Starting Over

  • 1979
  • Movie
  • R
  • Comedy, Romance

In perhaps his best performance, Burt Reynolds, cast here against type, stars as a lonely man whose wife leaves him to spread her wings and try to build a career as a singer-songwriter (although she exhibits a striking lack of talent). Stunned when she announces her desire for freedom, he goes to Boston where he is consoled by Durning and Sternhagen, a...read more

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In perhaps his best performance, Burt Reynolds, cast here against type, stars as a lonely man whose wife leaves him to spread her wings and try to build a career as a singer-songwriter (although she exhibits a striking lack of talent). Stunned when she announces her desire for freedom,

he goes to Boston where he is consoled by Durning and Sternhagen, a duo of relatives who also happen to be psychiatrists. At first Reynolds has no idea that in addition to yearning for freedom Bergen is having an affair with her boss. Struck by this new situation, Reynolds soon meets Clayburgh, a

schoolteacher who shies away from any commitment. He also joins a divorced men's group, which provides some touching and funny moments. Reynolds shaved off his moustache for the film and with it went his hirsute, macho image; he presents instead a feeling and vulnerable man. Bergen's character is

gently made fun of. In a very funny sequence, she sings her dreadful autobiographical songs in a caterwauling screech. While all of the acting is top-notch, Reynolds steals the show with his underplaying and understanding of the role. He has been quoted as saying, "It was very close to the story

of my life," and his grasp of the character's emotions is evident from the start. Audiences like to see their heroes in familiar roles, however, and the film was not the great success its producers hoped for, although it grossed over $20 million on initial release. Brooks, the

producer-screenwriter who came from the "Mary Tyler Moore Show," later went on to make a name for himself as a director-writer-producer with TERMS OF ENDEARMENT.

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  • Released: 1979
  • Rating: R
  • Review: In perhaps his best performance, Burt Reynolds, cast here against type, stars as a lonely man whose wife leaves him to spread her wings and try to build a career as a singer-songwriter (although she exhibits a striking lack of talent). Stunned when she ann… (more)

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