5.0/10
4,433
48 user 15 critic

Modern Problems (1981)

Trailer
2:11 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 (HD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Jealous, harried air traffic controller Max Fiedler, recently dumped by his girlfriend, comes into contact with nuclear waste and is granted the power of telekinesis, which he uses not only to win her back, but to gain a little revenge.

Director:

Ken Shapiro
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Wrongfully accused of a bank robbery, a writer seeks the help of his ex-wife, who is now married to the soon-to-be D.A. of California.

Director: Jay Sandrich
Stars: Goldie Hawn, Chevy Chase, Charles Grodin
Comedy | Crime | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A murdered detective must avenge his murder after he is reincarnated as a dog.

Director: Joe Camp
Stars: Chevy Chase, Jane Seymour, Benji
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A visiting dignitary, a CIA agent, a Nazi spy, Japanese tourists, an assassin and a group of "midget" actors from The Wizard of Oz (1939) all check into an elite Los Angeles hotel called Under the Rainbow.

Director: Steve Rash
Stars: Chevy Chase, Carrie Fisher, Eve Arden
Funny Farm (1988)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A couple swap city life for the country, but their picturesque new hometown turns out to be just a little bit different to what they were expecting.

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Chevy Chase, Madolyn Smith Osborne, Kevin O'Morrison
Foul Play (1978)
Comedy | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A shy San Francisco librarian and a bumbling cop fall in love as they solve a crime involving albinos, dwarves, and the Catholic Church.

Director: Colin Higgins
Stars: Goldie Hawn, Chevy Chase, Burgess Meredith
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

A small time arms dealer in South America to sell weapons to the revolutionaries, winds up negotiating the sale of an experimental plane to the nation's dictator.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Chevy Chase, Sigourney Weaver, Gregory Hines
Comedy | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

When police discover that a mob hitman has moved in next door to the Robbersons, they want to find out what he is up to. So they set up a stakeout in the Robbersons' home. Hard-nosed, ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Ritchie
Stars: Chevy Chase, Jack Palance, Dianne Wiest
Fletch Lives (1989)
Comedy | Mystery | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

After receiving an inheritance in Louisiana, Los Angeles reporter Irvin Fletcher heads to the Belle Isle plantation where he gets himself into hilarious trouble.

Director: Michael Ritchie
Stars: Chevy Chase, Hal Holbrook, Julianne Phillips
Fletch (1985)
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Irwin M. "Fletch" Fletcher is a newspaper reporter being offered a large sum to off a cancerous millionaire, but is on the run, risking his job and finding clues when it's clear the man is healthy.

Director: Michael Ritchie
Stars: Chevy Chase, Joe Don Baker, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson
Spies Like Us (1985)
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Two bumbling government employees think they are U.S. spies, only to discover that they are actually decoys for Nuclear War.

Director: John Landis
Stars: Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Mark Stewart
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The escaped delinquent John W. Burns, Jr. replaces Dr. Maitlin on a radio show, saying he's the psychiatrist Lawrence Baird. His tactless radio show is a hit, and he becomes very popular. ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Ritchie
Stars: Dan Aykroyd, Walter Matthau, Charles Grodin
Funny Money (2006)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Henry Perkins, a mild-mannered accountant, accidentally trades briefcases with another man, to find out that there's five million dollars inside. Henry tells his unsuspecting wife of their ... See full summary »

Director: Leslie Greif
Stars: Chevy Chase, Penelope Ann Miller, Armand Assante
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chevy Chase ... Max Fielder
Patti D'Arbanville ... Darcy
Dabney Coleman ... Mark Winslow
Mary Kay Place ... Lorraine
Nell Carter ... Dorita
Brian Doyle-Murray ... Brian Stills
Mitch Kreindel Mitch Kreindel ... Barry
Arthur Sellers Arthur Sellers ... Mobile Supervisor
Sandy Helberg ... Pete
Neil Thompson Neil Thompson ... Controller #1
Carl Irwin ... Controller #2
Ronald E. House Ronald E. House ... Vendor (as Ron House)
Buzzy Linhart ... The Tile Man
Henry Corden ... Dubrovnik
Christine Nazareth Christine Nazareth ... Redhead
Edit

Storyline

Air traffic controller Max Fiedler is unhappy with his career and his second marriage. An exposure to toxic waste gives him the power of telekinesis. He comes to a crossroads at a beachhouse he shares with his wife, his ex, and a voodoo priestess. Written by <rth@ece.arizona.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Max Fielder has just discovered the power of telekinesis, and he's about to move your world. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Doido por Ela See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,758,371, 27 December 1981

Gross USA:

$26,154,211
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Production was delayed for six months, so that Chevy Chase could finish working on Under the Rainbow (1981). See more »

Goofs

After Max levitates the bar of soap, the soap lands in the sink. In the close-up, two holes for the string can be seen. See more »

Quotes

[after snorting up a bunch of powder that was supposed to banish the 'demons' from his system]
Max Fielder: YES!
[laughs]
Max Fielder: I LIKE IT!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Alternate takes (without audio) are shown of the main characters during the end credits. See more »

Connections

Spoofs The Exorcist (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Excerpts from the ballet 'Coppelia'
Music by Léo Delibes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Has it's moments, but glaring errors drag it down....
3 August 2000 | by deejay_billSee all my reviews

First of all, it is worth nothing that director Ken Shapiro seemingly hasn't been employed since this near-catastrophe was released in 1981. It's pretty safe to say that's a bad sign. Secondly, even a stellar cast cannot make a movie very good (what I like to call "Mars Attacks!" syndrome). Now that I have gotten that out of the way, a quick synopsis : Chevy Chase (that in itself is a bad sign) stars as an air traffic controller who, after an encounter with nuclear waste, acquires telekinetic powers, which he uses against his romantic rivals. The premise in itself is engaging and open to the possibility of great comedy. So what happened?

Well, Ken Shapiro could be blamed. The direction is sloppy; actually it is downright pathetic. The pacing is WAY too slow, the action is ineptly handled, and many of the actors seem bored. And worst of all, the special effects are woeful...I haven't seen so much camera equipment on-screen since the glory days of Ed Wood. Case in point...the scene with the Flying-Airplane-Ashtray (don't ask), where some strange, large object is obviously present in the close-ups, holding up the Ashtray next to the camera. I've made home movies with better effects.

What about the actors? Well, Nell Carter is an absolute hoot; she deserves better. And Dabney Coleman is entirely in his element here as a shady, egotistical author. Brian Doyle Murray and Mary Kay Place are also entertaining. Patti D'Arbanville is a bit lacking in comedic talent; she is given nothing more to do than pout and screech. But the real problem here is Chase. He is just going through the motions here, playing the hapless bumbler bit to death and looking very bored doing it. There is no life to his performance, and it grinds the movie to a halt.

True, there are some funny moments here...Nell Carter gets most of the laughs in a woefully small role, the scenes involving Chase's romantic rival Barry (Mitch Kreindel) are pretty amusing, and one reviewer here has already mentioned Chase's throwaway line "Smells like feet," which for some reason made me laugh hysterically...but the funny moments are few and far between. There is so much BAD to sort through to get to the GOOD stuff, and it just isn't worth the time and trouble. Perhaps in better hands, "Modern Problems" could have been a good movie. This certainly isn't it.


14 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 48 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed