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Modern Problems (1981)

4.9
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 3,317 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 8 critic

Jealous, harried air traffic controller Max Fiedler, recently dumped by his girlfriend, comes into contact with nuclear waste and is granted the power of telekinesis, which he uses not only to win her back, but to gain a little revenge.

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Title: Modern Problems (1981)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Mitch Kreindel ...
Barry
Arthur Sellers ...
Mobile Supervisor
...
Pete
Neil Thompson ...
Controller #1
...
Controller #2
Ronald E. House ...
Vendor (as Ron House)
Buzzy Linhart ...
The Tile Man
...
Dubrovnik
Christine Nazareth ...
Redhead
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Storyline

Air traffic controller Max Fiedler is unhappy with his career and his second marriage. An exposure to toxic waste gives him the power of telekinesis. He comes to a crossroads at a beachhouse he shares with his wife, his ex, and a voodoo priestess. Written by <rth@ece.arizona.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Chevy has the power to make this Holiday Season the funniest ever! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Doido por Ela  »

Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Objects moving or flying around due to telekinetic forces seen on movie posters for the film included spoons, a milk carton, a bowl of cereal, a woman sitting on a chair, two pieces of toast and a toaster, a metal trash can, a yellow plastic bottle, a jug, a plate of breakfast, a glass coffee jug, pots and pans, coffee cups overflowing, and a roll of paper toweling. See more »

Goofs

On the exterior shot of the "Bates Motel" house, Max's car is in a different position than it was when he parked it. See more »

Quotes

Dorita: According to these chicken guts, there's going to be an awfully big ruckus here this weekend.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Alternate takes (without audio) are shown of the main characters during the end credits. See more »

Connections

Spoofs The Exorcist (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Gonna Get It Next Time
Performed by The Tubes
Arranged and produced by David Foster
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Lyrics by Adrienne Anderson
Music by Dominic Frontiere
See more »

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User Reviews

Nell Carter steals the show...
16 November 2003 | by (Oslo, Norway) – See all my reviews

The late great African American comedienne Nell Carter really has no problems stealing the last half hour of this movie as Brian Doyle-Murray's Caribbean maid/cook/assistant/voodoo priestess. She is just about the only reason to see "Modern Problems", a comedy that doesn't know how to be funny.

From the first scene it looked like the film-makers had planned some sort of Jacques Tati-type silent observation comedy with very little dialogue, or something in the vein of Steve Martin's "LA Story". The only problem was I rarely found anything in "Modern Problems" the faintest bit amusing. Then suddenly the main character - played by Chevy Chase who is way too good for this material - has an accidental close encounter with radioactive waste and ends up with telekinetic powers! What follows is really weird. Suddenly Chase is turned into the Saturday Night Live equivalent of "Carrie", using his powers to get back the love interest who walked out on him. An example of "fun stuff" he does is making another man nosebleed uncontrollably in a bloody restaurant scene. Is this supposed to make us laugh?

Everything leads to a weird showdown at his friends beach house (which looks like the home of Norman Bates) where the above-mentioned Nell Carter gets her moment in the limelight. But in the end this is a really weird movie, a "comedy" with only one really good laugh, and that's from the reaction on Chevy Chase's face after he snorts up a huge pile of "demon-powder" of the floor like he was John Belushi with a bag of cocaine. That scene is REALLY bizarre. But funny.

Too bad 99% of the movie itself is just plain weird. But all in all, considering the appearance of the likes of Chevy Chase, Dabney Coleman and Nell Carter it still makes for a great candidate for late night TV, the type of odd entertainment that - if nothing else - will kill a few hours.


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