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Living Out Loud

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Living Out Loud

Starring: Holly Hunter, Danny DeVito
Director: Richard LaGravenese
Rated: R
RunTime: 102 Minutes
Release Date: October 1998
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance

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Review by Susan Granger
2½ stars out of 4

Richard LaGravanese is one of the most talented screenwriters around, having won an Oscar-nomination for "The Fisher King" and high praise for his adaptations of "Beloved," "The Bridges of Madison County" and "The Horse Whisperer." Now, he's also a first-time director, fashioning an adult romantic comedy around a wealthy Fifth Avenue divorcee (Holly Hunter) who has been dumped after 16 years by her unfaithful doctor-husband (Martin Donovan) for a younger woman. She's antsy and alone, given to concocting feisty, elaborate fantasies of what the future holds in store. Longing for human contact, she hangs out at Jaspers, an Upper West Side jazz club where she drowns her loneliness in martinis while listening to the soulful Queen Latifah. Inevitably, she ends up in the arms of a stranger, Elias Koteas, who thinks he passionately desires her. But it's a case of mistaken identity. However, his ardor re-awakens her interest in someone other than herself - which then turns to the chubby elevator man (Danny DeVito) in her apartment building. She discovers that he, too, has a life filled with loss and dreams. He's a gambler with debts and a dying daughter, and she unexpectedly finds comfort in his company. Wearing a blonde wig, Holly Hunter once again delivers a touching performance, filled with charming vulnerability, and Danny DeVito has a gentle poignancy. When the movie ends, you don't know what's next for these multi-dimensional characters but you're satisfied that some kind of contentment has come out of their emotional chaos. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Living Out Loud" is a bittersweet 6, a sentimental story about lost souls and middle-aged friendship in Manhattan.

Copyright 1998 Susan Granger

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