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The Personals (1982)

A touching yet humorous tale of a divorced man searching for love in the personals column and finding out about life in the process.





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Credited cast:
Bill Schoppert ...
Victoria Dakil ...
Shelly (as Vicki Dakil)
Chris Forth ...
Patrick Thomas O'Brien ...
Jay (as Patrick O'Brien)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joseph A. Robinson ...
Party person


A touching yet humorous tale of a divorced man searching for love in the personals column and finding out about life in the process.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Romance


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

October 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amor por Correspondência  »

Box Office


$435,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


Peter Markle once said that over $100,000 of the film's budget was spent on securing rights to the pop music songs used in the soundtrack. See more »

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User Reviews

A groundbreaking romantic comedy from Heartland, North America.
20 December 2001 | by (Minneapolis, Minnesota USA) – See all my reviews

"The Personals" - 1982

  • Andy Mickel, 2001-10-03.

A groundbreaking romantic comedy from Heartland, North America.

Made entirely in Minnesota for a total cost of $435,000, _The Personals_ is actually a breakthrough movie in many respects. It was the first romantic comedy film to portray in an ordinary setting (Heartland North America), liberated women, men in couples therapy, and a realistic look at relationship failure among baby boomers.

It is not a Hollywood movie!

Before the days of "yuppie" (young urban professional), there was "yumpie": Young, Upwardly Mobile Professional (white, middle class, etc.). What would happen to a 30-something yumpie whose wife has an affair and leaves him after therapy because he's a workaholic magazine editor? He gets continuing good advice and emotional support from his best male friend!

In 1982, Twin Cities newsweekly movie reviewers Brian Lambert of the _Twin Cities Reader_ and Phil Anderson of _City Pages_ had

these various descriptions of the film:

  • "a homage to rollerskating and romance on the rebound."

  • "solid, attractive, camera work."

  • "too many good jobs to name in many of the supporting

  • "Minnesotans read the _New Yorker_, too!"

  • "Bill's _Reader_ ad mentions his interest in:

'Picasso, Prokofiev, The Crusaders, rollerskating and Chicken Kiev' making him an unlikely candidate for a houseboat orgy on the St. Croix."
  • "Bill and Adrienne's affair is full of cuddling, pillow talk and

  • "The film delivers on its promise to give you two people

you care about in a situation you can believe with enough big studio-style gloss to make this Minnesota product stand a good head over 3/4 of Hollywood's annual output."

The U of M _Minnesota Daily_ reviewer, Roger B. Larson wrote: "Straight, White Town Seeks Warm, Sexy Image"

_The Personals_ showcases local bands Will Sumner's TropicZone (Jazz Fusion) and Shangoya (Reggae), the Minneapolis Lakes District, the New French Cafe, the Gem Cafe, and the Institute of Arts. In a country of bi-coastal cultural bigotry (the coasts pretend to drive all culture in country), this movie is a shining counterexample that the Heartland is actually the origin of many, many cultural initiatives.

Acting is great all around, not hard to imagine because the local Twin Cities professional theatre acting talent pool provided that (over 30 theatres making it the largest between the coasts). Examples: Bill Schoppert, actor at Brave New Workshop, Guthrie, Cricket, Mixed Blood. Karen Landry (Adrienne), actor at the Guthrie. Peggy Knapp, actor at Brave New Workshop, PBS's Newton's Apple.

The writing is lacking but the film exudes technical polish from creative venues, editing (Steve Rivkin) and camera angles evident in: the racketball scene, the car scenes, and of course the

10cm-above-the-sidewalk roller skating scenes.

Director, cameraman and writer, Peter Markle and Producer Pat Wells, expanded a 30-minute mini-drama film

project into a feature-length movie in 1981. It took them

about a year to shop the movie for a Hollywood distributor. Robert Bogue (who guided John Sayles' first film _The Return of the Secaucus 7_ to distributorship) helped them. They landed Roger Corman of New World Pictures, who first gave Coppola and Scorsese their starts.

The film won Best First Feature at the Houston Film Festival. It has been available in the comedy sections of many older video stores, but is sadly disappearing and out of print.

It played to large audiences in Twin Cities movie houses for several months, and the local media all joked about us watching "home movies" because of the positive way "the cities" are portrayed (95 and sunny).

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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