Only the Lonely


Only the Lonely

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 22


Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,400
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Movie Info

Writer-director Chris Columbus mines Paddy Chaveysky's Marty for this bittersweet comedy about a lonely 38-year old Chicago cop dominated by his harridan mother. Danny Muldoon (John Candy), in spite of being well known and well liked in his neighborhood, still lives at home with his mother Rose (Maureen O'Hara, returning to the screen after a twenty year absence) and spends most of his time worrying about her. One night at the local Irish bar, he meets the shy Theresa Luna (Ally Sheedy), whose father is the local funeral director, and both Danny and Theresa immediately fall in love. The only obstacle to their happiness is the jaded opinions of Danny's friends. Rose, in particular, launches into a bigoted Italian salvo that intimidates Danny, making it difficult for him to continue the relationship.


Critic Reviews for Only the Lonely

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (8)

Audience Reviews for Only the Lonely

  • Feb 10, 2015
    A fairly solid, if unspectacular, romantic comedy that probably won't stick with you for a long time shortly afterwards. While it's certainly better than I would've expected, I wasn't really excited about the film going into it, it played out almost exactly the way I would've expected. It's one of those cliched rom-coms that Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake made fun of in Friends with Benefits. It's got a silly plot and sitcom-y moments, but I think it works, for the most part, thanks to John Candy's immense likability and an inspired casting choice in Maureen O'Hara. O'Hara simply steals the show here with her insults and her overbearing personality, refusing to let her son lead his own life without making him feel guilty about it. This actually leads to some of the funniest moments in the film where Danny, after going against his mother's wishes, has visions of what would happen to her if, for example, he doesn't go to bingo with her. She'd be walking through the really bad part of the neighborhood and fall through a manhole to her death or she'd get into an extravagant car crash where the car explodes. She guilt trips Danny by wishing that he had a fun time on his date, or whatever the situation calls for, right before she dies in these visions. It leads to some funny moments in the film, but it actually plays into the narrative. As the last time this happens, when Danny decides to stay in Chicago to stay with Theresa and let his mother go on her own to Florida, he imagines a hostage situation that Rose saves herself from and she reassures Danny that she can take care of himself. It's certainly a little goofy and silly, but I think it worked in getting over the idea of how much Danny is attached to his mother regardless of whether it is his choice or not. I'm gonna be honest, as much as I like John Candy and all, if it wasn't for Maureen O'Hara's excellent performance, I wouldn't have given this movie 3 stars. John Candy and Ally Sheedy are certainly good enough, but their characters are a little vanilla for my tastes. Their characters are just a little too bland and uninteresting to justify the movie being just about them. They needed a little bit of color to make the proceedings interesting. And Maureen O'Hara is certainly up to the task. I can't imagine how this movie would've fared without her character. It's not even that her character is that great to begin with, it's just that she's the one with the most personality and the one you're most drawn to, in spite of her inappropriate remarks. And her relationship with Danny is probably the highlight of the film, as far as narrative is concerned. It's just far more interesting than the romance between Theresa and Danny. This is a solid enough movie to watch on Netflix. Particularly if you want something lighthearted. O'Hara certainly makes this movie better than it would've been without her, so keep that in mind.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Aug 06, 2011
    One of John Candy's best characters.
    Lucas M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 10, 2011
    It's a cute movie, with cute actors and a cute plot. The wife, Ally Sheedy was annoying as hell and had more mom-issues than I've ever seen. How anyone couldn't love Maureen O'Hara is beyond me.
    Alexis N Super Reviewer
  • Nov 27, 2010
    Filled with some really hilarious moments but it's very dated and it's almost never feels genuine.
    Sunil J Super Reviewer

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