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The Lonely Guy (1984)

R | | Comedy | 27 January 1984 (USA)
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A writer for a greeting card company learns the true meaning of loneliness when he comes home to find his girlfriend in bed with another man.

Director:

Arthur Hiller

Writers:

Ed. Weinberger (screenplay), Stan Daniels (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Martin ... Larry
Charles Grodin ... Warren
Judith Ivey ... Iris
Steve Lawrence ... Jack
Robyn Douglass ... Danielle
Merv Griffin ... Merv Griffin
Joyce Brothers ... Joyce Brothers (as Dr. Joyce Brothers)
Candi Brough Candi Brough ... Schneider Twin
Randi Brough Randi Brough ... Schneider Twin
Julie Payne Julie Payne ... Rental Agent
Madison Arnold Madison Arnold ... Lonely Cop
Roger Robinson ... Greeting Card Supervisor
Dan Hannafin Dan Hannafin ... Park Guard (as Daniel P. Hannafin)
Joan Sweeny ... Girl in Blood Bank
Nicholas Mele Nicholas Mele ... Maitre D'
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Storyline

When shy Larry Hubbard finds his girlfriend in bed with another man he is forced to begin a new life as single. But since he can't bear being on his own he tries to court Iris who is not however interested in him. Larry begins writing a book on his experience as a single which unexpectedly becomes a best seller. He becomes rich and famous and even his relationship with Iris can begin on a new basis. Written by Salvatore Santangelo <pappagone2@libero.it>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Hysterical Comedy About Being Lonely in the City See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 January 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Anime gemelle See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,072,130, 27 January 1984, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$5,718,573
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene depicted on this film's main American movie poster, that of Steve Martin riding on a two-seater bicycle with a dog, is not actually seen in the movie. See more »

Goofs

When Larry is running, he pays a toll to run across the 59st bridge. There is no toll on the 59st bridge. See more »

Quotes

Warren Evans: I remember after I saw Rocky, I ran out in the park jogging, shadow boxing. Some guy came up to me and punched me right in the face.
See more »

Connections

Features Woody's Clip Joint (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Oughta Know Love By Now
Performed by Winston Ford
Written by Gerard McMahon
Produced by Gerard McMahon
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Sharp, Overlooked Steve Martin Vehicle
22 October 2010 | by jzappaSee all my reviews

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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