5.0/10
4,171
49 user 14 critic

Modern Problems (1981)

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.

Director:

Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC

Comic-Con 2017: All Aboard the IMDboat

 | 

July 20 to 23, 2017

Get entertainment news, trailer drops, and photos with IMDb's coverage of 2017 San Diego Comic-Con featuring host and IMDboat captain Kevin Smith, including Saturday's live event.

Browse Our Guide to Comic-Con

1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A visiting dignitary, a CIA agent, a Nazi spy, Japanese tourists, an assassin and a group of "midget" actors from The Wizard of Oz (1939) all check into an elite Los Angeles hotel called Under the Rainbow.

Director: Steve Rash
Stars: Chevy Chase, Carrie Fisher, Eve Arden
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Wrongfully accused of a bank robbery, a writer seeks the help of his ex-wife, who is now married to the soon-to-be D.A. of California.

Director: Jay Sandrich
Stars: Goldie Hawn, Chevy Chase, Charles Grodin
Foul Play (1978)
Comedy | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A shy San Francisco librarian and a bumbling cop fall in love as they solve a crime involving albinos, dwarves, and the Catholic Church.

Director: Colin Higgins
Stars: Goldie Hawn, Chevy Chase, Burgess Meredith
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

A small time arms dealer in South America to sell weapons to the revolutionaries, winds up negotiating the sale of an experimental plane to the nation's dictator.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Chevy Chase, Sigourney Weaver, Gregory Hines
Funny Farm (1988)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A couple swap city life for the country, but their picturesque new hometown turns out to be overrun with a gauntlet of crazy inhabitants.

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Chevy Chase, Madolyn Smith Osborne, Kevin O'Morrison
Comedy | Crime | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A murdered detective must avenge his murder after he is reincarnated as a dog.

Director: Joe Camp
Stars: Chevy Chase, Jane Seymour, Benji
Zapped! (1982)
Comedy | Fantasy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

A high school science nerd gains telekinetic powers after a laboratory accident and uses them for revenge upon bullies.

Director: Robert J. Rosenthal
Stars: Scott Baio, Willie Aames, Robert Mandan
Fletch Lives (1989)
Comedy | Mystery | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

After receiving an inheritance in Louisiana, Los Angeles reporter Irvin Fletcher heads to the Belle Isle plantation where he gets himself into hilarious trouble.

Director: Michael Ritchie
Stars: Chevy Chase, Hal Holbrook, Julianne Phillips
Spies Like Us (1985)
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Two bumbling government employees think they are U.S. spies, only to discover that they are actually decoys for Nuclear War.

Director: John Landis
Stars: Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Forrest
Fletch (1985)
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Irwin M. "Fletch" Fletcher is a newspaper reporter being offered a large sum to off a cancerous millionaire, but is on the run, risking his job, and finding clues when it's clear the man is healthy.

Director: Michael Ritchie
Stars: Chevy Chase, Joe Don Baker, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A businessman finds he and his friends the prisoners of a sadistic judge and his equally odd family in the backwoods of a bizarre mansion.

Director: Dan Aykroyd
Stars: Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy
Comedy | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

When police discover that a mob hitman has moved in next door to the Robbersons, they want to find out what he is up to. So they set up a stakeout in the Robbersons' home. Hard-nosed, ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Ritchie
Stars: Chevy Chase, Jack Palance, Dianne Wiest
Edit

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
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's budget of approximately eight million dollars, was about twenty times larger than the budget of Ken Shapiro's earlier movie, The Groove Tube (1974), which had been around four hundred thousand dollars. See more »

Goofs

During the "Exorcist" scene, the piece of flower vase on Max's head shifts between shots. See more »

Quotes

Brian Stills: Are you still seeing things move?
Max Fielder: I'm making things move.
Brian Stills: Max, could you sit down? I have a crick in my neck.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References The Groove Tube (1974) 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Quirky '80s comedy hasn't aged well...
6 February 2011 | by (New Jersey, USA) – See all my reviews

"Modern Problems" was one of those movies that got a lot of play on HBO when I was a kid in the early 80s, and since I was a big Chevy Chase fan at the time, I watched it over and over again. Nearly 30 years later, the film had all but faded from my memory except for a few random bits so when it turned up on Fox Movie Channel over the weekend I decided to give it a shot.

90 minutes later I'm sitting here thinking to myself "Wow, this was pretty bad wasn't it?", and I'm not sure if the film hadn't aged well, or if it simply wasn't a very good film to begin with. All I can say is that I remember enjoying it a heck of a lot more as an easier-to-impress 12 year old.

Chase plays Max, a stressed out Air Traffic Controller who's got serious relationship problems. He's recently broken up with his live-in girlfriend, and his ex-wife (Mary Kay Place), whom he apparently has kept a friendly relationship with, is now "schtupping" (that's an exact quote) an old friend of his from high school (Brian Doyle-Murray, aka Bill's brother). As if that weren't enough, a chance meeting with a leaky Nuclear Waste truck on the highway one night splatters him with radioactive goo, and he wakes up the next morning with telekinetic powers.

You'd think that this would be a license to do a totally go-for-broke slapstick comedy but oddly enough very little is made of Max's newfound abilities till the film is almost over. Chase isn't his usual wild-and-wacky self either, preferring to mope around mooning over his girlfriend (Patti D'Arbanville). Eventually the dysfunctional foursome (Chase, D'arbanville, Doyle-Murray, and Place) go off to Murray's beach house to spend the weekend, joined by one of Murray's clients, an insufferable self-help author played by Dabney Coleman. Coleman is the funniest thing in the film, as his constant jabs and insults finally poke Chase's character into a full on telekinetic meltdown that can only be stopped by a voodoo ritual (?) performed by Murray's Haitian housekeeper (Nell Carter).

"Modern Problems" tries to be quirky and wacky but spends most of the film falling flat on its face. It's got a decent cast and an interesting premise, but its greatest sin is that it casts a gifted comic like Chase and then tells him to be morose and unfunny for much of the run time (till he finally explodes towards the end).

There are a few good bits (Chase using his power to give a guy a massive nosebleed in the middle of a swanky restaurant is a highlight, as is the entire "voodoo" scene) but otherwise "Modern Problems" isn't very "modern" anymore. Easily skippable even for hardcore Chevy Chase fans.


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

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?