Nothing in Common was an attempt by Tom Hanks to add some dramatic credentials to his status as a comic lead. The first half of the film, dealing with his character's life in the advertising business, has enough comedy in it that the audience accepts Hanks more easily when the film turns melodramatic in the second half. Jackie Gleason is good as the father, but his work is occasionally undone by the maudlin scenarios he is forced to play. Director Garry Marshall was shooting for a Terms of Endearment-like mix of comedy and pathos, but he is at heart a comedy director. The laughs in the film are crisply paced, occasionally pointed, and generally entertaining. Those sequences are so much stronger than the tearjerking ending that the audience cannot help but be let down. However, the good material in this film makes it one of the more interesting films from Hanks in the 1980s.