Living Out Loud

7 out of 10


Portrait Of The Loneliness Of Middle Age

Ditched by her philandering husband, Judith (Holly Hunter) must now come to terms with being single again. Following her innermost thoughts, fears and hopes, the film shows her struggling to meet this challenge for which she is laughably ill-equipped. As a none-too-bright late-middle-aged woman of fading beauty, she has always lived a sheltered life on New York`s 5th Avenue and has long since dumped all her true friends because they had less money than her. Collecting an amorous lift attendant called Pat, played by the ubiquitous Danny DeVito, who is a born looser, and a night club jazz singer as her friends, she quickly stumbles into drink, drugs, considers suicide and even hires a male prostitute in a futile effort to escape the loneliness of her existence.

With over 91% of Hollywood actresses aged over 30 unemployed, Judith was clearly a part to die for, and Holly Hunter was the lucky winner. Even though I am still convinced that she is the female reincarnation of Humphrey Bogart, she turns in a truly memorable performance of touching pathos, all the more enhanced by occasional moments, such as when she gets drunk and starts heckling the karaoke singer, which is very, very funny and by one solitary dance routine she performs brilliantly at a disco in the best tradition of the old 1930`s musicals.

Also particularly noteworthy is the casting of Queen Latifa as her Jazz singer friend. Whilst her part is largely superfluous to the story, and most of her few appearances consist of being a plot device "straight-man", so Judith can actually explain things to the audience, her jazz singing is so powerful that it`s worth seeing the film, if only for that.

Touching, entertaining and amusing, but slow in place

Film Critic: Robert L Thompsett