Monday, December 12, 2016

Movie Review: "The Lonely Guy" (1984)

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Movie"The Lonely Guy"
Director: Arthur Hiller
Year: 1984
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Larry (Steve Martin) is a greeting card writer who becomes a lonely guy after his girlfriend leaves him for a fellow dancer. Now, Larry looks for ways to occupy his time in order to stop being a lonely guy. 

"The Lonely Guy" is directed by Arthur Hiller with a screenplay adapted by Neil Simon based on the book "The Lonely Guy's Book of Life" written by Bruce Jay Friedman. It stars Steve Martin as Larry, a greeting card writer and recent lonely guy. Joining him as a fellow lonely guy is Charles Grodin, who plays Larry's friend Warren. The two strike up a friendship relating and commiserating over their lonely guy status and discussing ways to curb their loneliness. Also in the cast is Judith Ivey, who plays Larry's love interest Iris. She has had many relationships with former lonely guys, and has also been in multiple marriages. Her and Larry hit it off, but their insecurities certainly hurt their prospects together.

There is a lot of wit to this seemingly silly comedy. Despite its apparent stupidity, it is actually quite smart. It takes a brilliant satirical approach to dating in the 1980's. Of course, in the 30+ years since the film's release, dating and the social scene have evolved greatly over that time, especially with things like social media, dating apps and websites. Think of what a lonely guy could do now! This is a movie that could never be remade and is completely a product of its time. That being said, it is fun to go back and witness the difficulty of dating back in the day. This movie offers a top shelf Steve Martin performances in all its zany wonder. Charles Grodin brings a lot of laughs as well with his far more self-depreciating, mildly pathetic character. Grodin and Martin are strangely compatible in their mutual pathetic efforts. Martin and Judith Ivey play extremely well off of each other as they share some really good chemistry creating many humorous situations as people who are clearly attracted to each other, but let life's foibles and their own insecurities get in the way of their being together.

In the end, many may see "The Lonely Guy" as desperate, but we believe this is a very solid comedic offering from a time when Steve Martin was at his best. When he made comedies for an adult audience, rather than those targeting kids and families, his talents were utilized to their full potential, and we really appreciate all of the cleverness of this project. With a tremendous cast, a lot of downer but intelligent humor, and an interesting premise, this is definitely one to check out!

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 48%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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