, and a subplot in which Dreyfuss' character is asked, to his dismay, to play the lead role in Shakespeare's Richard III as a gay stereotype. That story element, meant as all-out humor, includes two insulting epithets ("fruit fly" and "pansy"), a reference to the actor's concern about the "gay liberation" movement, and an excerpt from the actor's astonishing performance. This funny movie may well inspire some discussion of a changing culture.

Sexual Content

Kissing, passionate embracing, waking up in bed after implied sex. Some sexual references, innuendo, and dialogue: "I sleep in the nude." "Are we going to sleep with each other tonight?" Daughter is asked about her feelings regarding her mom's new relationship. Scene takes place in a strip club with scantily clad dancers doing sexy moves. Naked man is discovered playing the guitar in his bedroom; the instrument covers his vulnerable parts.


Woman is mugged, chases after culprits, falls; boyfriend intervenes and is threatened with knife. During a scuffle, leading man is punched in the face. Drunk man attempts to assault strip-club dancers.


Swearing: "dammit," "bastard," "ass," "s--t," "crap," "Christ," "hell," "son of a bitch." Sexual language: "messing around," "humping Lady Ann," "genitalia," "I'll yell 'rape'!" Two gay slurs: "pansies," "fruit fly."

Social Behavior

Good, decent people find true love despite challenging obstacles. Reliable, loving parenting is essential even under difficult circumstances.


Lots of identifiable products.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Characters drink wine in social situations. One very drunk strip-club patron assaults dancers. Leading man, upset, comes home very drunk, chugs from bottle, passes out. Incidental smoking in background.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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