Living Out Loud (1998) / Comedy-Drama
MPAA Rated: R for language, and for some drug content and sexuality
Running Time: 100 min.
Cast: Holly Hunter, Danny DeVito, Queen Latifah, Martin Donovan, Elias Koteas
Director: Richard LaGravenese
Screenplay: Richard LaGravenese
Review published April 30, 1999
A woman (Hunter, A Life Less Ordinary) gives up her career and opportunity for children for a doctor who many years later has an affair then leaves for another woman. She ends up living by herself in New York struggling to put her life back together. The elevator man for her apartment (DeVito, The Rainmaker) is also struggling to pay off debts from gambling and recovering from the loss of his daughter. The two become friends and begin to help each other put the pieces of their lives back together.
Lagravenese, the screenwriter for such fine films as The Horse Whisperer, Beloved, The Bridges of Madison County, and The Fisher King, takes his first stab at directing with varying results. The acting by Hunter and DeVito is impressive, and the film is interesting, but the mood is very uneven, and the feeling through several scenes is so awkward as to be considered surreal. A nice jazzy soundtrack and some funny moments keep things pleasant enough to watch, however.
It's strictly a female fantasy of self-empowerment and inspirational along those lines but a little bit more realistic treatment would have helped in making the characters a bit more convincing.
©1999 Vince Leo