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Modern Problems (1981)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Fantasy, Sci-Fi  |  25 December 1981 (USA)
4.9
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 3,599 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 14 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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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:

A broken-hearted man + amazing moving powers = Out-of-control fun. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy | Sci-Fi

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

Chevy Chase was nearly electrocuted during a stunt in the sequence in which he is wearing "landing lights" and dreams that he is an airplane. The lights' wiring short-circuited through his arm, back and neck, which caused him to lose consciousness. See more »

Goofs

When Max parks his car after coming home from work it's dusk. When he is keying into the door it's more like high noon through the doors and windows. See more »

Quotes

Darcy: [the camera pans over from a shot of a bottle of champagne and some empty glasses, to Max and Darcy, who are in bed, naked, and kissing passionately, and implied to be fucking. She is moaning, but eventually she gently pushes him] Alright Max, I'm feeling tense or something. I don't know.
Max Fielder: I'm not finished yet, honey.
Darcy: I know...
Max Fielder: [Whispering] I'm not finished.
Darcy: [Whispering, barely audible] I know...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References Roots (1977) 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

 
One problem too many.
8 January 2009 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

Being a Chevy Chase fan I might cut this one a little more slack, but even so there's no denying there's more cold side-effects than are hot ones in this early, but quite minor leading Chase vehicle (which two years later the very successful and iconic 'Vacation' would follow).

Coming from the feature is a cruel, rude and mean-spirited vibe (which was done better in Martin Scorsese's 1985 dark comedy 'After Hours') that sees Chase in quite a dreary cloud of sappiness and finding himself in one degrading mishap after another and to cap it off his girlfriend has just left him because of his clingy nature. One night while driving his car behind a truck, the context in the tanker (nuclear waste) ends up on him giving the abilities of telekinesis and a nice green glow. He then begins use this power in ridding any sort of obstacles that get in the way of reuniting with his ex-girlfriend (which is beautifully played by Patti D'Arbanville).

With a better script (which includes plenty of sexual innuendo), it could have been so much more, but while the cast (featuring Dabney Coleman, Nell Carter, Mary Kay Place and Brian Doyle-Murray) do the best. The one-joke script lets them down. The humour is mainly off the mark, as it never rises above the superfluous material and characters are not particularly engaging (especially Chase's loathsome character). It's a story were the humour contributes, rather than just being there for the sake of it, however it's a awkward mess of staged ideas and plastered visual gags. The special effects are modest, pacing is flat, style seems bland and the film looks quite murky. There's a real lack of passion, but director Ken Shapiro is saved by a few amusing (brisk, but enjoyable) comedic inclusions. But in the end these peculiar touches just weren't enough.

Far from a laugh-riot with a little too much dead space, but 'Modern Problems' remains barely a passable throwaway.


4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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