Just the Way You Are (1984): Édouard (La Cage aux Folles) Molinaro’s Dramedy Starring Kristy McNichol (Strangers in Paradise)

French director Édouard Molinaro, best known for La Cage Aux Folles, directed Just the Way You Are, a predictable, banal dramedy starring Kristy McNichol and Michael Ontkean.

Our Grade: C- (* out of *****)

Just the Way You Are

Susan, a professional flautist in Boston handicapped since childhood, is forced to wear a leg brace. She’s about to enter into lavender marriage with her gay investment banker friend Frank in order to help him hide his sexuality so he can get ahead in business. But she decides not to when she realizes that the marriage won’t meet her sexual needs.

She accepts offer to travel to Europe on a concert tour. While in Paris, she disguises her leg by putting it in a cast and travel on her own to the French Alps. While there, Susan draws the romantic interest of Peter, a news photographer. They soon fall in love and Peter dumps his narcissistic girlfriend Bobbie for her.

Susan then faces a dilemma whether or not to tell Peter the truth about herself.

The movie was shot in Toronto and in France, where Kristy McNichol suffered emotional breakdown, and the production had to be interrupted for a year while she recovered.

Kristy McNichol … Susan Berlanger
Michael Ontkean … Peter Nichols
Kaki Hunter … Lisa Elliott
André Dussollier … François Rossignol
Catherine Salviat … Nicole Schallon
Robert Carradine … Sam Carpenter
Alexandra Paul … Bobbie
Lance Guest … Jack the Answering Service Guy
Tim Daly … Frank Bantam
Patrick Cassidy … Steve Haslachez
Gérard Jugnot … Desk Clerk, Hotel Monte Blanc
André Oumansky … Paris Doctor
Billy Kearns … Earl Cooper, Frank’s Boss
Joyce Gordon … Answering Service Lady
Wayne Robson … Theater Assistant Manager
Jean-Claude Ostrander … French Ski Instructor
Garrick Dowhen … Bill Holland, American Ski Coach


Directed by Édouard Molinaro
Produced by Léo L. Fuchs
Written by Allan Burns
Music by Vladimir Cosma
Cinematography Claude Lecomte
Edited by Georges Klotz, Claudio Ventura

Distributed by MGM/UA Entertainment Company

Release date: November 16, 1984

Running time: 94 minutes


TCM showed this movie on July 31, 2020