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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Lonely Guy (1984)



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At times, the Steven Martin comedy The Lonely Guy resembles the kind of wacky gags found in the Zucker/Abrahams comedies such as Airplane!. But most of the time, the humor is played a little more straight than that. The running theme is that "Lonely Guy" is a universally recognized label for men without a special someone in their lives, and apparently no family either. Curiously enough, Lonely Guys tend to find each other and offer each other support, friendship, and advice. Early on in film, Steve Martin is kicked out of his apartment, left to carry his own luggage around the city in search of a place to stay. In a park, he meets up with another, also carrying luggage, and the two become fast friends. Their random, musing conversations, interlaced throughout the action of the film, provide some of the film's funniest moments. The Lonely Guy is sidesplitting with a light touch of bittersweet, chronicling Steve Martin's efforts to cope with his Lonely Guy status. It builds solidly until taking a bizarre turn around the hour mark, goes downhill a bit, and drags on too long. But when all is said and done, it's quite satisfying.