The Lonely Lady

Lava Lamp

Our rating: one lava lamp.

Information about this film in the Internet Movie Database.

The Lonely Lady
She's got that dull surprise look.
One of us, who shall remain nameless, wanted to watch The Lonely Lady after seeing it nominated on an AOL message board as the worst film of all time. The other one of us, named Scott, thought this was a really bad idea. Nevertheless, we pressed onward, little knowing the doom that fate held for us.

The Lonely Lady breaks all of the rules of good filmmaking. It's based on a novel by Harold Robbins, it stars Pia Zadora, and it's about Hollywood. These three elements, in combination, have been known to kill small dogs. Utterly predictable and painful, this is a truly bad film.

We had a friend over the night we watched The Lonely Lady. Afterwards, she turned to us and said, "You know, I thought I knew what a bad film was, but this... I didn't know movies like this could exist!" We couldn't agree more.

In essence, The Lonely Lady is the film that Showgirls was based on, except that it shows more of the leading lady's life, both before and after the essential material presented in Showgirls. And this is all crammed into 92 excruciating minutes.

The Lonely Lady
This shot won't appear in Liotta's
"lifetime achievement award" montage.
Pia Zadora (the mind reels) plays Jerilee Randall, a simple schoolgirl living in San Fernando. She dreams of becoming a famous writer. While at a party, she meets the son of her favorite screenwriter. The son invites her over to his house; she accepts. They drive away with some other people, and that night, she is assaulted by one of the son's friends, using what he finds easily at hand on the lawn. The "friend," played by Ray Liotta, is interrupted in his assault by the screenwriter (named Walter Thornton, and played by Lloyd Bochner), who arrives in time to save her from an even more disgusting fate.

Walter's rescue of Jerilee begins a friendship between the two, and before you know it, the two fall in love. (All together now: ewwwww!) They marry. Their marriage falls apart when Jerilee's script rewrites actually improve one of Walter's screenplays and he feels one-upped. Jerilee then goes through affair after sordid affair in her attempt to write her own screenplay and get it produced.

It is a very telling thing that copies of the novel The Lonely Lady published after the film's release do NOT use stills from the film on the cover to promote the book. Many other books do this: Silence of the Lambs, and Jurassic Park, for example. The difference is that Silence of the Lambs and Jurassic Park were good films. The Lonely Lady is nothing to be proud of.

The Lonely Lady
"It's not a Golden Globe, but it'll do!"
Zadora's acting has not much improved since she appeared in the classic Santa Claus Conquers the Martians 20 years earlier. As a matter of fact, the actress she reminds us of most is Kathy Ireland, whom the boys at MST3K described as being able to portray one emotion: dull surprise. Well, Pia was Kathy before Kathy. As Jerilee, Zadora gives dull surprise a workout you would not believe. The actor who got Jerilee pregnant refuses to have anything to do with her? Dull surprise. A weird Euro-trash couple proposition her sexually in exchange for producing her script? Dull surprise. And a producer compares her script to her aborted pregnancy? Dull surprise.

And on to the real pain this movie dishes out: Skanky sex scenes. Tons of 'em. A plethora. A google of them. It doesn't help that Jerilee seems to sleep with everyone in Hollywood, or that she's played by Pia Zadora. Or that she is supposed to be less than twenty years old. Every time she bumps uglies with some guy, something bad happens, like the producer who forces her to take drugs during the act. You would think she'd learn. (Actually, you would think we would learn to stop picking films like this, but we digress.)

This movie was made with so little art, it almost made us cry. The actors stink. Scenes that are unpleasant in ways we can't describe are thrown on the screen for us to... What? Enjoy? Why was this film made? Why did we rent it? At one point during the screening, we were rendered physically unable to speak, let alone operate a remote control in order to turn the damn thing off. Don't be like us. Run screaming from The Lonely Lady whenever you see its title.

Own it!

Review date: 12/14/96

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