The original title of Living Out Loud was The Kiss, which also happens to be the title of one of the two Anton Chekhov stories the movie is loosely based on. (For those Russian lit mavens out there, the other story is "Mi... more »sery.") The actual kiss in Living Out Loud is a somewhat mysterious affair: newly single Judith (Holly Hunter) suddenly finds herself laying a wet 'n' sloppy one on a total stranger (Elias Koteas, Hunter's Crash costar) in the back room of a cool jazz club, and then parting ways with the man. For good. Like so much of this exceptionally smart, generous movie, no explanation is given--or necessary. Screenwriter Richard LaGravenese (The Fisher King), making his directing debut, charts Judith's struggles in the wake of being dumped by her doctor husband (Martin Donovan). It turns out life has its ups and downs, some of which come courtesy of the elevator operator (Danny DeVito) in her swanky Upper East Side apartment building. DeVito's character is a nice guy in need of a little human touch, and the actor soft-pedals his usual sleaze in favor of a warm, directly emotional approach. It's the kind of turn that garners Oscar nominations, except that this movie didn't attract the box office it deserved. His performance, like the film, keeps surprising you--a fantasy sequence here, an ensemble dance there, plus a couple of smoky jazz tunes contributed by Queen Latifah. This unpredictable movie has the kiss of class. --Robert Horton« less
E. Smith | Glen Burnie, md United States | 10/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I got one of those blockbuster DVD cards. You know, watch 30 films in 30 days deal for 20 dollars. Except they didn't tell you that you can only rent one film a day. So having to go through as many films as possible to make this worthwhile, this gives me the opportunity to watch films that I have skipped over. Films for one reason or another, I have never given a chance, the ones that you think, hmmm, I don't know if I should give this a chance or not and you skip. So with this new found freedom (and since I really don't rent that much anymore), I decide to check out other people recommendations, films, whose previews I've seen and I thought COULD be interesting, and films I thought would make a nice addition to my growing DVD collection. LIVING OUT LOUD stars Holly Hunter who been sort of devastated by her recent divorce. She has to find out how to live all alone again after about 15 years of marriage, which resulted in no kids. Danny DeVito runs the elevator in the building she lives in. She strikes up a conversation with him one day and finds out he too is suffering from some sort of sadness. She reaches out to him and there is some sort of spark. Hard to describe this film without giving too much away. Holly Hunter is magnificent in this role as well as Danny DeVito. There is a real nice movie moment in this film that not all films have. Movie moments are scenes you take with you that sets that film apart. Scenes such as the whip scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, or the Singing scene in Magnolia. Sometimes they are scenes that make you cry with laughter (such as hair gel scene in There's Something About Mary), make you cry with sadness (the girl in the red coat from Schindler's List), or scenes that make you take notice that you are watching something incredible (all the characters singing the same song in Magnolia). This film, Living Out Loud has one of those scenes (the dancing scene, you will know what I am talking about when you see it). I really enjoyed this film and I think you will too."
A Masterpiece - Live Your Life Out Loud
E. Smith | 07/14/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Spectacular. Yes, a superb masterpiece that was completely snubbed at the Oscars. Living Out Loud rose above and beyond all other movies. Richard LaGravenese, screenwriter for Bridges of Madison County and The Fisher King gives a fine directing debut about a lonely upper east side woman who searches for a new life after the man she believed she loved for 20 years leaves, for a younger woman. A unique tale of two stories intertwining from sudden devastating and life altering moments, starring the sensational Holly Hunter as Judith, and Danny Devito, as her building's elevator man, Pat. The movie is a classic. Holly Hunter always surprises the audience with notably fine characters. She brings Judith to life as a woman searching for the reality that lies within herself. Danny Devito is wonderful as the man who brings substance to the screen. He plays a subtle man, only wanting the best out of life. Though misfortunes and tragedy always seem to strike at the most inconvenient of times. The two come together, shining the screen with passion amongst friends, who are geared toward two different entities in life.Queen Latifah is simply dazzling and vibrantly amazing with her jazz vocals. The opening sequence with Lush Life scored and set the pace for what would lie ahead in the movie. Becoming friends with Judith, help both of them realize the love of their lives is not just within the souls of another man; the truest meaning is within their own self.The movie flowed so elegantly, it certainly is more than your usual chick flick. I, being a 28 year old male, and a die hard movie fan, was thrown for a loop once I saw this movie a while back. I felt something deep, a hidden meaning that we all should look into. The movie was so real, unlike a lot of the movies out there that we chase for in a fantasy. I could go on and on about this movie, but I don't want to spoil any bit of it. All I have to say is from the start - with Queen Latifah rendition of Lush Life and all other poignant songs see jazzes herself into; the inner self of Hunter and her fantasy scenes, especially the crack baby thought; to the meeting and friendly journey of Devito and Hunter; the huge club scene, where Hunter lives out another one of her fantasy's; and then the end, the reality of life and the experiences and chances we take doing what we want out of life. In the end, you hope that Holly Hunter does Live Out Loud, Danny Devito find his passage in life and that Queen Latifah moves from rap to jazz, cause she is just fantastic. I would have thrown Oscars to Hunter for best actress; Devito, best actor and; best supporting actress, Queen Latifah.Again, this movie is a classic. It should be re-released. Movie-goers never had the chance to experience this movie the way it should be, due to the huge success, and my judgment of a good but not excellent film, As Good As It Gets. Believe me when I say that you should watch this movie over and over and over again."
A Feast for Sleeper Lovers
nytnd83 | United States | 06/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Living Out Loud is by far the most under-rated film of 1998. It features Holly Hunter as a disillusioned semi-alcoholic divorcee who befriends Danny DeVito's turn of a flawed doorman, and also showcases both Queen Latifah's acting talent and musical talent as a sassy jazz singer. The reason this movie is so good is because not only of its strong acting talent, but the writing, direction and music of the film were all superb also. I'll admit I was a bit timid in buying this DVD, but I figured it was worth a shot and I was right. This is a movie that most would look at and say, "Ya know--it looks good but I don't want to watch it." Believe me--this movie has a lot to say if you let it unfold. The film starts as we see Judith (Hunter) ending a 20-year relationship with her husband in a restaurant. We see from the beginning that this character is flawed, that she doesn't really have a life--she eats in, sings to herself in her apartment, goes out alone, etc. Until she meets Pat (DeVito), a man who's life is in real shambles. He too has been recently divorced plus on top of that his daughter has just died. The circumstances that these two emotionally-disconnected people come together is astounding, which is also why they become such great friends.Judith begins to feel better about herself after a passionaite kiss from a stranger opens her eyes to all she's been missing. She's planning on new things, to become a physician, and above all move on from her unhappy life. The reason this movie works so well is due to the uncanny chemistry between the three main characters and the deft direction of Richard LaGravenese. (Read the next paragraph only if you've seen this movie)I think the reason some people don't like the ending is because they don't get it. Not to say I'm perfect, but if you listen to the commentary the directer himself explains it. In the beginning we see Judith alone in her apartment mouthing the words to a song. In the end, she's made good of all the things bad in her life, or in other words, she's able to "Live out loud," and sing in the neighborhood aloud to "Hot Fun in the Summertime." I like that she doesn't end up with DeVito in the end because you think from the start that they are, and for once in a somewhat romantic film the two main characters don't end up together. It makes the film more realistic and that is one of the best aspects of the movie. Although films like American Beauty made a better, more clear point on it's subject matter, this film is a less serious and in a lot of ways less heftier account of modern lives that go from miserable to good. It's good to see a film like this, and it isn't any threat if you have the money to buy it. This studio usually makes great discs, and did a great job with this movie, also, even though not many people are ever going to see this movie. The commentary track is good, but not great, but let's you in on scenes you don't really get--they become more clearly understood. The deleted scenes are okay--I don't know why they didn't leave in ALL of them because they make more sense with them in (and it's not like the movie is three hours long or anything--at an hour and forty minutes I don't know why they were cut). The aspect ratio of the disc is a generally pleasing 2.35:1 transfer."
REBECCA ZAGORSKI | Seattle, or United States | 12/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is so well written and very funny. It reminds me of how people really think to themselves. It blends drama, humor and fantasy. Who would of thought to put Holly Hunter and Danny Devito together? And Queen Latifa is fabulous as a night club jazz singer. See it!"
Fabulous Lesbian Dance Scene..
Mount_Olympus | above the delicatessan | 11/24/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The plot is simple, but the movie itself is so much more complex. Holly Hunter recently is dumped by her husband for another woman. She never had her own friends, as all of her friends were her husband's friends. So, she finds herself absurdly alone. She sits in restaurants alone fantasizing that other people invite her over to their table. She fantasizes about striking up conversations with strangers, when she actually is too timid to.
With nobody to answer to, she starts going out on the town at night by herself. She begins to meet all kinds of wonderful and bizaare people. Night club singer Queen Latifah gives her a hit of 'Ecstasy', and she finds herself entering a gay bar in one of the most sensual and memorable dance scenes you will ever see on film.
She then realizes the confinement that marriage has given her. That there is so much living out there. She becomes a new person and once again pursues the dreams she had before she gave them up to be the doctor's wife.
It is all about learning to live again."