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Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Lonely Guy

Welcome, film lovers!  I have started an insane project!  It’s called 365 – I will watch a movie a day for a year and write about them.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?  So, sit back, relax, and place your bets on how fast I give up on this thing…

359: The Lonely Guy (1984)

            In honor of the fact that Steve Martin was recently in my neck of the woods with his bluegrass band (sadly, I did not get to go!), I give you one of his lesser-known comedies: The Lonely Guy. 

The Players:

Larry Hubbard: Played by Steve Martin.  Larry is a writer who works for a greeting card company in New York City.  He gets dumped, and becomes a “Lonely Guy”.

Warren Evans: Played by Charles Grodin.  Warren is also a lonely guy, and takes Larry under his wing.  He is the ultimate “Lonely Guy”.

Iris: Played by Judith Ivey.  Iris is sort of a “Lonely Guy” groupie who meets Larry, and gives him her number each time they run into each other (he keeps losing it).

Danielle: Played by Robyn Douglass.  Danielle is the woman responsible for Larry’s “Lonely Guy” status.  She’s kind of a whore.

The Rundown:

Larry thinks he’s on top of the world, gets dumped, and poof: he’s a “Lonely Guy”.  While contemplating his next move, he meets Warren who is the Lonely Guy guru.  He tells him to befriend his apartment, get a plant, walk dogs, etc.  Larry tries jogging and meets Iris in a diner.  Her ex was a lonely guy as well, and she takes pity on Larry, giving him her phone number.  He, of course, manages to lose it.  He runs into her again when he goes out to dinner (alone!  *gasp*!) but manages to lose it again. 
            While Larry is making an effort to break free of his lonely status, Warren stays at home and plays chess with a robot.  Yeah, you read that right.  Finally, Warren decides he’s going to jump off a bridge, and leaves Larry a message on his answering machine.  On the subway, Larry sees Ivy again, and gets a message to her to meet him at the bridge from which Warren is going to fling himself.
            Apparently, this bridge is popular with the “Lonely Guy” set, as Larry passes a bunch of jumpers on his way to save Warren.  He talks him off the ledge, as Ivy shows up.  Warren wanders off to get pizza while Iris and Larry go out for dinner and sex.  Only, the sex never happens.  See, Iris has been married six (!) times, and is afraid of getting hurt, so she leaves him.
            Distracted by his heartbreak, Larry’s greeting cards aren’t so hot.  He gets fired, and tries to work on a novel (a romance novel - some serious smut right here, I’d totally read it!), and becomes inspired to write a guide book for Lonely Guys.  It’s a hit!
            He gets super famous, and is living the high life.  But, amidst all of the fame, fortune and friends, he misses Iris.  During a party at his swingin’ new apartment, Iris comes by, and they reconcile.  The sex scene is pretty funny, actually, as Larry helps Iris search for a missing orgasm (put it this way, you’ll never look at sneezing the same way again…)
            Unfortunately, this is too much for our poor, damaged Iris, and she runs off.  Again.  Larry runs away on a cruise.  Of course, Iris is on the ship as well, and they once again meet up at a masquerade ball.  But it’s not all sunshine and roses, as she’s still afraid of love, and latches onto a man dressed as Prince Charming (Jack, a friend of Larry’s). 
            Larry reverts to his “Lonely Guy” lifestyle, complete with plants and cardboard cutouts in his apartment.  He finds out that Jack and Iris are getting married.  After a pretty hilarious fantasy sequence in which he sees his lame, sad ending, a fire gets lit under Larry’s ass, and he goes after his beloved, broken Iris…
            He gets to the church just in time, and delivers his Oscar-bait speech… Oops!  Wrong church!  Gee, didn’t see that one coming…
            He gets to the right church… but it’s too late!  Iris and Jack are married.  Back on the cruise ship that they met on, Jack and Iris are starting their honeymoon.  But when Jack sneezes, and Iris feels nothing, she realizes Larry is the only one for her…
            We see poor, defeated Larry on the Lonely Guy bridge, where Warren tries to talk him down from his suicide attempt.  You see, Warren (yes, sad, lonely Warren) has found someone.  While lamenting the fact that he is alone, Iris falls from her own Lonely Lady jump into his arms.  And they lived happily ever after…

            This is pretty much what you would expect from early Steve Martin.  Not really as laugh out loud funny as I’d like, but still quirky and zany.  There are a lot of funny lines and sight gags, but I wouldn’t want to ruin all the good stuff, now would I?  I say check this out if you like Steve Martin and depressing comedies that are actually pretty funny…

And that’s a wrap!  Tomorrow?  Well, you'll just have to check back and see!


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