Only When I Laugh is a 1981 film based on Neil Simon's play The Gingerbread Lady.
The story is about an alcoholic Broadway actress who tries to stay sober while dealing with the problems of her teenaged daughter and her friends: an overly vain woman who fears the loss of her looks and a gay actor relegated to small roles in third-rate shows. Simon changed the main character's name to Georgia Hines for the film adaptation; the character was named Evy Meara in the stage version. Also of note, the main character went from being a cabaret singer to a Broadway stage actress.
The film, written by Simon and directed by Glenn Jordan, stars Marsha Mason, Joan Hackett, James Coco and Kristy McNichol. It also features two short scenes with then unknowns Kevin Bacon and John Vargas. Simon's next release, I Ought to Be in Pictures, would be released just six months later, and its plot would be similar.
It was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (James Coco), Best Actress in a Leading Role (Marsha Mason) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Joan Hackett).
Ironically, Coco was also nominated for Worst Supporting Actor in Golden Raspberry Awards for the same role