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The Lonely Guy

Year: 1984
Director: Arthur Hiller
Writer: Jay Friedman/Neil Simon
Cast: Steve Martin, Charles Grodin, Steve Lawrence, Merv Griffin, Dr Joyce Brothers
Small, cute and quirky comedy based on the premise that lonely men in New York form a sort of unwitting secret society (illustrated by the myriad of men crying womens' names from rooftops and jostling for space on the Brooklyn Bridge to throw themselves off).

It tells a story of a lonely writer (Martin), initiated into the ranks of lonely men by the embarrassingly pathetic Grodin. They end up living in a world of playing chess with machinery, talking to their ferns, and - when voicing their single status - having the world stop and stare at them.

Constantly thwarted in his attempts to make contact with the elusive Iris, he ends up cashing in on his loneliness by writing a book about lonely guys. It ironically makes him famous (and not in the least lonely), ending up in bed with two beautiful blondes, Dr Joyce Brothers and talk show host Merv Griffin! The story rambles here and there and goes in strange directions but isn't unpleasant to follow even if the ending doesn't really go anywhere. At the depth of his misery, the poem for the greeting card company where he works is a classic.

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