The Lonely Guy (1984) Poster

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Painful to watch--and I like that in a comedy!
MartinHafer10 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This style of movie from Steve Martin is surely not everyone's taste, as the overall rating on IMDb isn't particularly high and this movie has been pretty much forgotten by most people. However, I have always liked this film and have seen it several times--even though my wife thinks the humor is, at times, very painful to watch. I actually like that kind of humor on occasion and when horrible things keep happening to nice guys Steve Martin and Charles Grodin, I laugh while others might feel sorry for the schmoes. What I particularly like are the very surreal moments buried within a somewhat conventional film about Martin's lonely bachelor life. My two favorite skits were his dining alone at a restaurant (a classic) and when he's up on the roof screaming about how meaningless his life is...only to then see EXACTLY the same thing going on rooftop after rooftop across the city. In addition, while painful, there is also a wonderful likability and charm about the film and the performances of the leads. A nice and funny film but not necessarily for all tastes.
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For "Anyone Who Had a Heart"
sopher431 July 2005
I'd call this a small masterpiece.

I usually watch just ten minutes of a movie, find it boring, then discard it. Or, I fast forward through great big sections of a film and get satisfaction from the leftover bits and pieces. With this one I never once reached for the fast forward button. It is charming, touching, lovely, hilarious and satisfying. One cares deeply for the characters played by Martin and Grodin and wants happiness to come their way.

The sadness never overwhelms because the lighthearted scenes make for a perfect balance.

You could go through a whole row at Blockbuster and not find a gem like this one. If you have even just a touch of a tender heart, by all means rent this one.
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A movie for anyone who has ever felt lonely - at least you're better off than these guys!
Bing-1817 May 1999
A movie about being lonely, doesn't grab you as the obvious subject to make a comedy about does it? But this movie does wonderfully.

Great performances from Martin and Grodin especially (in what in my opinion his is best ever role) as he guides Martin's character through what it is to be a lonely guy, from cocktail parties with cardboard cut-outs of film stars, to standing in as an opening act when their friends are going to be late for dates.

This he learns so well he turns it into a best selling book and eventually finds true love. A wonderful movie that will comfort anyone who is feeling a bit down as it shows that things could be so much worse.
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Highly underrated
Cablebot300021 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This is a great movie that has a lot of laughs, heart and romance. A lot of guys can also relate to it. Steve Martin plays a man who is oblivious to a lot of things that revolve around him, including his wife sleeping around. He finds out first hand when walking in on her (and he ends up being thrown out, thus starting the lonely guy part). While looking for a place to stay, he meets his new best friend, Warren, who is another lonely guy. He teaches Steve about all the ways of a lonely guy. Of course, all ends well with Steve meeting a girl. Its a great movie that really should be more popular. I rate this 7/10. (my rating) Rated R for sexual content/humor, and some language
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Lonely guys don't stay lonely forever.
InzyWimzy27 September 2005
This movie is so funny!

I remember seeing this see not even in high school yet. It was so funny overall that , as a kid, I didn't even care if I didn't get the adult humor. Larry Hubbard just makes me laugh!

The first thing working for this is location-location-LOCATION! It's so fun to see NYC and there are even scenes of Steve Martin walking nonchalant in the streets (see early scene where Steve crosses the street, a guy passes him and then quickly turns his head to look back at Steve – that's so New York!). Larry's happy-go lucky attitude makes him affable and it's hilarious to see him stuck in one lonely rut to another. THEN, definite plus for this movie is Charles Grodin's Warren who is the anti-Larry. Grodin's pessimistic responses, rules for lonely guys, and ultra-lonely attitude just crack me up in any scene he is in. "Isn't your guy going to say good-bye to my guy?" That's just too funny!!!

There are lots of classic moments like on the Manhattan bridge, any of Larry & Warren hanging out, or any lonely lesson learned. The chemistry between Martin and several people in the film is great. Watch this one and remember, you have to reserve "Gene Hackman" a week in advance.
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A Sharp, Overlooked Steve Martin Vehicle
jzappa22 October 2010
It's a tough life being lonely in New York City. After Larry loses his exceedingly loose girlfriend, Warren, a sad sack singleton, tries to teach him how to talk to the ferns in his apartment and to enliven a party with cardboard models of celebrities. In two of the funniest scenes in the film, Larry joins the hundreds of other lonely guys who stand on building rooftops and call out for the women they have lost. In the second, Larry finds himself on the Manhattan Bridge where those moles devoid of hope leap off into the river below, but not before making sure you're not using this ledge, or they'll wait their turn. These hilarious bits make a creative comic rumination on being single.

There is apparently a Charlie Kaufmanesque approach to this film's story and background. It's based on a non-fiction book The Lonely Guy's Book of Life by a New York City-based writer named Bruce Jay Friedman, but departs into a purely, obviously fictional tale of a greeting card writer who goes through a period of terrible luck with women. Then, at the pit of his despair, Larry writes a book titled A Guide for the Lonely Guy, which is rampantly successful and catapults him into an entirely different experience of life. Evidently The Lonely Guy is a satire on the social superficialities surrounding the success of its source material rather than an adaptation, which I find quite creative.

Steve Martin, who takes so well to the pathos of the role that he even turns up as Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp in one scene, seems most comfortable here in his scenes with Charles Grodin as the dryly hilarious sad sack. He does least well in sequences in which Hiller works against the material's essential gloom. Whenever the film tries to be a high-spirited, zesty head rush, it slips slightly. When it succumbs to the indispensable melancholy of Larry and his situation, it begins to fashion a concealed blade of sullen comical sense. Some of the sharpest laugh moments could even be when Martin keeps being rejected by a woman who clearly loves him, because of some twisted logic of hers that avoids any kind of affection because she could get hurt.

Here's a refreshingly broad screwball comedy, rooted in a universal kind of human agony, constructed out of disguised satire and freely seasoned with countless Zucker-style sight gags. And it's carried with typical briskness by Arthur Hiller, a solid and undistinguished director, most of whose success has been with light comedy such as this. As can be seen in the Wilder-Pryor teamings or the original In-Laws, he has a basic flair for it. And you can't go wrong with a theme song by America.
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Starts out very funny, but then it just goes a bit flat.
Aaron13756 January 2010
This movie started out with a bang when I first saw it as a child. I was really disappointed when I could not watch it in its entirety. So when I had a chance to rent it, I jumped at the chance and I am rather sad I did. The first half was still funny, but all the stuff I missed was sadly worth missing. Not that it was all bad mind you, there was a chuckle or two in this part of the movie, but nothing compared to the laughs found in the first half of the film from when Steve finds out his girlfriend has been cheating on him, to the restaurant, to the strange jogging using fake sweat. Then a bit before he writes his book on how to be a lonely guy the movie really slows down its pace and it becomes a bit to sentimental at times, while still showing a bit of the zaniness that made the first half of the film really good. The story is about a lonely guy who starts off with a girlfriend, but ends up alone in rather funny fashion. He makes friends with another lonely guy played very well by Charles Grodin and they proceed to try and help each other out. Like I said you get some great scenes during this time and Steve meets up with a girl he for some reason cannot hook up with due to one problem after another. So in the end an okay movie, that just needed some of that energy from the first half of the film to carry over to the second.
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Vastly overlooked and under-rated sad, quirky, funny little film.
Elswet31 December 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Honestly, this is one of Martin's best. An odd combination of "LA Story " and "The Jerk," the mix lends to a melancholy sweetness seldom captured on film. The Martin/Grodin team works here as well as any Hope/Martin "Road" movie, and I always view it with a fondness and a certain bitersweetness. This dark little comedy is a definite must see.

I highly recommend this film for anyone who is lonely. While being lonely is not amusing, Martin lets you in on the details of how much worse it could be, and that there are better things for you in the future if you persist. This attempt lends hope, rather than smarm. No one who is lonely needs useless platitudes. They merely need the strength to carry on until their hope can be realized.

Give this one a viewing. It is definitely worth the small amount of time to allow yourself to become uplifted.

It rates an 8.6/10 from...

the Fiend :.
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Mildly Amusing Steve Martin Vehicle
stryker-525 January 2000
The reasonable sprinkling of chuckles in this light comedy about loneliness in New York is ably augmented by Charles Grodin, displaying a hitherto undisclosed talent for geekery. As with all Steve Martin efforts, this one veers towards sentimentality and sports an unearned happy ending. And that's about it.
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Another mixed review, and video disappointment
TVholic17 April 1999
The Lonely Guy is often quite funny but unfortunately sometimes dreadfully dull. Like Jim Abrahams and later Mel Brooks movies, this is classic Neil Simon where he throws rapid-fire jokes at you. Some hit and some miss, but you don't have to wait long for the next one. The scene where he dines alone in a fancy restaurant was one of the funniest. Somebody else seemed to think so, too, as it was copied almost verbatim for an Australian TV commercial two years later. Imitation must be the sincerest form of flattery.

As a New Yorker, I liked seeing the city in this movie. It's a somewhat dirtier but more variegated New York than in movies like "Ghost" or "When Harry Met Sally," which spent too much time in tony neighborhoods like Tribeca, the Village and Midtown.

Unfortunately, the definitive home video version does not exist and probably never will. The laserdisc is marred by a bad transfer and excessive, very objectionable video and audio noise. This may be the dreaded laser rot in action or just bad production. The DVD is beautiful, with a crisp transfer and no noticeable noise. But its 1.85:1 widescreen presentation is in the form of matting/masking the 1.33:1 Academy Frame, so instead of showing more picture, it actually shows less than the cassette and the laserdisc. The matting makes the "widescreen" frame feel distractingly cramped, with characters' heads continually butting up against the top. One joke in particular suffers badly: When Larry is laying on a bed talking to a woman, he's bare-chested in his fantasy to imply they're in bed together. But the widescreen version shows only his head, so the joke is weakened. Too bad a full-frame DVD will probably never be made as this is one of the few times when a full-frame presentation would have been preferable.
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Two Movies
yisraelh9 August 2005
Other people here have commented on the unevenness of this movie. What an understatement. I found the first half of the movie funny, poignant, delightful. Then, all of a sudden, the movie becomes an unfunny, painful bore. It's amazing. The contrast between the two halves is so stark, it's hard to believe it's the same movie. I don't ever recall such a split between two halves of a movie. Ever.

And in the second half, there is a scene in bed involving the 'o' word, that is very painfully unfunny and completely inane.

But what do I know.

Two scenes that really stick out in my mind:

1. When the girl says to Steve: "Nice guys don't stay lonely for long" -- so sweet!

2. When Steve realizes he missed out on a golden opportunity to "get lucky" with a pretty woman. That was wickedly funny!
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"The Lonely Dumb Guy With No Self Respect" would have been a more accurate title.
picturetaker29 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I swear I have a life. Though I just can't get enough of movies from before CGi ruined them all for story. So whenever I can I try to watch an older movie. This movie "The Lonely Guy" starring Steve Martin is such movie. Here we have a loser down on his luck. A guy who wants a girlfriend,  any girlfriend! Desperately! He got dumped and his heart broken. All that stuff. Problem is there is no real point to it.

Steve Martin plays his typical 80s SNL self. Loud, obnoxious and DUMB. Like real dumb. Like his girlfriend is in bed with her Latin lover and just acts like there is nothing wrong type DUMB. Like so bad he gets into bed with her and doesn't seem to care because he has a girlfriend. Like good grief Larry (the characters name) have some self respect. He doesn't. He is DUMB.

The movie goes on for sometime and he meets a woman at a coffee shop half way through the movie. She gives him his number after she calls him a lonely guy and ha HA she wrote the number on a napkin and he wipes his face because Larry is a DUMB character. So surprise he can't call her. Sees her at a restaurant, loses the number she leaves with the waiter. Then sees her again on a subway car across the station, steals a gangsters spray paint can and writes backwards where to meet on the opposing trains window. He meets here and finds out shes been married 6 times!!! Maybe fate was losing the numbers because he needs to avoid here perhaps.

He doesn't care because Larry has no self respect and just wants a girlfriend, any girlfriend. They date. He falls in love. She dumps him because he is perfect for her. Larry goes on a cruise. Surprise! She's on the same cruise. New York must be a small place in the 80s? He's still in love. They go to a costume party and he talks with her, begs her to go out with him again. A friend comes over as they're talking. The friend gets hypnotized by this women. Husband number 7 he becomes. Like a DUMB guy Larry tries to break up the wedding rather than count his lucky stars he's not marrying her. He is depressed because he can't marry this indecisive manipulative woman and goes to a bridge to jump off. As he is standing there. This psychopathic women just happens to be jumping off and he happens to catch her. Her reason is she couldn't live if she's not with Larry. Yeah right sure shes a crazy manipulator after all. They live happily ever after. Movie ends. And  this happily ever after probably lasts a day until this horrible woman dumps this dumb guy and gets divorce no.8!

The premise is an understandable one. We all know a severely lonely guy who'll take anyone, even a horrible person but this movie didn't do well enough to tell it. It tried to be a funny comedy and it just fell flat on its face. It was horrible and may just be Steve Martin's worse movie he's ever done (don't know, haven't seen them all).
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Steve Martin shines in this lovely and delightful comedy gem
Woodyanders20 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Nice guy greeting card writer Larry Hubbard (an excellent and engaging performance by Steve Martin) finds himself lonely and forlorn in New York City after he catches his ballet dancer girlfriend Danielle (the ravishing Robyn Douglass) cheating on him. Larry tries every trick in the book to surmount his dismal situation: he buys a dog, takes up jogging, and befriends fellow mopey sadsack Warren Evans (marvelously played to the melancholy hilt by Charles Grodin). Things finally perk up for Larry when he meets the sweet Iris (a wonderfully radiant portrayal by Judith Ivey). Ably directed by Arthur Hiller, with a warm, witty and perceptive script by Neil Simon, Ed Weinberger and Stan Daniels, polished cinematography by Victor J. Kemper, a sprightly score by Jerry Goldsmith, lots of inspired off the walls gags (sidesplitting comic highlights include Larry eating dinner by himself in a posh restaurant, lonely guys jumping off the Manhattan Bridge, Larry disrupting the wrong wedding, and Larry going up on a rooftop and yelling out Iris' name only to be joined by other fellow lonely guys in similar dire straits), and a winningly breezy'n'easy tone, this always funny and touching comedy totally hits the spot because it says something amusing and poignant about the basic human need for love and companionship. Martin is utterly charming in the lead, Grodin likewise excels in his role, Merv Griffin and Dr. Joyce Brothers have nifty cameos as themselves, Steve Lawrence is a hoot as smooth womanizer Jack Fenwick, and Candi and Randi Borough are adorable as the luscious Schneider Twins. But what makes this picture so special and endearing is that it has a wealth of genuine heart to it. A real treat.
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Martin & Grodin! The Ultimate Double Act!
s-woodier25 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This film is an underrated masterpiece for all concerned! Steve Martin is Larry Hubbard: Lonely Guy. Larry has no girlfriend, no friends and nowhere to stay until he meets 'uber-lonely guy' Warren Evans (Charles Grodin). Warren instructs Larry on how to survive as a 'Lonely Guy'. This includes watching football games with your plants and calling them 'guys', also, filling your apartment with cardboard cut-outs of celebrities..."Surprisingly good company". Neil Simon's script delivers gag after gag and is very poignant in parts. I particularly like " Hi, There, Grandpa! Happy Birthday To You, And If You Live Until Next Year, Happy Birthday Then, Too." Jerry Goldsmith gives us a great orchestral score, particularly in the scene where Larry is seducing his pillow. A true classic with a show stealing Grodin.

Highly recommended.
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Grodin Steals the show
mercuryix29 January 2003
The Lonely Guy is a cute comedy; not inspired, but mildly funny in bits. The problem is the script that Martin is required to play too straight a character as the "nice lonely guy". He does a good job, but the script doesn't support him with enough consistently funny situations or dialogue (the big problem with the movie, that much of it comes off as bland. Speaking of bland (or should I say, BLAND), Charles Grodin practically walks away with most of the movies laughs as the Jedi Master of Lonely Guys, Martin's mentor in the world of lonely guys. He does it not because he is much funnier that Martin is, but just by playing the one element he has to work with in a consistent, funny way, while Martin has to struggle with a script that doesn't support him. (Additional problem: As much as I like them, was it really necessary to have Merv Griffin and Joyce Brothers in the film, if they didn't add to the scenes?)

However, if you like Charles Grodin, then this is a must-see film just for his scenes. He proves yet again that the best comedy is found in pain and truthfulness, not zaniness and pratfalls. (His scenes are the only ones I clearly remember, other than one in which Martin seems to watch his own death on t.v.; which I won't spoil for you, if you ever happen to rent it.)

Catch it on cable the next rainy night you can't seem to get a date.

Five stars. (Could have been more with a rewrite).
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Vying for the title of worst Steve Martin film
vincentlynch-moonoi13 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I had forgotten that I had watched this film before, and spent a boring 90 minutes watching it again. You can't blame me for forgetting, because it's a forgettable film. In fact, for much of the 90 minutes it's not a film at all, but more a series of almost disconnected skits.

I like Steve Martin. And I like most of his films. But every once in a while I think he appeared in awful films. This is one of them. It's just plain boring.

Steve Martin plays a guy here who deserves to be "The Lonely Guy". I guess in that sense it's a brilliant performance...because he is boring. His boring-ness is exceeded only by the performance of Charles Grodin. Grodin has good parts in a number of movies, but here he is way over top in terms of being boring. Interesting to see Steve Lawrence in a film. It's not a good sign when cameo performances (in this case Merv Griffin, Dr. Joyce Brothers, and Loni Anderson) are more interesting than the film itself. In fact, about the only moment that actually made me smile was when Grodin's character actually falls in love with Dr. Joyce Brothers.

This is not the worst film I ever watched, but it may be the worst film I ever finished watching. There's a whole world of entertainment choices out there. I wouldn't recommend this as a choice you should take.
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The Lame Guy
Raul Faust29 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I have to admit this plot/story is quite original, I don't remember ever seeing a movie with this subject. And I didn't know that Steve Martin was already old in 1984.

Sadly, "The Lonely Guy" never delivers what it promises. I was expecting it to be a comedy with some drama scenes, but simply there's no drama scene in the whole film. It tried to be comedy repeatedly, but only some few scenes were really funny and well thought. The restaurant scene for instance was very clever, I was able to laugh since I've been through a similar situation in past days. However, the sex scene for example, was very silly. Actually, many scenes felt lame and amateurish, and that's not what I expected for this kind of comedy. All in all, the concept of this film is brilliant but I don't think it was better executed. Maybe with a better writer it would've been better.
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Slight but amiable episodic comedy with funny moments and universal truths...
moonspinner552 April 2017
Recently dumped by his girlfriend, struggling novelist and greeting card writer Steve Martin becomes one of New York City's Lonely Guys: unattached fellows who dine alone, sleep alone, take care of their ferns and occasionally jump off the Manhattan Bridge. Neil Simon's adaptation of Bruce Jay Friedman's book "The Lonely Guy's Book of Life", scripted by Stan Daniels and Ed. Weinberger, isn't full of great jokes, but does have enough of them to sustain enjoyment for about an hour. Once Martin becomes a success--writing a handbook for the Lonely Guys of the world--the picture has no place left to go and dies. Director Arthur Hiller probably didn't understand episodic comedy--his linking device between skits, conversations between Martin and lonesome cohort Charles Grodin, is occasionally more amusing and potentially more interesting than the main narrative--but Steve Martin is working at the peak of his charms and some of the gags have a low-key spark of genius. ** from ****
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Don't mix Neil Simon and Steve Martin
LCShackley28 November 2007
This has to be one of Steve Martin's worst movies, and the main reason is that he's working from a hackneyed script created by Neil Simon, along with a couple of TV sitcom writers. The whole thing seems like it came out of a meeting where a staff of writers for a variety show were trying to come up with funny situations involving Lonely Guys. Some of the situations would have worked nicely as a blackout on a TV show, but in a feature film they just seem like unconnected building blocks.

The script doesn't play to Martin's strengths (wacky physical humor or surrealistic verbal humor), so he's playing a role that any bland actor - picture someone like Tony Roberts - could have done almost as well. Charles Grodin is merely an annoyance as the one-dimensional geeky lonely guy, and the main female characters are also static and uninteresting.

Even Jerry Goldsmith, who has beefed up many a marginal movie with a good score, goes vanilla here and gives us a bunch of goopy 80s cues, sounding like Dave Grusin on Prozac. The vocal numbers are horrendous, especially the screeching opening credit song by America, featuring a bad 80s drum machine/synth track. If you want a better early Steve Martin film, pick either the one BEFORE this ("Man with two Brains") or the one AFTER ("All of Me"), both of which are much better suited to his personality.
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Amusing look at singles' dating hell via Martin & Grodin
george.schmidt11 April 2003
THE LONELY GUY (1984) **1/2 Steve Martin, Judith Ivey, Charles Grodin, Steve Lawrence. (Cameos: Dr. Joyce Brothers and Merv Griffin) Martin is the title character amid the pathos and pain of being alone. He finds celebrity after penning a book about his condition. Some amusing moments mostly with a barely recognizable and droll Grodin. Scripted by Neil Simon.
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Lame, lousy and limp
gcd708 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Who ever had the idea to film Bruce Jay Friedman's book "The Lonely Guy's Book of Life" is most likely out of work now. None of what was probably a wry, dry, occasionally witty user's guide is conveyed by Ed Weinberger and Stan Daniel's script (adapted by Neil Simon). Instead we get a lame, lousy, limp comedy with little to laugh at.

Steve Martin tries his darnedest to give us a chuckle, and his infectious persona almost saves something from this flick. Alas he, and the likable Charles Grodin, can rescue nought from a pic whose one reasonable joke dies of loneliness.

Also stars Judith Ivey and Dr. Joyce Brothers.

Saturday, May 10, 1997 - Video
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Very funny movie
Mike Koenen23 November 2005
This was a very funny movie and my favorite Steve Martin movie. This movie was from when Steve Martin still made funny movies (before he started playing PG rated sappy father characters). Charles Grodin was very good in it also. I haven't seen the movie in quite some time, but even after all this time when I think about the scene with the cardboard celebrities it makes me laugh. Also, the scene when Charles Grodin is going to jump off a bridge because he is so lonely and tells Steve Martin's character to give him three reasons he should live and Martin can't even think of one also cracks me up just thinking about it.
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Steve Martin fans will enjoy this one...
cashflow210 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Saw this several years ago when I was in high school. I liked it and still do to this day. Lonely guys everywhere can identify with Martin and Grodin's characters - of course they take it to the extreme - but the basic premise holds enough grain of truth to it to make the movie enjoyable.

The best lines in the movie are the greeting card lines that Martin comes up with just before getting fired from the greeting card company he is working for. In fact, I've used the following on an ex-girlfriend to help me feel just a bit better after a breakup :) "Will you be my valentine? Think about it a bit. If you will, that's okay. If not, who gives a sh**." Another gem is when Martin has the discussion about poop with a cop trying to give him a ticket for his dog fouling a pathway. Classic.

This is not "The Jerk", "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" or even "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" by any stretch of the imagination but it is a good way for a Steve Martin fan to pass the time on a rainy day.
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Criminally underrated Steve Martin movie
eichler212 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The Lonely Guy has been one of my favorite comedies since I first saw it on cable TV back in the '80s. I guess you have to have a somewhat offbeat sense of humor to really enjoy it, but to me this is easily Steve Martin's funniest movie. And he's not even the best part of it - Charles Grodin steals every scene he's in as Martin's pathetic friend Warren.

You could point out that it's basically a one-joke movie, but they do a lot with the singular premise of coping with life as a lonely guy. Martin's character Larry gets advice from Warren about how to live alone, while simultaneously pursuing Iris, the girl of his dreams. For one reason or another, things just never quite work out with Iris, despite how successful Larry later gets by writing a guide book for lonely guys.

A lot of the humor is pretty dry, which might by why this movie is a rare Steve Martin film from the '80s that wasn't hugely popular. I tried to find the movie on DVD years ago and it was only available as part of a boxed set of Steve Martin movies, kind of as a throw-in for people who wanted The Jerk on DVD. There are a lot of running jokes too (like the bits with the ferns and the stick chasing dog), so the movie rewards those who have a decent attention span.

Definitely worth watching if you like offbeat comedies.
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Actually excellent comedy, top notch, surprisingly great
John Brooks26 January 2017
Well this right here is an underrated comedy if you've ever, ever known about one. I mean it's ridiculous it would get a 6point average, whoever those fans voting possibly are.

It's absolutely excellent as a comedy in that it contains all the necessary criteria a said top notch comedy needs to have.

The concept was original and superbly well carried out from the opening moments to the very last scene. The funny factor that is generated at the very start never lets down, it's a continuous high-bar level maintained to the conclusion. The humor is dark, terribly dark at times but never complacently edgy or cynical, it's healthy but really really nasty and dark. There's an element of (the later show) Seinfeld in the dialog in how they'll pick a totally random topic and stretch it out, as if it mattered at all and deserved so much airtime in an official release. The film is so at ease at what it does, it's got this totally natural rhythm, lots of twists and turns and superb command over changes in gear, and it never feels too random or over-the-top, it's always centered, grounded, self-identified, strong humor and narrative development.

The Charles Grodin character is especially hilarious.

The disruptive factor (Iris' problems with men) is genuine and terribly realistic, and yet given so much volume and sits so well in the plot and doesn't feel like an old familiar relationship problem chorus dragged on forever.

Excellent comedy. It must be said. 8.5 or 9/10.
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