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|Index||87 reviews in total|
Sometimes I feel I'm the only straight guy who liked this movie. I liked it a lot. I loved the writing, the acting, the music. And Holly Hunter's dance, under ecstasy, at the lesbian club is one of those film moments I took with me and stayed with me and if I play the soundtrack in my car - I relive the moment totally. Richard Le Gravenais the writer, director of this movie was the writer of "The Ref" and other movies I always keep kind of handy. I've played "Living Out Loud" after dinner for friends who had never seen it. I've done it three times and, each time, it was a hit with the gals and gay guys the others made fun of the movie and were subsequently thrown out of the room. Interesting, at least for me, to think that this movie has made me question myself. I wish it happened more often at the movies.
I just watched this film for the 5th time and am more impressed every time. What seems to some a disjointed story with no plot seems to me to be the reality of life. People can't really see the connectedness of the events of their lives while they experience them. This film had that reality. The characters all experienced loneliness, loneliness had no connection to status or any other social differences. They are all trying to connect and ultimately they need to connect with themselves and their dreams. On first viewing I was perplexed by the dance scene. Now I see it as the main character finding and accepting herself. It was a refreshing awakening. It was good to be reminded that to get a life one needs to continue to experience life. A film for all those who hurt or celebrate relationships and want to get a life.
Writer turned writer-director Richard LaGravenese made 1998's "Living Out Loud", which follows the intersection of the lives of two people emotionally lost in the big city. Holly Hunter plays Judith, a feisty and freshly divorced woman in her early forties with an overactive imagination. Danny DeVito plays Pat, a depressed and proud elevator attendant with emotional baggage all his own. After they share words a friendship gingerly begins to form. The creative casting of the fabulous Holly Hunter and the frequently under-appreciated dramatic talents of Danny DeVito is only the beginning of the special qualities of "Living Out Loud". This is a mature study of adult relationships, especially of those that have tried, failed, and are left emotionally crippled. It's an intimate, quiet film about regular people made with so many genuine moments and with such winning results that one can only be reminded how infrequently a film like this comes along. It might not be that clever comedy the DVD suggests, but in a way the false advertising makes it that much more of a find.
I loved this movie...for all of its parts and for the whole of it. Holly is at her finest, Danny's magnificent and Latifah is, as always, gorgeous and honey-like. Whether you're straight or gay, male/female, young or old, frustratedly married or happily co-habitating, there's at least one scene where you're going to say, "Hey, that's me". How refreshing to see a coming of age, angst ridden plot featuring characters that are 40-somethings instead of the usual teen version of same. (Why should kids have all the fun of self-doubt, self-consciousness and self flagellation.) This movie is sensitive to the universal themes of the meaning of life, the need for love and the search for relevance. Try it, I guarantee you'll like it. (Just don't rent it for a boys night in....way too much emotion.)
I loved this quirky, not run of the mill fairy tale of people trying to
be run of the mill. There is an honesty and intensity that is disarming
and moving. Though the resolution is a bit "Hollywood", the process is
real and really funny.
Holly Hunter is a fearless actress who plays a dumped wife; not too mousy or too terrific. We hear the inner dialog so many take drugs to drown out. Coincidentally it has one of the best "drug perspective" scenes ever. She almost makes me want to drink again.
Danny Devito plays the love interest; yes this movie has guts! Though, thank God, the sex scene is not with him. Danny plays a born loser realizing he doesn't have to be.
Finally Queen Latifah (spelling?) is flawless as a bluesy torch singer! If you had told me I'd hear ANYONE sing an Ella Fitzgerald standard that was worthy, I would have called you crazy. She's got everything, including a voice and a presence on film I genuinely enjoy.
See this movie, even if your just a little neurotic and searching to laugh out loud at the ugly truth.
This film was a hard one to market--it's about a woman's journey of self-discovery after divorcing her husband. It came out in 1998 with a confused ad campaign and disappeared very quickly. It's a real shame because it was one of the best films on 1998. All the acting is excellent, there are some great songs mostly sung by Queen Latifah and there's a very exciting sequence between Hunter and a masseur (played by a very handsome, muscular actor named Eddie Cibrian). There's no real strong storyline--it's basically about how Hunter tries various ways to get on with her life after her divorce. The film jumps from fantasy to reality seamlessly, has sharp dialogue and realistic situations. It's never dull--there are countless great moments (the sequence with Cibrian; her encounter behind a door in a club; the dancing sequence at a lesbian bar; all of Queen Latifah's singing) and has an uplifting, unexpected ending. A great movie all the way around. If you haven't seen it, do so. You won't be disappointed.
Let me be frank. I'm an action movie guy. I like it when stuff blows
up, and nothing blows up in "Living Out Loud". And I'm not normally
into dramas -- too boring and arty ("The Piano"). But I found "Living
Out Loud" to be a fascinating character sketch with a real plot and
something to say.
While "Living Out Loud" has not exactly changed my life (see "Dead Poets Society" or "Contact"), the film has something real to say about life and the acting is primo! I now forgive Holly Hunter for her role in "The Piano", where she played a zero-emoting piece of wood who gets symbolically raped but falls in love with the guy anyhow. Ahem. Excuse me.
And I'm forming a deep respect for Danny DeVito.
Who should see this film:
-- People like me who hate dramas, this one is safe and quite
-- drama buffs and film school types, go crazy
-- romance movie types, there is plenty in this film
I'll give "Living out Loud" a surprisingly good 9 out of 10.
Living Out Loud is a very complete film in its use of good telling, quirky casting and an dynamic use of music. Mr. LaGravenese has made a triumphant transition from screenwriter to director. Holly Hunter is brilliant in the role of Judith, one of the most emotionally complex woman that I've seen on the screen in ages. Hunter is a bundle of pent-up sexuality and rage that explodes as her safe upperclass NYC life begins to unravel. Danny Devito is a good actor who when given the right script becomes a great actor. He is perfect as the unlucky recently divorced elevator operator trying to catch a break. Queen Latifah is awesome. Her talent is natural and honest. She is the most interesting black female in film today(second only to Alfre Woodard or Angela Bassett). Martin Donovan is cinema's best kept secret. His talent is also very natural as can be seen in his other work(Insomnia, The Oppsite of Sex, etc). If you are looking for a film about 'self-discovery', this is the film for you.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw this film back in 1998 when it was released, and I must say that
to this day, it remains the most resonant, most joyous and most
uplifting film I've ever seen. The fact that the vastly thick
movie-going public didn't embrace this film is just a mere testament to
how great it was. (I guess they all loved "Armaggedon"!)
The complaint about a weak storyline is completely unfounded. Who hasn't had obstacles to overcome in life and love and yes, divorce is a huge obstacle! Writer/director Richard LaGravenese understood this and actually fashioned his film out of real life, not fabrication. His character Judith (Holly Hunter) is a real flesh-and-blood woman going through the painful trial of divorce from an insensitive, callous jerk and struggles with loneliness and sorrow. She is also a woman of wants and desires and a certain unfortunate taste in bad men and also prone to fantasy. Who doesn't know anyone like that?
Enter Pat (superbly played by Danny DeVito), an elevator man in an upscale building who is largely ignored and mistreated by the snobs in that building, until Judith (who also lives there) takes the time to get to know him. He has marital problems and gambling problems. Who doesn't?
Then there's Liz, (the sultry Queen Latifah) the nightclub jazz singer who puts up a front on stage and off, until she learns to be a little more human to her fan base. Talented people are often misunderstood or lopped in with the nasty snobs. Who hasn't had a similar negative encounter with a person you admire?
****SPOILER ALERT**** One of the biggest and trickiest risks that LaGravenese took was not to make Hunter and DeVito's characters obvious targets for romance and that they didn't fall in love with each other. I'm actually glad that he took a strong realistic approach to the material as opposed to the glossed-over Hollywood treatment. These were real people in real situations, not cardboard cutouts in search of a plot.
All in all, LaGravenese (who's work such as "THE FISHER KING", "THE REF" and "A LITTLE PRINCESS" I've admired) tells his story with plenty of humor, sadness, wit, anger, sass, and plenty of music. Latifah's powerful voice was a sign of things to come for this talented artist. Though she didn't receive a nomination for this film, it's clear she was noticed. In fact, all involved moved on to bigger and better things since, so no sense crying about it.
I like the fact that it's in my DVD collection to enjoy over and over again. Hopefully you will too.
This American movie had a Europeen feeling for it's creativity, the subject and by the fact that there's a woman starring in it. Do you know many regular Hollywood movie that stars a woman in a very serious way? The feeling shown by Holly Hunter are very feminine. We saw that very often in European films, but not quite much in the USA. Well, everything's away from Hollywood is for me the real American cinema of the 1990's. DeVito is very moving in one of his best role in his career, And Holly Hunter... the GREAT Holly Hunter! She can't be bad!
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