17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
He's just a wild and lonely guy,
This review is from: The Lonely Guy [DVD] (DVD)
While The Lonely Guy is first and foremost a comedy, one that descends into comic incredulity on a number of occasions, it really hits a few solid line drives in terms of the lonely guy angle. Steve Martin may be the star of this film, but Charles Grodin steals every scene he's in. He's the true lonely guy in this movie. Larry Hubbard, Martin's character, is really just a guy with really bad luck with women. After coming home to find his current girlfriend in bed with another man, Hubbard finds himself out on the street, struggling to get his bearings. That's where Warren Evans (Grodin) comes in. Warren really knows the ropes when it comes to loneliness, so he is more than qualified to instruct Hubbard in the art of living and being alone. Not all that much later, Larry meets up with Iris (Judith Ivey), a woman who tickles his fancy despite the fact she's been married more times than Larry has fingers on one hand, isn't all that attractive, is obviously lying through her teeth when she says she's thirty, and turns out to be something of a romantic psycho. Larry, of course, loses her phone number, beginning a whole series of misadventures serving to keep the two apart. Once he does meet up with Iris again, the world's most dysfunctional relationship begins. Iris, to grossly oversimplify things, doesn't want to be with a man she loves because she's afraid of being hurt again. All sorts of zany adventures ensue.
But what of Warren? Here's the guy I can identify with. While regular people are out having fun, Warren's playing chess with a sarcastic computer. He has life-size cut-outs of famous people all over the apartment so that it looks like someone is actually there when he throws a little party. He's a shell of a man who is never far from joining throngs of other lonely guys throwing themselves off the bridge downtown. Charles Grodin is just wonderful in this role. I must admit, though, that the two best scenes feature Martin. In one, we see him so desperate to find Iris again that he ends up going to the rooftop and shouting her name - only to be joined by lonely guys on all the nearby rooftops shouting the names of their own lost beloveds. In the other, we watch as Larry suffers the indignities of dining out alone. As he enters the restaurant, heads turn to stare as all conversation stops, and then a spotlight comes on following Larry all the way to his table. That's exactly what dining alone feels like.
The film ended up being a little sillier than I would have liked, particularly in terms of the relationship between Larry and Iris, and putting Steve Lawrence in your film is never a good thing (although we should all be thankful Edie wasn't with him), but The Lonely Guy is certainly a funny movie that should resonate with everyone who has ever been lonely (and I think that's just about every one of us).