Director: Chris Columbus
Writer: Chris Columbus
Stars: John Candy, Maureen O’Hara, Ally Sheedy
by Jason Koenigsberg
I know this is not continuing the horror movie trend for the month of October but in honor of the passing of legendary actress Maureen O’Hara I could not think of a more suitable streaming pick of the week than Only the Lonely. Chris Columbus wrote and directed this tender romantic comedy in between going to the bank on Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Only the Lonely gets its title from the Roy Orbison song which plays during the opening credits and tells the story of an overweight Chicago cop (John Candy) trying to balance his loyalty and sanity between his new relationship with a shy funeral home worker (Ally Sheedy) and his overbearing and needy mother (Maureen O’Hara). It is a very warm and heartfelt comedy. John Candy is believable and passionate as the romantic lead coming to terms with the women in his life, one of the funnyman’s best performances. Maureen O’Hara came out of a twenty year retirement for this role and she is perfect as his overprotective mother and walks the fine line of being lovable yet never turning into a controlling monster which she easily could have. Most articles about her passing have highlighted her work in classic films such as How Green was My Valley (1941), the original Miracle on 34th Street (1947) or any of the four classic films she made with John Wayne. Those are all great films however I feel Only the Lonely is particularly poignant and one of her best examples of how both she and the late John Candy were great actors and capable of so much. O’Hara also stated that John Candy was one of the finest actors she ever worked with. It is impossible to imagine this film with anyone else playing their roles.
Only the Lonely is currently available to stream on Netflix. Watch the trailer for this great underrated comedy below.