Neil Simon: Reliving A Poignant Past

Neil Simon's best comedy looks homeward

A tight-jawed housewife, nearing 50 and careworn, is asked by her son to tell once more of the time in her girlhood when she danced a fox-trot with George Raft. As she recounts the one public moment when she ever felt attractive, her face softens and she reveals a hidden sense of humor, of naughtiness, of delight. The son responds with glee: "There's a whole movie in this story, ma. And one day I'm going to write it." Then he asks her to dance. He holds her in his arms, standing in for the absent father who is abandoning the family....

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