Reviews for Only the Lonely ( ) 720p

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Revisiting this movie and missing John Candy

I recall finding this movie quite enjoyable the first time I saw it years ago, but having picked it up at the library today and rewatched it tonight, it is both underrated for its humorous appeal and ultimate sadness. The primary reason behind both statements was the performance of John Candy.

Admittedly, I was a big fan of "SCTV" when I was in college, and there was a brilliance to the whole cast. But Candy had the rarest of abilities to be both outrageous and still maintain the veneer of believable humanity. Here he's nothing as over the top as Johnny LaRue or Dr. Tongue, and he's allowed more emotional depth than his big-screen credits as Del Griffith (Planes, Trains and Automobiles) and Uncle Buck. He's achingly human and vulnerable, while still funny and lovable. No other performance I ever saw him in makes the case that he could have been a comic-actor treasure better than his Danny Muldoon character in "Only the Lonely." This should have been the movie that made him a true top A-list star. There is heart in this movie performance that is undeniable, along with his gentle humor. He walks the emotional tightrope his character has to negotiate almost perfectly. And then pairing him with a number of other strong casting choices, none more so than an epic return to the screen from Maureen O'Hara as his caustic Irish mother, really gave this movie emotional power and range. Ally Sheedy shines, as well, in delivering the kind of nuanced performance that successfully completed the complex emotional triangle necessary for drawing you into believing in these characters and the conflicts they must overcome.

On a broader scale, there are a few points of criticism that could be offered. With "Only the Lonely" coming after the wildly successful "Home Alone," it could be said that some decisions made by the creative team of John Hughes and Chris Columbus drew too easily from the framework of clichés they had already established with audiences from their previous Chicago films. "Only the Lonely" could have been the Chicago cousin of "Moonstruck" with a bit more thought put into storyline development.

But perhaps it would have only gotten in the way. This is a movie where the actors shine -- no one more so than Candy -- and, as noted, was a joy to revisit, but also leaves me feeling sentimental. We can only wonder what other big screen work could have wowed us all if John had gotten just a few more cracks at creating the kind of character he showed us all he was capable of with this role. As it is, though, this is much more than a run-of-the-mill film that many reviewers have pegged it as 25 years down the line.

"You ain't a beauty, but hey, you're all right..."

"Only the Lonely" is actually a very interesting film, featuring on a procession of lonely people. As much as the Roy Orbison title song sums up the plot, so would "Eleanor Rigby" ... "All the lonely people, where do they all come from? All the lonely people, where do they all belong?" Through Candy's terrific performance (by far, the best of his all-too-short career), we find out that Danny is actually a very good guy - a hard worker who himself sacrificed so his younger brother could go to law school, a dutiful son who, even 25 years later, still feels regrets over his father's inabilities to make it big in business. In short, a big lug who would be a great catch for a girl like Teresa. Ally Sheedy also does a fine job with Teresa. I have read reviews describing this character as "muted," "inconspicuous" and "apologetic," which I think totally miss the point, which is actually explained in a scene early in the movie. I think Sheedy actually nailed this character trait very well. She's pretty, neither drop-dead gorgeous nor an ugly duckling. Later, we learn a little more about her dreams and aspirations and of course we realize she and Danny are perfect for each other, if only they can figure it out and find their way around Rose.

The story is pleasant and worth your money, Candy & O'Hara work well together (who would have thought she would outlive him!) but the real power of the film is her interaction with Anthony Quinn. Classic film buffs like myself will get a real charge out of Quinn once again pursuing O'Hara, but this time without an Errol Flynn as a rival. That sub plot is at least as interesting as the main one and for my money is better. It is classic Maureen O'Hara, the strong woman who is chased by the strong man and frankly is a great contrast to the the exact opposite situation between Candy & Sheedy. Maybe with this movie it can teach you a few things to say & do so your ending will come out happy just like the movie!!

Overall rating: 8 out of 10.

"You ain't a beauty, but hey, you're all right..."

"Only the Lonely" is actually a very interesting film, featuring on a procession of lonely people. As much as the Roy Orbison title song sums up the plot, so would "Eleanor Rigby" ... "All the lonely people, where do they all come from? All the lonely people, where do they all belong?" Through Candy's terrific performance (by far, the best of his all-too-short career), we find out that Danny is actually a very good guy - a hard worker who himself sacrificed so his younger brother could go to law school, a dutiful son who, even 25 years later, still feels regrets over his father's inabilities to make it big in business. In short, a big lug who would be a great catch for a girl like Teresa. Ally Sheedy also does a fine job with Teresa. I have read reviews describing this character as "muted," "inconspicuous" and "apologetic," which I think totally miss the point, which is actually explained in a scene early in the movie. I think Sheedy actually nailed this character trait very well. She's pretty, neither drop-dead gorgeous nor an ugly duckling. Later, we learn a little more about her dreams and aspirations and of course we realize she and Danny are perfect for each other, if only they can figure it out and find their way around Rose.

The story is pleasant and worth your money, Candy & O'Hara work well together (who would have thought she would outlive him!) but the real power of the film is her interaction with Anthony Quinn. Classic film buffs like myself will get a real charge out of Quinn once again pursuing O'Hara, but this time without an Errol Flynn as a rival. That sub plot is at least as interesting as the main one and for my money is better. It is classic Maureen O'Hara, the strong woman who is chased by the strong man and frankly is a great contrast to the the exact opposite situation between Candy & Sheedy. Maybe with this movie it can teach you a few things to say & do so your ending will come out happy just like the movie!!

Overall rating: 8 out of 10.

"You ain't a beauty, but hey, you're all right..."

"Only the Lonely" is actually a very interesting film, featuring on a procession of lonely people. As much as the Roy Orbison title song sums up the plot, so would "Eleanor Rigby" ... "All the lonely people, where do they all come from? All the lonely people, where do they all belong?" Through Candy's terrific performance (by far, the best of his all-too-short career), we find out that Danny is actually a very good guy - a hard worker who himself sacrificed so his younger brother could go to law school, a dutiful son who, even 25 years later, still feels regrets over his father's inabilities to make it big in business. In short, a big lug who would be a great catch for a girl like Teresa. Ally Sheedy also does a fine job with Teresa. I have read reviews describing this character as "muted," "inconspicuous" and "apologetic," which I think totally miss the point, which is actually explained in a scene early in the movie. I think Sheedy actually nailed this character trait very well. She's pretty, neither drop-dead gorgeous nor an ugly duckling. Later, we learn a little more about her dreams and aspirations and of course we realize she and Danny are perfect for each other, if only they can figure it out and find their way around Rose.

The story is pleasant and worth your money, Candy & O'Hara work well together (who would have thought she would outlive him!) but the real power of the film is her interaction with Anthony Quinn. Classic film buffs like myself will get a real charge out of Quinn once again pursuing O'Hara, but this time without an Errol Flynn as a rival. That sub plot is at least as interesting as the main one and for my money is better. It is classic Maureen O'Hara, the strong woman who is chased by the strong man and frankly is a great contrast to the the exact opposite situation between Candy & Sheedy. Maybe with this movie it can teach you a few things to say & do so your ending will come out happy just like the movie!!

Overall rating: 8 out of 10.

Only the Lonely is a fine tribute to the talents of John Candy and Maureen O'Hara late in their careers

After Maureen O'Hara died last month, I suddenly got the urge to order this-her last theatrical movie-from Netflix for me and my mom to watch when she came back from visiting my sister in Seattle. I was wonderfully surprised to find out my mom hadn't previously seen this as that meant she would watch this with fresh eyes as I had seen this on VHS tape back in the day and remember enjoying this at the time. We both very much loved this just now. I mean, Ms. O'Hara is her lovable self-provided her character is a tad bigoted though she's simply "telling it like it is". Her son, John Candy-another performer who's been missed since he passed away only a few years after this movie-is a cop who lives with her and has been quite lonely as a result. Then one day, he meets Ally Sheedy as someone who does makeup on deceased bodies when they're both at a wake and he bravely asks her out which she accepts. I'll stop there and just mention that some complications ensue but things seem to work out at the end. Fine support from Jim Belushi as Candy's cop partner and Anthony Quinn as a neighbor who is crushing on Ms. O'Hara. Written and directed by Chris Columbus, he does a nice mixing of drama and comedy when the sequences call for it and also makes good use of the Chicago locations (a city I was born in and lived as a child for about 6 years as well as one I visited quite a bit during the '80s). Anyway, Only the Lonely is a fine tribute to the careers of both Candy and O'Hara before their untimely deaths. Oh, and Quinn as well before he passed several years later.

Likable Candy and Sheedy but O'Hara the real star

Danny Muldoon (John Candy) is a good natured Chicago cop living with his racist mother Rose (Maureen O'Hara). He's always worried about his mom. She keeps rejecting the flirty Greek Nick Acropolis (Anthony Quinn). He and his partner Salvatore Buonarte (James Belushi) drive the prisoner wagon. His brother Patrick is happy to have Danny take care of mom and moving them to Florida. Danny falls for Theresa Luna (Ally Sheedy) who works at her father's funeral parlor. She's also lonely and extremely shy.

It's a light rom-com with lovable John Candy. Ally Sheedy is pretty quiet. I really love both actors and they project simple nice people. O'Hara has the funniest jokes. Surprisingly she is hilarious and provides the majority of the laughs. It's a shame that she disappeared from the movies for such a long time. She's the true breakout star of this movie.

finding love

It has been twenty years since we lost John Candy, the actor and comedian. In one of his less know roles as Danny Muldoon in Only the Lonely, Candy plays a cop who discovers love in an unassuming funeral home make up artist in Theresa Luna (Ally Sheedy). He wins her heart and all is well until they run into the obstacle of Danny's domineering Irish mother Rose Muldoon (Mauren O'Hara). Everyone warms him to the routine of marriage and his best friend played by Jim Belushi tries to sway him away. All the while Nick Acropolis (Anthony Quinn) is pining for Rose's heart as the nosy next door Greek neighbor. A beautiful story with a message of the challenges of love and living happily ever after. I watched it late night on HBO and was marveled on such a good story. John Candy was such a versatile artist. RIP.

finding love

It has been twenty years since we lost John Candy, the actor and comedian. In one of his less know roles as Danny Muldoon in Only the Lonely, Candy plays a cop who discovers love in an unassuming funeral home make up artist in Theresa Luna (Ally Sheedy). He wins her heart and all is well until they run into the obstacle of Danny's domineering Irish mother Rose Muldoon (Mauren O'Hara). Everyone warms him to the routine of marriage and his best friend played by Jim Belushi tries to sway him away. All the while Nick Acropolis (Anthony Quinn) is pining for Rose's heart as the nosy next door Greek neighbor. A beautiful story with a message of the challenges of love and living happily ever after. I watched it late night on HBO and was marveled on such a good story. John Candy was such a versatile artist. RIP.

John Candy dominates the show...

'Only the Lonely' is an okay film, that rides on the late/great John Candy's undeniable talent. The talented actor, pitches in a likable performance, that dominates the film.

'Only the Lonely' Synopsis: A Chicago cop must balance loyalty to his overbearing mother and a relationship with a shy funeral home worker.

Besides Candy's likable performance, 'Only the Lonely' also manages to get in some cute/funny moments. The characters are nicely written & the Screenplay overall, has some niceness to it. But, the slow-pace as well as the length, needed some serious persuasion. The pace is slow & the film is lengthy by at least 15-minutes. Chris Columbus's Direction is fair. Cinematography is standard. Editing isn't crisp.

Performance-Wise: Candy is the life of 'Only the Lonely'. Maureen O'Hara is theatrical. Ally Sheedy is cute. Anthony Quinn & James Belushi appear in brief roles.

On the whole, 'Only the Lonely' is a yet another example of how great an actor John Candy was.

A John Candy Classic , Funny & Heartwarming

John Candy was one of the most gifted actors in Hollywood having seen his performances in Splash, Uncle Buck, Spaceballs and Cool Runnings he had a great talent for both comedy and drama. Only the Lonely is a funny little gem that also features the great acting of Maureen O'Hara, Jim Belushi & Ally Sheedy.

The story is simple a lonely Chicago cop in his late 30's finds romance with the daughter of a funeral parlour owner he must also deal with his mother who disapproves of the relationship. Maureen O'Hara portrayed the role of Rose Muldoon to perfection, she comes across as a tight fisted iron willed Irish woman who tells it like it is without any regard of who gets hurt.

Danny Muldoon (Candy) is a 38 year old police officer who still lives with with his mother in Chicago he is always worried about her to the point of having nightmares in which something bad happens. still single and longing to find love soon enough his search ends up in the one place nobody would expect. One evening at a bar Danny crosses paths with Theresa Luna (Sheedy) the shy daughter of funeral parlour owner Johnny Luna (Greco). The next day he heads to the parlour where Theresa does make up for the stiffs. He asks her out, she says yes. The funniest scene is when they are on the date and he tells an amusing story about his brother Patrick's (Dunn) bachelor party.

Another plot of the film sees Nick Acropolis (Quinn) Danny's neighbour trying to win the affections of his mother he's been asking her out for years she keeps turning him down. However by the end of the film after accepting her son's choice to be with the love of his life she warms up to Nick's charms.

Funny & filled with many dramatic moments Only The Lonely is a good gem of a movie for anyone out there. Rest In Peace John you are missed.

O'Hara! O'Hara! O'Hara!

Maureen O Hara one of the great beauties of the American screen was lured out of retirement by Chris Columbus for the role of the matriarch in John Candy's hilarious and poignant Only The Lonely. Ms. O Hara takes the role and runs with it and scores a great hit, and one wonders why the great Star was not nominated for her brilliant performance of a tough loving Mom. The film uses wonderful Chicago-land settings and the late great Mr. Candy is touching as a man who finally finds love. Ensemble cast does well and special kudos to Anthony Quinn.

I recommend this movie to see a fine cast at work and to revel in the performance of a great movie queen Maureen O'Hara astonishingly never nominated even once all the more startling when one considers her body of work: Hunchback of Notre Dame, How Green Was My Valley, Miracle on 34th Street, Parent Trap and of course the quintessential O Hara film John Ford's classic The Quiet Man co starring oft-co star John Wayne.

Candy's brother

John Candy's "brother" states that Theresa is "plain." Is he freaking' BLIND!? She is BEAUTIFUL!! And SO sweet! I would marry Theresa in a heartbeat! I melt every time I see her! And she looks SO beautiful in that blue dress when Candy and O'Hara meet her for dinner! Gorgeous!! Small breasts? Who cares?, the size of a woman's breasts does not matter to me in the least. she is BEAUTIFUL! Great movie. I watch it over and over again. Here we go again with the "ten line" requirement! This is so ridiculous! I have already said everything that I need to say. Why does this site REQUIRE unnecessary wordiness? If I can say what is necessary in one to four lines why is more than that required? Doesn't make sense to me, does anyone else agree?

Nice little comedy featuring a believable John Candy.

More of a romantic comedy than just straight comedy this movie from the late John Candy was really good. He plays a policeman with a bit of a domineering mother who has not had much success in finding that special someone. He finally does, but not surprisingly his mother disapproves of her. Throughout the film we are shown how this relationship between Candy's and Sheedy's character progresses and how hard the mother tries to get in the way and stop her son from marrying an Italian girl instead of a nice Irish girl. We also get to see how much Candy's character worries about his mother when he is not with her, imagining all sorts of unfortunate events leading to her demise. We get to see a rather creative way of getting a deceased person's corpse out of an apartment building too. The funniest scene and quite frankly a rather awkward scene as well has to be the dinner scene where the son finally introduces mother to prospective new wife to be. All in all this movie is really nice and sweet, the comedy is pretty tame for the most part with nothing to crude and the relationship between the couple seems more real than most romantic comedies these days.

Well-intentioned comedy-drama-romance, but missing a heartwarming spark...

It was a grand and inspired move from writer-director Chris Columbus to bring Maureen O'Hara back to the screen in a modern-day romantic comedy, playing the feisty, hen-pecking mother of an unmarried Chicago cop--but that's where Columbus' good ideas run aground. O'Hara's steely looks and angry outbursts are wonderful, and she's quite comfortable acting alongside John Candy as her son, yet this script is so thin it has to rely on mean-spirited fantasy and dumb, time-worn slapstick and insults to pad its running-time. The Chicago sites and neighborhoods aren't really captured with any flavor (the city never comes to life), and James Belushi just gets in the way as the proverbial best friend. Candy does some nice work, and Ally Sheedy (as Candy's new girlfriend from the local funeral parlor) works hard to give the love story a quirky bounce, but the results are a near-miss. ** from ****

Lovely film about a boy, a girl...and his mother

John Candy stars as a Chicago cop who lives with his mother (Maureen O'Hara) in "Only the Lonely," also starring Ally Sheedy, Jim Belushi, Anthony Quinn and Milo O'Shea. Needless to say, it's about an Irish family. Candy plays Danny, a young man totally under the thumb of his mother. She's so good at guilt trips that even if he asserts himself by saying he can't take her to Bingo so he can attend a ball game, he imagines that with her poor vision, she walks into a construction site thinking it's the church and ends up dead. But before she dies she says, "I hope you enjoyed your ballgame, Danny." After that fantasy, and others like it, Danny always gives in. His married brother Patrick isn't much help either - not wanting to be stuck with their mother, he's encouraging both of them to move to Florida.

Then Danny meets Theresa, whose family owns a funeral parlor. Theresa does the corpse makeup so that all of the dead look like Hollywood stars - no, not as good as Hollywood stars - AS Hollywood stars - Clark Gable, for instance. She's pathologically shy, but after a few dates, she and Danny know they're in love. Wonder what Ma is going to say about that. If you're Italian, you know. Irish and Italian have a fatal attraction - fatal because their parents are usually miserable about it. In "Only the Lonely," it's no different. "Just tell me she's not Sicilian," Mrs. Muldoon begs. "She's Sicilian," Danny says. "Black death," his mother declares.

Anyone in a family can relate to this film, from Mrs. Muldoon's constant spewing of bigotry - Dago, Pollack, etc. to that underhanded guilt - she must hypnotize him while he's asleep.

The acting is superb. The late John Candy does a beautiful job as Danny, a man struggling with the tremendous responsibility he's had since childhood, his true love and desire to live his own life. They say most comics can do drama but not vice versa. Candy certainly was capable of giving a believable dramatic performance laced with funny moments. Anthony Quinn, as the next door neighbor hot for Mrs. Muldoon is excellent ("I don't date Greeks," she says. "They never bathe.") Jim Belushi, as Danny's friend and partner, gives good support. Ally Sheedy, as Theresa, is lovely as a woman discovering who she is and what she wants for the first time.

The star, of course, is Maureen O'Hara, who is complete perfection as Danny's mother - feisty, tart-tongued, made of steel - who most of the time doesn't realize the hurt she's causing by "telling it like it is." She called one relative's German bride a Nazi and insinuated that she slept with Hitler. Confronted with this fact, she tells her son, "Well, there's no proof that she didn't." Always a stunner, in 1991, she was a great-looking older woman. And while she was in big films (she was a favorite actress of John Ford) and played major roles, she was one whose striking beauty probably overshadowed her ability - which is tremendous. Plus, of course, working with Ford and John Wayne as much as she did, she was more part of an ensemble.

Warm, sweet, poignant - this is a wonderful movie that will ring true with many. Perhaps some of the characters do a about-face too quickly, but Chris Columbus didn't have a lifetime to solve their problems. Which often, in families, is about how long it takes.

Terrific performances...sentimental comedy on mother/son relationship...

ONLY THE LONELY gives such rich roles to JOHN CANDY and MAUREEN O'HARA as an Irish mother and son enduring a love/hate relationship while his outspoken mother "tells it like it is" to anyone who stands between her and her son. This includes the girl he's smitten with, a shy, introverted type (ALLY SHEEN) who wants him to stop putting his mother first under any and all situations.

He's constantly imagining bad things happening to his mother if he neglects her (and this leads to some funny, imaginative moments that have him imagining the nightmarish things that happen when he turns his back on her). All of these incidents are vividly portrayed and given substance and wit by a clever script and some very truthful performances from the entire cast.

MAUREEN O'HARA is so perfect as the hateful mother with her bigoted view of "that Dago girl" that she should have had at least an Oscar nomination for her feisty portrayal. JOHN CANDY creates a really sympathetic character as the man hopelessly in love with the quiet girl his mother despises. ANTHONY QUINN gives a gentle, finely shaded performance of the man next door who loves Maureen from afar and JOHN BELUSHI is excellent as Candy's worker friend.

It's a good mixture of comedy and drama that never becomes too mawkish or sentimental and exposes some of the hypocrisies of human nature that are not often shown on screen.

Well worth watching for the performances alone.

Terrific performances...sentimental comedy on mother/son relationship...

ONLY THE LONELY gives such rich roles to JOHN CANDY and MAUREEN O'HARA as an Irish mother and son enduring a love/hate relationship while his outspoken mother "tells it like it is" to anyone who stands between her and her son. This includes the girl he's smitten with, a shy, introverted type (ALLY SHEEN) who wants him to stop putting his mother first under any and all situations.

He's constantly imagining bad things happening to his mother if he neglects her (and this leads to some funny, imaginative moments that have him imagining the nightmarish things that happen when he turns his back on her). All of these incidents are vividly portrayed and given substance and wit by a clever script and some very truthful performances from the entire cast.

MAUREEN O'HARA is so perfect as the hateful mother with her bigoted view of "that Dago girl" that she should have had at least an Oscar nomination for her feisty portrayal. JOHN CANDY creates a really sympathetic character as the man hopelessly in love with the quiet girl his mother despises. ANTHONY QUINN gives a gentle, finely shaded performance of the man next door who loves Maureen from afar and JOHN BELUSHI is excellent as Candy's worker friend.

It's a good mixture of comedy and drama that never becomes too mawkish or sentimental and exposes some of the hypocrisies of human nature that are not often shown on screen.

Well worth watching for the performances alone.

Candy Shows His Human Side

Roles like this helped make big John Candy somewhat of a beloved figure in his time. He was good at playing big, lovable oafs that usually messed up but had a good heart.

Many times, as in here, he might appear jovial on the outside but inside he was a very lonely guy, hence the title. I'll bet a number of viewers could identify with him. In this film he plays "Danny Muldoon."

Ally Sheedy's character, "Theresa Luna," is sweet in the beginning but then becomes unfairly-demanding and annoying by the end. Maureen O'Hara did a fine job playing "Danny's" domineering mother, "Rose." She came out of retirement to do this film and did herself proud. Anthony Quinn's role was stupid.

This movie is billed as a comedy but I didn't find a lot of laughs in it. It's really more of a sentimental drama, and it works on that level. I always enjoy seeing comedians do drama, because they are so good at doing it. I'm sorry Candy didn't make a few more dramatic roles.

Fabulous Movie, One of John Candy's BEST

This has to be one of my all time favourite movies! I loved seeing the late, great John Candy in a romantic comedy lead role.

Casting was superb with Ally Sheedy as his shy love interest, and Maureen O'Hara as his domineering Irish battleaxe mother.

Watch for Jim Belushi as Danny's (John's) cop partner and Macaulay & Kieran Culkin as John's nephews.

Anthony Quinn turns in a charming performance as Nick Acropolis, the Greek neighbour who fancies Rose (Maureen O'Hara).

John Candy was such a superb actor and passed away suddenly at the age of 43 - this movie was one of his unsung gems and one could only wonder at what he might have given us.

A MUST SEE!!