The Lonely Guy was one of several transitional Steve Martin films in which the comedian began losing some of his "wild and crazy guy" persona and adopted a more human quality. Unfortunately, the transition is by no means complete in The Lonely Guy, seeing as the film is somewhat schizophrenic. It's trying to be both ironic and romantic, postmodern and engaging, but ends up falling unsatisfactorily between the two poles. Things are not helped by Arthur Hiller's uncertain direction, which keeps the film moving along at a decent pace for the first half hour or so, but then lets it steadily bog down for the remainder of the film. By the time the credits roll, the goodwill that the beginning of the movie built up has largely been dissipated. Still, there are a number of funny sequences (such as the restaurant scene), and if Martin can't pull the disparate parts of his character into a cohesive whole, he still makes for good company. Even better is Charles Grodin who nails his part from start to finish. Robyn Douglass does well as Martin's ex-girlfriend, but Judith Ivey can't do much with her under-realized character.