IMDb > Modern Romance (1981)
Modern Romance
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Modern Romance (1981) More at IMDbPro »

Modern Romance -- A brilliant, hysterically funny comedy starring Albert Brooks as a film editor desperately trying to commit himself to his girlfriend (Kathryn Harrold). Brooks endures all the torture and joy of being in love throughout the course of the film.


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7.0/10   1,756 votes »
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Up 16% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Albert Brooks (written by) &
Monica Mcgowan Johnson (written by)
View company contact information for Modern Romance on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 March 1981 (USA) See more »
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 »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Albert Brooks at his best See more (23 total) »


  (in credits order)

Albert Brooks ... Robert Cole

Kathryn Harrold ... Mary Harvard
Tyann Means ... Waitress

Bruno Kirby ... Jay
Jane Hallaren ... Ellen
Karen Chandler ... Neighbor
Dennis Kort ... Health Food Salesman

Bob Einstein ... Sporting Goods Salesman
Virginia Feingold ... Bank Receptionist
Thelma Leeds ... Albert Brooks' Mother (as Thelma Bernstein)
Candy Castillo ... Drugstore Manager

James L. Brooks ... David

George Kennedy ... Himself and Zeron
Rick Beckner ... Zeon
Jerry Belson ... Jerry
Harvey Miller ... Harvey (as Harvey Skolnik)
Ed. Weinberger ... Ed
Meadowlark Lemon ... Himself
Albert Henderson ... Head Mixer
Clifford Einstein ... Music Mixer (as Cliff Einstein)
Gene Garvin ... Sound Effects Mixer

Hugh Warden ... Bank Dick
Kelly Ann Nakano ... Hostess
Joe Bratcher ... Jim
George Sasaki ... Japanese Businessman
Victor Toyota ... Japanese Businessman
Roger Ito ... Japanese Businessman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Paul Bryar ... Man in Phone Booth (uncredited)
Mike Road ... Spaceman (uncredited)

Directed by
Albert Brooks 
Writing credits
Albert Brooks (written by) &
Monica Mcgowan Johnson (written by) (as Monica Johnson)

Produced by
Andrew Scheinman .... producer
Martin Shafer .... producer
Cinematography by
Eric Saarinen 
Film Editing by
David Finfer 
Casting by
Barbara Claman 
Deborah Kurtz 
Production Design by
Edward Richardson 
Set Decoration by
James L. Berkey 
Makeup Department
Carol Meikle .... hair stylist
Christina Smith .... makeup artist
Production Management
Stephen J. Fisher .... unit production manager
Daniel McCauley .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michael Looney .... second assistant director
Steve Perry .... first assistant director
Art Department
Erik L. Nelson .... property master
Larry Verne .... construction coordinator
Mike Villarino .... propmaker (uncredited)
Sound Department
Ray Alba .... sound effects editor
Jeff Bushelman .... sound effects
Les Fresholtz .... sound re-recording mixer
Bill Nelson .... production sound mixer
Dan O'Connell .... foley artist
Arthur Piantadosi .... sound re-recording mixer
Tex Rudloff .... sound re-recording mixer
Earl Sampson .... boom operator
Pat Somerset .... sound effects
Jeremy Hoenack .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Bruce Birmelin .... still photographer
Ross Cannon .... second key grip
Joe Collins .... key grip
Catherine E. Coulson .... second assistant camera
Frederick Elmes .... camera operator
Bob Farmer .... best boy
Michael Katz .... gaffer
Dennis Matsuda .... first assistant camera
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Linda Henrikson .... costumer
Christine Zamiara .... assistant costumer
Editorial Department
John Currin .... apprentice editor
Michael D. Ornstein .... assistant editor
Music Department
Lance Rubin .... music adaptor
Shinichi Yamazaki .... music editor
Transportation Department
Alan Falco .... transportation coordinator (as Allan Larry Falco)
Other crew
Sharon Clark .... assistant to producers
Ruth J. Gribin .... pre-production secretary
Linda Hess .... location manager
Andree Juviler .... location manager
Max Manlove .... production assistant
Karen Martini .... production secretary
Phyllis Shafrin .... auditor
Gail Siemers .... assistant: Mr. Brooks
Frankie Slater .... unit publicist
Paula Wakefield .... location manager
Carol Westphall .... script supervisor

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
93 min
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The director of Robert Cole's films is James L. Brooks, who would later direct Albert Brooks in Broadcast News (1987).See more »
Revealing mistakes: 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 »
Robert Cole:[stretching before his first jog after breaking up] One, two, three! And I don't even miss her, two, three! One, two, three! And I don't even miss her, two, three...!See more »
Movie Connections:


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16 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
Albert Brooks at his best, 7 February 2000
Author: krumski from Cincinnati, OH

This film is not for everyone. If you do not already like Albert Brooks, or are only lukewarm on him, by all means stay away from it. I happen to love Brooks and, hence, this film. But I can understand people getting fed up with it because it's not structured or scripted like a normal movie. The biggest complaint I've heard about it is that all the other characters in it besides Brooks, especially the girlfriend, are mere props for him. That's absolutely true. It's as if Brooks would have preferred to do a long monologue (or a stand-up routine) but then decided at the last minute that he did need people to be present every now and again to bounce things off of. Just so you know what to expect: this is not an "interaction" movie - this is undiluted Albert Brooks coming straight at you for nearly two hours, with all his smarminess, vanity and doggedness firmly in place.

What I love about Brooks, at least in his early movies (i.e. everything before Defending Your Life) is that he is not afraid to totally take upon himself the traits which he means to ridicule. He's often been compared to Woody Allen but I think the differences are important. In all his films, Woody Allen takes himself to task, relentlessly analyzes and criticizes himself, shows us his weaknesses and flaws, etc. - but then undercuts it all by playing for our affection with his cutesy physicality and his meant-to-be-adorable one-liners. Brooks doesn't *want* you to love him, he delights in heaping one annoying trait after another upon himself and portraying it to its full, uncensored extent. He doesn't do one-liners or gags - instead, he embodies the personality of someone who would be the butt of such gags or one-liners, and the embodiment is what is meant to be funny.

For example, in this movie, there is an amazing 15 minute sequence near the beginning where Brooks, having just dumped his girlfriend, putters around his apartment pep talking himself into feeling good and succeeding only in becoming more and more miserable. The delusion and self-absorption on display is monumental, and it's given a kind of grandeur by the amount of time focused upon it - you could almost label the scene "The Narcissist's Aria." It's annoying as hell, and I couldn't blame anyone for being totally turned off by it. And yet, that annoyingness is exactly the point, and what makes the scene so hysterical. Brooks' performance here is nothing short of brilliant - the kind which would surely take home an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Comedy if such a category existed at the Oscars.

Think of Albert Brooks here as George Costanza on "Seinfeld" - only with his monomania squared simply from having no close friends to interact with and bring him down to size. If that seems like torture to you, keep right on moving when you see this one in the video store aisle. However, if you always secretly wondered what George would be like if he got his very own show - well, here's the closest approximation of a pilot episode that you're ever likely to find.

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