The role of Sheila Shea was originally written for Sandy Dennis. Paul Dooley was seriously allergic to cats though, and when cat-lover Dennis would come to the script readings with up to five cats at a time, he was briefly hospitalized. The role was then offered to Shelley Duvall, who turned it down. As a result, 'Allan Nichols' re-wrote the role of Sheila Shea from an Earth Mother type to the young singer/groupie played by Marta Heflin. Both stars had appeared in the director's previous film, "A Wedding."
Actor Paul Dooley did not find out he had been cast in the film until a friend told him that it was mentioned in "Daily Variety."
According to 'DVD Talk', "[Director Robert] Altman purposely kept 'A Perfect Couple' a little ragged [i.e. low-budget and without big names]. He wanted his lead actors to be more like normal people than big movie stars".
The name of the band was 'Keepin' 'Em Off the Streets". Director 'Robert Altman' saw a band that he felt would be right to use in the film for its numerous musical pieces. The group were just a batch of out-of-work actors who knew how to play music and were assembled by fellow actor Allan F. Nicholls about a year before the film was made.
One of five late-1970s films that director Robert Altman made for the 20th Century Fox studio. The movies are HealtH (1980), Quintet (1979), 3 Women (1977), A Wedding (1978) and A Perfect Couple (1979).
One of two 1979 cinema movies directed by Robert Altman first released in that year. The other picture was Quintet (1979).
The movie features twelve musical numbers which were designed to interweave in the story like the music pieces had done in director Robert Altman's earlier film Nashville (1975).
A short documentary about the making of the movie, Perspective on Altman's 'Perfect Couple' (2006), was made and released for the DVD and is included on it.
Paul Dooley was Oscar-nominated the year this film came out, 1979, for Best Supporting Actor, for "Breaking Away. "