Living Out Loud

on October 30, 1998 by Kevin Courrier
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   "Living Out Loud" explores the romantic lives of people who live with diminished expectations, and makes an honest attempt to grapple with human failing. But despite its efforts, the movie does not succeed in creating a believable drama for these characters to inhabit.
   Judith (Holly Hunter) has just been abandoned by her wealthy husband (Martin Donovan), a successful doctor, after 16 years of marriage. She spends lonely nights daydreaming in jazz clubs. One night Judith starts a friendship with the elevator operator from her building, Pat (Danny DeVito), a divorced man who's in debt due to gambling, and whose daughter has just died. "Living Out Loud" traces how their friendship leads them to self-fulfillment.
   Richard LaGravense, as a screenwriter, has written some beautiful stories about the redemptive powers of love and forgiveness in movies like Terry Gilliam's "The Fisher King" and Diane Keaton's "Unstrung Heroes," but those films opened up a world of possibilities in the characters. "Living Out Loud" feels hermetic, as if we never get outside of the thoughts in their heads. The late-night romantic mood that LaGravenese sets has an artificial feel to it; Hunter and DeVito suggest character types rather than real people, and New York seems more like a set than a city. "Living Out Loud" lives in a glass bubble.    Starring Holly Hunter, Danny DeVito, Queen Latifah and Martin Donovan. Written and directed by Richard LaGravenese. Produced by Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher. A New Line release. Drama. Not yet rated. Running time: 102 min.
Tags: Holly Hunter, Danny DeVito, Queen Latifah, Martin Donovan, Richard LaGravenese, Danny Devito, Michael Shamberg, Stacy Sher, New Line, Drama, gambling, friendship, marriage, forgiveness
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