7.0/10
2,041
23 user 32 critic

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.

Director:

Writers:

, (as Monica Johnson)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Real Life (1979)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A pushy, narcissistic filmmaker persuades a Phoenix family to let him and his crew film their everyday lives, in the manner of the ground-breaking PBS series "An American Family". However, ... See full summary »

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Dick Haymes, Albert Brooks, Matthew Tobin
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A husband and wife in their 30s decide to quit their jobs, live as free spirits and cruise America in a Winnebago.

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Julie Hagerty, Sylvia Farrel
Mother II (1996)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A neurotic, twice-divorced sci-fi writer moves back in with his mother to solve his personal problems.

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Debbie Reynolds, Paul Collins
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

To improve its relations with Muslim countries, the United States government sends comedian Albert Brooks to south Asia to write a report on what makes followers of Islam laugh.

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Sheetal Sheth, John Carroll Lynch
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In an afterlife way station resembling a block of hotels, the lives of the recently-deceased are examined in a court-like setting.

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Meryl Streep, Rip Torn
The Muse (1999)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

With his career on the skids, a Hollywood screenwriter enlists the aid of a modern-day muse, who proves to test his patience.

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Sharon Stone, Andie MacDowell
The Scout (1994)
Comedy | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

The story of a baseball scout who discovers a talented but troubled baseball player.

Director: Michael Ritchie
Stars: Albert Brooks, Brendan Fraser, Dianne Wiest
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Take two rival TV reporters: one handsome, one talented, both male. Add one producer, female. Mix well and watch the sparks fly.

Director: James L. Brooks
Stars: William Hurt, Albert Brooks, Holly Hunter
Night Owls (2015)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

After workaholic Kevin has a drunken one night stand with the beautiful train-wreck Madeline, he's horrified to discover that she's actually his boss' jilted ex-mistress. When she takes a ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Hood
Stars: Adam Pally, Rosa Salazar, Rob Huebel
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

After being dumped by his girlfriend, an airline pilot pursues a babysitter in his hotel and gradually realizes she's dangerous.

Director: Roy Ward Baker
Stars: Richard Widmark, Marilyn Monroe, Anne Bancroft
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When a member of a popular New York City improv troupe gets a huge break, the rest of the group - all best friends - start to realize that not everyone is going to make it after all.

Director: Mike Birbiglia
Stars: Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Mike Birbiglia
The Famous Comedians School (TV Movie 1976)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Director: Albert Brooks
Edit

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
Edit

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:

Robert was madly in love with Mary. Mary was madly in love with him. Under the circumstances they did the only thing they could do... they broke up. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 March 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Modern Romance - Muß denn Liebe Alptraum Sein?  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Some movie posters for the film featured a long text preamble that read: "Robert was madly in love with Mary. Mary was madly in love with him. Under the circumstances they did the only thing they could do . . . they broke up. If it's not love, what is it? MODERN ROMANCE". 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

Robert Cole: What kind of surface might he be running on?
Head Mixer: I don't know... space floor?
See more »

Connections

References Heaven's Gate (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

LOVE HURTS
Written by Felice Bryant and Boudleaux Bryant
Performed by Nazareth
Courtesy of Phonogram/A&M Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Modern Romance and Ancient Angst
24 March 2004 | by (Palo Alto, CA, USA) – See all my reviews



If the world does indeed break down into Albert Brooks' fans and detractors, then I'm definitely in with the former. We are probably something akin to "negatively charged quarks" while the others are "super strings?" As an experiment, I wonder if a relationship could brook both sides of the Albert spectrum and last outside a vacuum??

Anyways, this is a fine 90 minute (so street legal as a feature film) comedy that feels shorter. The alert level for "needy neurosis" on this should be set as high as the scale goes. Indeed frequently we hit the "cringe" zone that Larry David is mining these days with his "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and earlier with Seinfeld.

While there are not a lot of laugh-out-loud moments for me, I don't think that is why the film moves so quickly. I think Brooks is just economical with what he shows us, I rarely feel (in any of his films) that he ever stoops to the audience. For the pace of this film to keep up is a tribute to the fact that its focus is a relationship that is going nowhere.

Even if it has to visit Idylwild to get to nowhere.

I suppose there's a potential deeper level here in that people who look for trouble in a relationship, or in a sci-fi film with George Kennedy, can always find such trouble. Even if it requires looking to the level of ridiculous detail.

Of course most films from 20 years ago are dated, and while the song-based humor, the quaalude interlude and answering machine are dated as dressing to the film, I really don't think the message is that far off mark today. If anything, I'd like to see Brooks take this a step further in the wake of Dr. Phil and others and deal with folks who NEED to have troubles in their relationships.

If you are looking for trouble in this film, go in expecting to identify with Brooks. Even when he hits moments that most of us could connect with (some exasperation with a parent, odd confessions to a co-worker, jumping back into the dating pool too quickly, getting swindled by salesfolks), he usually carries it to the level of lampooning. It's funny for me, but I think some people want so badly to identify with such a lead character that they cannot let go at these moments.

Anyways, I think this is a film worth seeing, indeed you probably should arrange to see it on cable with a potential boyfriend/girlfriend on one of your earlier dates. If you both like it, things are looking good. If you both detest it, likewise. One up and one down....hmmm, maybe try "My First Mister" as a backup test?

6/10


5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Funniest Scene blameline
ending nbonell
annoying cameos LtdTimeAuthor
This should be reissued as a Criterion DVD connorratliff
Man in phone booth Slint_2001
From a woman's perspective bluetulip18
Discuss Modern Romance (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?