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February 03, 1984 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-02-03

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5th A* at o,1bey 761-700



$2.00 SHOWS BEFORE 6:00 P.M.

Page 6

Friday, February 3, 1984

The Michigan Daily


Friendless Steve

FRI. 1:00, 7:15, 9:35
SAT., SUN. 1:15, 3:15, 5:15, 7:15, 9:35

By Richard Fortin berry

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'willful suspension of disbelief' when
you see this movie. This is pure,
unadulterated cotton candy slapstick to
the tenth degree.
If you're savvy, you have realized by
now that this fantasy film does not start
out on a particularly happy note. As the
title suggests, this film is about
loneliness. What's funny about
loneliness? Not a heck of a lot really, but
this movie makes a valiant effort to find
the humorous side of a basically un-
pleasant phenomenon.
Martin quickly finds company in his
loneliness when he meets Charles
Grodin in Central Park. Grodin im-
mediately gives old Steve some tips on
how to be a good "lonely guy." As we
see the roots of a whole lonely guy cult
beginning to form, Martin's satire of
the human race begins to show through.
Once he has resigned himself to lonely
guy status, Steve follows the advice of
the expert and gets himself an apar-
tment which will become "his best
friend in the world." Armed with a
fern to talk to, he sets up shop. Grodin
gives a stunning portrayal of what a
"lonely guy" should be like because he
is really a bland, boring sort of person
to begin with.
Director Arthur Hiller plays with the
subject of loneliness in an amusing,
albeit obvious manner. The phone
becomes a central element in the
"lonely life." To subtly make this point,
Hiller plans several shots in which the
ominous telephone takes up about half
of the screen, and Martin and the rest of
the friendly apartment take up the

other half. Among the more humorous
scenes of the movie was one which is
familiar to me, in which Martin walks
in to a crowded restaurant alone. As
soon as he announces his solitude to the
maitre d' all conversation instantly
ceases. A spotlight comes on Steve and
follows him to his seat, all ears are
tuned in to his drink order, and also his
request that everyone begin talking
again. A quick, furtive glance around
the theater revealed to me that, you
guessed it, I was the only single party
for about ten rows in either direction. I
wanted to stand up and explain that I
was on assignment for the Daily, and
' that I really have lots of friends, and a
dog, and fish ... .
The movie's redemption comes from
the one great thing which saves many a
dying movie: romance. Judith Ivey
gives a fantastic performace as a
woman who has been married to six
"lonely guys" before meeting Steve.
She calls herself Iris, and quickly
becomes the center of Steve's life.
Whereas Danielle was only good for a
physical relationship, Iris is a real
woman. Through a series of mishaps,
Steve repeatedly loses her phone num-
ber. To find her he has to resort to such
tactics as calling every Iris in the
Manhattan phone book. When he finds
her they have a wonderful relationship
- too wonderful. Iris loves Steve so
much that she is afraid to love him.
Which is worse, I wonder, not enough
love or too much?
Perhaps this film represents Martin's
attempt to define what happens to
"wild-and-crazy guys" gone wrong.
Although it has some fun moments, it
lacks a real story. It seems to depend
entirely on cliche situations and gag
lines. How does that go? Gag me with a
Steve Martin joke.... .

Although Steve can imitate a well-known singer, he cannot imitate a popular
person in his film A Lonely Guy.

A little dru
By David Grayson
THERE IS A popular attitude among film critics and en-
thusiasts alike that no great literary work should be tur-
ned into a movie. A bevy of films support this notion (e.g.
Polanski's Tess and Strick's Ulysses) but there are a few
notable exceptions which include Volker Schondorff's Thea
Tin Drum, and adaptation on Gunter Grass's splendid novel.
Like many of the other successes in this category, Schlon-
dorff has taken extensive liberties with the text, lopping off
the last third of the novel and condensing much of the first
two. But Schlondorf does come up with a coherent, unified
tale which cinematographer Igor Luther captures

The story is of a boy, Oskar (David Bennent), who upon'
realizing his mother's incestuous relationship with her
cousin, stunts his growth at the age of three and refuses t.
succumb to any other responsibilities placed on a normally
maturing child.
All the while Europe is buckling under Hitler's Nazi regime
which Oskar joins for a brief time as a member of a freak
show for the German military's entertainment. The movie's
and the war's conclusion coincide with Oskar's decision to
return to his normal size.
Subtle in its representation of artistic repression under
Hitler, The Tin Drum is an interesting piece of filmmaking to,
any observer who refrains-from direct comparisons to the
book. The film is a presentation of Cinema Two and shows
Friday night at 7 and 9:30 p.m. at Lorch Hall.

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