Film / The Lonely Lady

Infamous 1983 Pia Zadora vehicle, based on a novel by Harold Robbins. In the running for Worst Movie Ever, and a huge Golden Raspberry Award winner.

Zadora is Jerilee Randall, a high school graduate hoping to become a screenwriter. In Lonely Lady-land, this career path mainly involves literally whoring yourself to everyone in Hollywood. Sleazy sexcapades ensue and Jerilee responds with to each with a vacant stare. No, it is actually not intended as just straight porn. Probably.

Ray Liotta's film debut, although he probably hopes no one remembers.

Has nothing to do with The Lonely Guy.

You can find out more here.


  • Adaptation Induced Plothole: The entire film falls victim to this. The screenwriters (all three of them) tried to compress a 500 page novel into an 88 minute feature, resulting in subplots that go nowhere, nonsensical actions by the main characters, and weird composites of the book's antagonists and protagonists that results in almost every supporting character having a degree of schizophrenia that might explain their often contradictory actions.
  • All Men Are Perverts: The Lonely Lady was a Lifetime Movie of the Week before Lifetime. Also some lesbians are thrown in just so Jerilee can be treated like a sex doll by members of both sexes.
    • Averted with Guy Jackson, who is practically the only male character who treats Jerilee with something resembling respect and doesn't try to get into her pants.
  • Artistic License – Film Production: So, so much. Perhaps most egregiously the movie equates becoming a successful screenwriter with achieving A-List level Hollywood fame. While this isn't entirely unheard of (Diablo Cody's early career and short-lived fame in real life was surprisingly similar to Jerilee's in the movie), in reality screenwriters are treated notoriously badly compared not only to actors, directors and producers, but even "second-tier" roles such as cinematographers, editors and composers.
  • Big "NO!": "Why? Why!" is considered brilliant dialogue.
  • Black Comedy: One character charmingly compares Jerilee's new script to her aborted child.
  • Brainless Beauty: Jerilee (who apparently has to learn the same lesson over and over and over again) and the bimbo girlfriend of Walter's agent.
  • Brand X: The movie is bookended by scenes of Jerilee at "The Awards Presentation Ceremony," which also features a generic awards statuette not at all like an Oscar.
  • Break the Cutie/Corrupt the Cutie: Whole premise of the movie.
  • Broken Bird: (Very poorly) played straight throughout the movie with Jerilee's "misadventures."
  • Camp Gay: The rather flamboyant and effeminate hairdresser that befriends Jerilee during the filming of Walter's latest film.
    • Surprisingly averted with Jerilee's gay best friend, director Guy Jackson, who for the most part behaves quite masculinely.
  • The Casanova: George Ballantine and Vinnie.
  • Casting Couch: The Movie (as the quote on Precision F-Strike shows)
  • Chatty Hairdresser
  • Crapsack World
  • Dull Surprise: Plenty, particularly from Pia Zadora.
  • The '80s: So very much.
  • Falling-in-Love Montage
  • Fanservice: We're apparently meant to be turned on by seeing the heroine get sexually used and abused for the whole movie. And the movie clearly, albeit narmtastically, portrays her being emotionally scarred by this.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Jerilee before she loses her innocence.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Averted. Jerilee does have an abortion, but nobody shames her for it and it's only brought up once afterwards.
  • Gratuitous Rape: With Ray Liotta in powder blue underpants and (of all things) a garden hose.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Twice for Jerilee: the first after the garden hose incident, the second after she finds out Vinnie was just using her and has a nervous breakdown. The latter is preceded by one of the most unintentionally hilarious freak-outs ever caught on film.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Jerilee sleeps with a guy without noticing he's an obvious sleazeball. Then he dramatically backstabs her and she falls into the arms of another obvious sleazeball. The cycle continues for the whole movie.
  • How We Got Here
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The 6'3" actor who played George Ballantine practically had to get on his elbows to kiss the 5'0" Pia Zadora.
  • The Ingenue: Jerilee takes this trope all the way to Who Would Be Stupid Enough? levels.
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: The full on-screen title is "Harold Robbins' The Lonely Lady". Ah, the giants.
  • Informed Ability: Unsurprisingly, Jerilee's writing ability — after all, this movie was the best the real screenwriters could come up with. We're never told a single thing about any of Jerilee's work except for some vague praise for her short stories and the title of her final filmed screenplay ("The Holdouts.")
  • May–December Romance: The barely out of high school Jerilee and the 50-something Walter. Truth in Television as Ms. Zadora's husband at the time was 33 years her senior.
  • Most Writers Are Writers
  • One Steve Limit: Most bizarre aversion ever. During "The Awards" at the end of the film, one of the other best screenplay nominees also has the oh-so-common name of Jerilee. For no apparent reason. It's never commented on or joked about. The other Jerilee is just a random background character with no role in the plot.
    • There are two characters named George, though they have nothing to do with each other and have no scenes together. Would it have been that hard to rename one of the Georges?
  • Pet Homosexual: Guy Jackson.
  • Precision F-Strike: "I don't suppose I'm the only one who's had to fuck her way to the top."
  • Sex Montage
  • Shower of Angst
  • Straight Gay: Guy Jackson is openly gay, but not at all stereotypical.
  • Writers Suck: It is about a writer who gets famous. By getting screwed in many ways, including the literal one.