It's a hard life being lonely in New York City. After Larry (Steve Martin) loses his latest girlfriend, Warren (Charles Grodin), a sad sack singleton, tries to teach him how to talk to the ferns in his apartment and to liven up a party with cardboard cutouts of celebrities. In two of the funniest scenes in the film, Larry joins the hundred of other lonely guys who stand on building rooftops and cry out for the women they have lost. In the second, Larry finds himself on the Manhattan Bridge where those moles bereft of hope leap off into the river below.

These hilarious bits make this drama, which is based on Bruce Jay Friedman's The Lonely Guy's Book of Life, an inventive black comic meditation on being single. Grodin steals the movie from Martin, especially when the latter's on-and-off again affair with a confused divorcee (Judith Ivey) doesn't really click. Also featured in The Lonely Guy are Steve Lawrence, Robyn Douglass and Dr. Joyce Brothers.