This movie, The Jerk, and The Man with Two Brains provide celluloid proof that Steve Martin was once funny. In this comedy gem from the era in which he actually made funny movies, Martin gave a brilliant performance, but the movie wouldn’t have been nearly as effective without Charles Grodin’s uber-lonely-guy, Warren, to commiserate with Larry and, at turns, ameliorate or amplify his sense of aloneness.
In a movie replete with brilliant lines (as well as brilliant sight-gags), it’s hard to pick out a single moment, but here are a few of my favorites:
“Oh, that’s great, Larry, but I just came here to get laid”, babe in the bar, after Larry introduces himself and tries to elicit sympathy by giving her his spiel about why most guys come to bars like this.
“Way to go, Danielle”, after hearing on the radio of the lonely rock group committing suicide after their tryst with the ex-girlfriend who rejected Larry sending him on his way into the world of the lonely guy.
“You played very well, except moves 14 through 17, which you played like an a$$hole”, electronic chessboard to Warren, after he was checkmated by the machine.
Warren, perusing the obituaries: “A guy 46 dropped dead.”
Larry: “From what?”
Warren: “Natural causes.”
Larry: “I think I’m getting that.”