A romantic comedy with a big man as one of the love interests? Yes, it's true. John Candy plays Danny Muldoon a transport police officer in Chicago in this 1991 film about a middle aged man who lives with his old school Irish mother.
Danny is a happy go-lucky kind of guy whose life has revolved around his mother's wants and desires since he was a wee lad. He became a cop so he could help pay for his brother to become a lawyer because it was one of his mother's dreams. He doesn't regret it but...
Lately, Danny has found something lacking in his life, like the love of a woman who isn't his mother. In walks Theresa Luna played by Alley Sheedy. She's a mortician's assistant who went to school to become a cosmetologist and now works in the family business painting the faces of dead bodies eight hours a day. She dreams of painting the faces of living Broadway actors.
These two people are a perfect match. Danny is an outgoing talker and Theresa is shy and withdrawn. Together they bring out the best in one another. Danny just has to convince his mother that this Polish Sicilian is the perfect other woman for him.
When you think John Candy you probably think of slapstick humour. Only the Lonely was far from it. At least from Candy. Maureen O'Hara who perfectly plays Danny's mother Rose is hilarious as the unforgiving, truth telling, controlling mama who has everyone where she wants them... under her thumb.
Whenever Danny has to leave her alone she gives him a dose of the good old Irish Catholic guilt trip so he doesn't enjoy himself when he's out. He'll have visions of the worst accidents happening to her because he wasn't there to protect her. This usually ends with him going to the phone to check up on her or worse yet, going back home or not out at all. This becomes a bone of contention between Danny and his new love Theresa.
Candy's comedic role is very low key. He's sweet and charming. He doesn't try to be the strong and sexy leading man. He's an every day guy looking for love and to start a family. His weight is never an issue between him and Theresa. Although in the beginning when he's trying to eat healthy it is interesting how his mother sabotages his efforts with a danish.
I can't forget two of my favourite supporting characters who were equally amusing. James Belushi plays Danny's driving partner of 15 years. He's Italian, married and opinionated as Jim always is. And Anthony Quinn plays the Greek neighbour who is always trying to woo Rose with flowers from his garden.
Like all romantic comedies all things end well but what is fun is getting there. I loved this film and highly recommend
Only the Lonely can be purchased from Amazon.com
Only the Lonely can be purchased from Amazon.ca