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 »
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
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 »
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 »
[on the phone with Jay]
Jay, listen -- I didn't tell you this before, and I think I should tell you now. I love you. I mean, in the right way. I think you're an amazing guy, and I -- I think I just love you.
The ludes kicked in, right?
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Albert Brooks' greatest film (and that's saying something)
MODERN ROMANCE is one of the great unsung film comedies. It's not for everyone, in that the comedy is possibly too close-to-the-bone for people who like their comedy nice and painless. But in the post-Seinfeld era, when Curb Your Enthusiasm is a cult favorite, it is looking more and more like Modern Romance was WAY ahead of its time.
Real Life, Lost In America, and Defending Your Life are all great, but for some reason this film stands out to me as Mr. Brooks' greatest cinematic effort. (Stanley Kubrick was a fan, too-- he was trying to make his own film about jealousy, which would end up being EYES WIDE SHUT two decades later.)
The real shame is that this film is the only Brooks effort never released on DVD. We can only hope that Criterion might rescue it from oblivion with a nice special edition (with commentary by Brooks!)
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