For some time there has been a real lack of decent female roles in Hollywood films. Screenwriter, now director, Richard LaGravenese is the smart alternative because he writes scripts that contain one strong female character after another. Whether it is Mercedes Reuhl’s feisty video store owner in The Fisher King (1991), or Holly Hunter’s independent-minded nurse in his new film, Living Out Loud, LaGravenese has an uncanny ability to write realistic female characters. Judith (Hunter) has just been abandoned by her cold-hearted husband (Martin Donovan). However, this incident gives her a new lease on life. She tries all sorts of new things and meets new people, like her building’s doorman (Danny DeVito) and a jazz singer (Queen Latifah), who help her to fully embrace and enjoy her new found freedom. Hunter does an exceptional job as an initially timid woman who finds a seemingly limitless reservoir of untapped strength within herself. Her strong performance is supported by LaGravenese’s well-written screenplay. It is filled with credible conversations that you can actually imagine people saying. The dialogue is never forced and always feels authentic. Living Out Loud is an insightful look at how men and women interact with one another.