7.0/10
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Modern Romance (1981)

Albert Brooks directs himself as a successful film editor with far too many issues that affects the relationship between him and his remarkably patient girlfriend.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Tyann Means ...
Waitress
...
Jay
Jane Hallaren ...
Ellen
Karen Chandler ...
Neighbor
Dennis Kort ...
Health Food Salesman
...
Sporting Goods Salesman
Virginia Feingold ...
Bank Receptionist
Thelma Leeds ...
Albert Brooks' Mother (as Thelma Bernstein)
Candy Castillo ...
Drugstore Manager
...
David
...
Himself and Zeron
Rick Beckner ...
Zeon
Jerry Belson ...
Jerry
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Storyline

Robert Cole, a film editor, is constantly breaking up with and reconciling with long-suffering girl friend Mary Harvard, who works at a bank. He is irrationally jealous and self-centered, while Mary has been too willing to let him get away with his disruptive antics. Can they learn to live with each other? Can they learn to live without each other? The movie also provides insight into film editing as Robert and co-worker Jay work on their current project, a cheesy sci-fi movie. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He thought dating would be easy ... See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 March 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Modern Romance - Muß denn Liebe Alptraum Sein?  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Albert Brooks' character, in one scene, gets involved in a conversation about obsessively driving around while in love, culminating in the line "I didn't edit one picture my whole life where a guy drove around the city." Though he may not have edited it, he would be involved in such a movie 30 years later: Drive (2011). See more »

Goofs

When Albert is high on Quaaludes, he puts on a record album and the disco hit "A Fifth of Beethoven" comes on. But watch the needle on the turntable - you can see the arm retracting and returning from the spindle while the music is playing. See more »

Quotes

Mary Harvard: I don't think we should go together anymore. This is too painful for me. I can't do this. It's over.
Robert Cole: Marry me.
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Connections

Referenced in Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

SADO-OKESA
Traditional
Performed by Katsumasa Takasago
Courtesy of Nonesuch Records
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User Reviews

 
lust in America
8 May 2006 | by (Lexington, Kentucky) – See all my reviews

I do like Albert Brooks. As an actor. As a writer and director, his movies fall short of funny, happy to be amusing. Modern Romance is par for the course.

Only in the exchange with Medowlark Lemon does the movie come close to explaining Brooks' neurotic obsession with his girlfriend: she's out of his league. We don't know enough to understand why she's with him; the movie is more interested in his antics. Not only is Brooks' character narcissistic, his movie is too.

The foley scene, the shopping excursion, the Hollywood party are all deftly handled and expertly underplayed. I truly believe that Brooks can find the humor in anything. But he's satisfied with too little in his movies, and his disregard for structure (in his early films) is both curious and frustrating. It's as if he thinks he can get away with less if he doesn't seem to be trying as hard.

Essentially, Modern Romance is a 60-minute monologue with some situational humor mixed in. Is he in love with her, or with himself? That may be the point, but that makes me neither marvel nor laugh.


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