First off, as a disclaimer, The Year of the Carnivore is a bit of a racy movie, as you can probably tell by watching the preview. It converges on two topics well-known and bitter-sweet by the lonely, love and sex.
Most reviews of the movie portrays the lead, Sammy Smalls, in the movie as a quirky, tomboy girl looking to improve her life, her job, and her love life. Sammy finds herself in a predicament because she desires to be in a relationship with a aspiring rock musician, Eugene, but at the same time has trouble having sex.
As the story progresses, two very powerful things happen. First, Sammy discovers one of the really important secrets about being in a relationship, and that is, having the self-confidence to demand respect and to be yourself. If the other person cannot accept you for who you are, then they aren't worth your time. Second, Eugene discovers that painful and hurtful memories of the past affect how we form relationships in the present. Despite Eugene's best attempts to keep things superficial, he later realized that they are in no way satisfying his intimacy needs.
Though the movie is a bit quirky in its story telling, the underlying message is a powerful one for lonely folks - understanding and loving yourself is an important prerequisite to loving others. The movie takes you on a wonderful ride with Sammy in her journey towards self-discovery and love.