Chapter Two represents Neil Simon at his big-screen best. Film version of his successful and loosely autobiographical play is tender, compassionate and gently humorous all at once. Marsha Mason’s tremendous performance under Robert Moore’s sensitive direction gives the pic another boost.
Simon, producer Ray Stark and Moore, in their third film collaboration, have dared to alter the entire focus of the legit version of Chapter Two, by subtly but inalterably concentrating on Jennie MacLaine, the actress being wooed by author Schneider, rather than Schneider himself.
Result is to downplay the unusual casting of James Caan as Schneider (the choice still pays off richly), and affords Mason the opportunity for her best-realized film work to date.
1979: Nomination: Best Actress (Marsha Mason)