They All Laughed (1981)

Genres - Comedy, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy  |   Run Time - 115 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Craig Butler

Dismissed by critics at the time of its release -- sometimes quite harshly -- They All Laughed is actually a moderately engaging romantic comedy. It doesn't succeed at being the witty, sophisticated, breezy sex comedy that it wants to be, but it provides a decent amount of lighthearted entertainment. The screenplay is the culprit here; Peter Bogdanovich doesn't really seem to know where the story is going, allowing it to meander all around the screen without ever arriving at its destination. Since he's the director as well as the writer, there's no one to force him to correct this major flaw -- and Bogdanovich's direction is only slightly more focused than his writing here, resulting in a film that moves in fits and starts. The (mostly) talented cast is not really used to their best advantage, with only Colleen Camp scoring a decisive hit, but they do provide the film with its biggest asset. It's always a treat to see Audrey Hepburn, Ben Gazzara has some good moments, and Dorothy Stratten and Patti Hansen are certainly easy on the eyes; only John Ritter fails to make a decent impression, overdoing his slapstick shtick to poor effect. Spending time with this group of people will be enough to keep most viewers smiling, if not laughing, throughout most of They All Laughed.