Living Out Loud (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

Living Out Loud (1998)



Critic Consensus: Unoriginal, with one-dimensional characters.

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Movie Info

Noted screenwriter Richard LaGravenese made his directorial debut with this dramatic comedy about two unlikely people who find each other while looking for love. Judith Nelson (Holly Hunter) is suddenly single after discovering her husband of fifteen years, a successful doctor (Martin Donovan), has been having an affair with a younger woman. Judith stews, plans, plots and fantasizes, but she can't decide what to do with her life until she goes out to a night club to see singer Liz Bailey (Queen Latifah), who is full of advice on life and love. While out on the town, Judith is suddenly kissed by a total stranger, which opens her eyes to new possibilities ... which is when she notices Pat (Danny De Vito), the elevator operator in her building. Pat's life is in even worse shape than Judith's; his wife has thrown him out for gambling, he's in debt to loan sharks, he's sleeping on the couch of his more successful brother, and his daughter is dying. At first Pat borrows money from Judith, but when the two start talking, they realize they have more in common than they imagined. LaGravenese based his screenplay on a pair of short stories by Anton Chekhov.
R (adult situations/language, sex)
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
New Line Home Entertainment

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Holly Hunter
as Judith Nelson
Queen Latifah
as Liz Bailey
Eddie Cibrian
as The Masseur
Elias Koteas
as The Kisser
Ellen McElduff
as Crying Woman
Ivan Kronenfeld
as Angry Boyfriend
Fil Formicola
as Santi's Man
Nick Sandow
as Santi's Man
Jenette Goldstein
as Fanny, Pat's Wife
Lin Shaye
as Lisa's Nurse
Fred Scialla
as Johnny
Sy Sher
as Lou
Kate McGregor-Stewart
as Female Diner
Tamlyn Tomita
as Bob's Wife
Henry Woronicz
as Fifth Avenue Parent
Taylor Leigh
as Fifth Avenue Parent
Robin McDonald (II)
as Heckled Singer
Yolanda Snowball
as Jasper's Waitress
Deborah Geffner
as Woman with Makeup
Rachael Leigh Cook
as Teenage Judith
Christian Hill
as Teenage Lover
Ed Fry
as Formal Dress Man
Judith Regan
as Formal Dress Woman
Sean Dooley
as Late Teenager
Terry Rhoads
as Across Hall Man
Susan Reno
as Across Hall Woman
Claudia Shear
as Drunken Fan
Mike G. Moyer
as Jeweler
Sybil Azur
as Confessional Dancer No. 1
Carmit Bachar
as Confessional Dancer No. 2
Monique Chambers
as Confessional Dancer No. 3
Donielle Artese
as Confessional Dancer No. 4
Aisha Dubone
as Confessional Dancer No. 5
Shawnette Heard
as Confessional Dancer No. 6
Tanika Ray
as Confessional Dancer No. 7
Laurie Sposit
as Confessional Dancer No. 8
Adrian Young
as Confessional Dancer No. 9
Roger Nehls
as Married Couple in Lawyer's Office
Mary Schmidtberger
as Married Couple in Lawyer's Office
Lou Richards
as Judith's Lawyer
Tom Howard
as Bob's Lawyer
Michael Clair Miller
as Couple's Lawyer
Willie Garson
as Man in Elevator
Ellen Buckley
as Pat & Judith's Waitress
Laura Jane Salvato
as Neo-Natal AIDS Volunteer
Hattie Winston
as Hospital Nurse
Mario Piccirillo
as Cousin Louie
Carole Ruggier
as Italian Girlfriend
Mark Schulz
as Guitar
Michael James
as Guitar, Vocals
Gerald Albright
as Alto Saxophone
Plas Johnson
as Baritone Saxophone
Justo Almario
as Tenor Saxophone
Vincent Trombetta Jr.
as Tenor Saxophone
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Critic Reviews for Living Out Loud

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (8)

This feminist comedy shot through with fantasies about the travails of newly single womanhood strikes some rich chords, but doesn't quite put together a complete tune.

Full Review… | April 27, 2005
Top Critic

'Living Out Loud' presents the delightful surprise of Danny DeVito as a romantic lead. And he also sings!

Full Review… | July 12, 2013
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

... made up of magical moments of revelation that are the film's strength as well as its ultimate weakness.

Full Review… | April 30, 2007
Seattle Weekly

If you live in Manhattan, you know women like Judith (Holly Hunter), the 40-something, Upper East Side divorce who put her ex-husband through medical school.

Full Review… | March 28, 2006
Film Journal International

... there is always a market for these kid of sleek, superficial movies about the redemptive power of being true to your own nature

November 1, 2002
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

A wonderful film from beginning to end, one that is honest, genuinely funny, and poignant.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000

Audience Reviews for Living Out Loud

Great movie, great acting, great music, deeply moving, relatable... Holly Hunter superbly understated and brilliant-check out the disco scene. The low ratings here and elsewhere which this movie got are baffling to everyone I know that has seen it. So, if you care about what this site thinks, more than what people like you may thing, skip it, but I don't suggest that you do so.

David L
David L

(from The Watermark, 11/12/98) A misguided romantic comedy that isn't as satisfying as it wants to be. The directorial debut of respected screenwriter Richard LaGravanese (The Fisher King, The Bridges of Madison County, The Horse Whisperer) is disappointingly off-kilter in both its writing and direction. Hunter plays a rich New York City housewife who, after being dumped for a younger woman, realizes that she has given up a great deal of herself for her marriage. With an overactive imagination, she desperately tries to live up to her own fantasies of being secure, stable, and emotionally self-sufficient. With the support of Devito, her unwillingly platonic friend, she eventually does make a small shift toward her own happiness. LaGravanese's strong points are his wonderfully interesting characters and his smart, witty dialogue. His weak point is finding a storyline for his characters, and communicating his theme that change happens in baby steps, no matter how hard a person may try. Often, we see a scene as Hunter envisions it happening, and then it is repeated, the way it really happened. This sleight-of-hand storytelling is clever, but not used to its full potential. Another problem with the film is Hunter's character. She goes to uncomfortable lengths to be different (i.e. drinking and smoking too much, falling in love with complete strangers, taking drugs, and bumping and grinding at a lesbian disco). Then LaGravanese, who often omits what seem to be key scenes, neglects to show us any catharsis or reflection Hunter may have on her escapades. The plot is only meandering, and the conflict is pedestrian; it feels more like a pilot for a TV series. QUEER QUOTIENT: The one thing that makes the whole experience worthwhile is Queen Latifah. Not only is she a kick-ass blues singer (why did she ever waste her talents on rap?), she is just the sass and attitude that the film so desperately needs. And she is cinched and duct-taped into her skin-tight dresses more than any drag queen I have ever seen in my life. No doubt she is one of the to-be-worshipped grand divas of the future. And let us not forget the extremely erotic scene in which Hunter receives a massage from a drop-dead gorgeous masseur / call boy in his skivvies. Now I know why the movie theater floor was so sticky.

David Almeida
David Almeida

Great movie...

Leigh Ryan
Leigh Ryan

Super Reviewer

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