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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Living Out Loud - A Film Review

I really love this film, Living Out Loud. It's about a woman named Judith (Holly Hunter) who is dealing with life after divorce, and the film is full of small, intimate moments between people as friends and confidantes. I find this film to be very special, and it touches me inside. Likely because the film's main characters are lonely people dealing with trauma and change in their life (Judith's divorce and depression, and Danny DeVito's character is Pat, a doorman whose daughter just died, his wife left him, and he has gambling issues), and the film is about rediscovering joys and passion in life, and building meaningful relationships in life. The actors are just fantastic in this film (including Queen Latifah as a charismatic torch singer who falls for gentle, kind men that turn out to be gay, and Elias Koteas in a brief cameo as the flame to ignite Judith's joie de vivre). The film is funny and honest, and has a mix of being sad while being optimistic at the same time.
This is my favorite role that I've seen Danny DeVito in. I like him as Frank Reynolds in It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia and his guest role as Herb Powell on The Simpsons, but he is excellent in this role. His character seems like a loser, but he's not. He's honest and sympathetic, and he plays the part like he's lived the character, like he's been him. He is fantastic in this film.
I appreciated that the film is not a love story. It's not about people falling in love with each other, or finding love after heartbreak, or a kind of cliched romantic comedy. It is based on two short stories by Anton Chekhov, and plays more like moments and sequences in a person's life, like looking briefly into their life, without a wrapped-up ending. Like the film Nine Lives, which was made up of nine ten-minute segments of interrupted takes into a woman or girl's life, just peeking for ten minutes into a moment of their life, and continuing on to another story when the ten minutes were up. Living Out Loud is one of my favorite films ever, and I feel emotionally connected to the characters, in their bittersweet mix of joy and sadness.

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