The Goodbye People (1983)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama  |   Run Time - 104 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Playwright Herb Gardner's patented combination of cynicism and sentimentality that worked so well in his A Thousand Clowns didn't quite jell in his subsequent The Goodbye People. This film version, adapted and directed by Gardner, stars Martin Balsam, who'd won an Oscar for his work in the 1966 cinemazation of Clowns. Based on Gardner's own childhood memories, the film casts Balsam as fiftysomething Max Silverman, who gets a new lease on life after surviving heart surgery. Ignoring the pleas of friends and family, Max decides to fulfill a life-long ambition by opening up a combination hot dog and tropical drink stand on a remote public beach. The only person other than Max to have faith in this benighted project is Arthur Korman (Judd Hirsch), who like Max has spent most of his life in a dead-end job. Somehow, Max and Arthur's unquenchable optimism draws a few other misfits into their plans. Striving hard for whimsy, The Goodbye People seems more like a 104-minute visit to a home for aging high-school geeks (not that there's anything wrong with that!)

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Keywords

artist, daughter, estrangement, hot-dog-stand, middle-age, surgery