In STARTING OVER, 1970s heartthrob Burt Reynolds is wryly cast against type as Phil Potter, a mild-mannered husband and writer in this light-hearted comedy. Reluctantly forced into the role of bachelor when his songstress wife Jessica (Candice Bergen) calls it quits, Phil must essentially start from scratch in the social realm. Reynolds's comic timing is dead-on in this good-humored look at marital collapse and the trials of making a new start. Introduced to wary school teacher Marilyn (Jill Clayburgh), Phil has a chance to put the pieces back together and show his charm, but his new-found self-confidence is challenged anew when ex Jessica comes back in the picture.
This lighthearted look at divorce and the trials of making a new start deftly translates Dan Wakefield's novel to screen. Phil Potter (Burt Reynolds) leads a settled life with wife Jessica (Candice Bergen) that is ends abruptly when she leaves him to focus on her songwriting career. Retreating to Boston and the support of his brother (Charles Durning) and wife, Phil is introduced to Marilyn (Jill Clayburgh), a wary pre-school teacher who has seen her share of men on the rebound. Phil and Marilyn match wits and experiences in a clever rapport that shows they may very well be made for each other, but the reappearance of Jessica thows havoc into the mix. What might become melodrama is handled with expert comic flair by director Alan J. Pakula, who displays his gifts an "actor's director" as evidenced by Reynolds's subtle comic performance. STARTING OVER is more akin to the sharp-witted romantic comedies of the 1930s than with more sober dramas such as KRAMER VS. KRAMER (directed by Robert Benton)--another 1970s film on the theme of divorce.
"Reynolds brings his casual charm..." 06/24/2005 p.149
Jill Clayburgh, Nominee, Best Actress,Candice Bergen, Nominee, Best Supporting Actress
Golden Globe (1980)
Burt Reynolds, Nominee, Best Performance By An Actor In A Motion Picture-Comedy/Musical,Jill Clayburgh, Nominee, Best Performance By An Actress In A Motion Picture-Comedy/Musical,Candice Bergen, Nominee, Best Supporting Actress
DVD, Widescreen, Dolby, Digital Audio, English, Subtitled