All of Me

Early in the year, Steve Martin took a swing with the comedy “The Lonely Guy“, and he whiffed it. Lucky for us you are not out after a single strike or we might have been denied the pleasures of this out of body comedy directed by Carl Reiner and again starring Steve Martin. This ninety minute film is not deep, it is not shot in an innovative way, and at times it is a little too silly. It does however contain one of the great performances of the year. A bigger contrast in styles to F. Murray Abraham’s Salierei you are not going to find.

all_of_me_xlgSteve Martin and Lily Tomlin go all in to give us a slapstick comedy with a little bit of heart, but mostly a whole bunch of laughs. It’s Martin’s physical deftness that elevates this movie to the status of one of the winners of 1984.

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The Lonely Guy

I re-watched this after ordering a DVD from Amazon. I have not seen it since the first time 30 years ago today. I now see why.  It is not a bad film, it just isn’t very good and the jokes change tone all over the place. There are times that the story means to be sadly knowing, and other times when it is absurdly over the top. Even when the jokes seem to be overdone, the actors are playing it so low key that it is hard to get into the spirit of the film.

lonely_guy

Steve Martin broke out as a comedy presence on SNL and in the concert arenas of the late seventies.  His first starring movie was “The Jerk” which was clearly ridiculous but also incredibly funny. It was also a huge success. In fact throughout the 1980s Martin was a critical and financial success. The one film of his that did not seem to catch on was this one. It had the smallest box office of any of his movies at the time and of all the films he has appeared in, it is near the bottom when it comes to ticket sales. Of course box office does not equal quality but the inverse is not automatically true either. So this is a small film that appears to have been lost over time, and it is not really missed. Continue reading