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Still, it's no great revelation to watch Dreyfuss play comedy. The sober scene that follows is even better: when Elliott retreats backstage after his wretched performance, he all but collapses under the weight of his public humiliation. It is rare that an actor can move an audience from hilarity to sorrow in a matter of seconds, but that is what Dreyfuss does in The Goodbye Girl. Astoundingly enough, a small movie has given birth to a major star.