It's as funny and painful a view of a dysfunctional person as has ever been put on film in the name of comedy. The humor can be subtle and sometimes requires patience but it can really pay off. No man could have that much exposed foliage and be supposed to turn on a babe like Kathryn Harrold----unless, of course, he is Albert Brooks in an Albert Brooks-controlled production. He just doesnt trust her. But it's a very good film nonetheless, full of the kind of penetrating social observations at which Brooks is uncommonly adept. There are some hilarious scenes. I happen to love Brooks and, hence, this film.
But even so, Brooks' character drives himself crazy with conjecture, imagining the worst. Part of the joke is that his affluent characters myopically find misery in often mundane setbacks. If you both like it, things are looking good. The movie also provides insight into film editing as Robert and co-worker Jay work on their current project, a cheesy sci-fi movie. He is afraid of losing her to any hansom guy walking past down the street.
It was interesting to watch this film in the context of the way films and television tackle relationships today - it feels a bit of a precursor to modern relationship comedies. A film editor''''s neuroses complicate his love life. In his personal life, he is completely crazy. Though made in 1981, it is as resonant now as it was then; and, considering that people, against all rational thought, will forever fall in love, this movie will always have something very insightful and extremely funny to say. The guy just sits around worrying about his girlfriend having an affair.
If you do not already like Albert Brooks, or are only lukewarm on him, by all means stay away from it. Put succinctly, my feeling was that if you like Woody Allen, you'll like this film. Not all of the script covers the main plot, but it works, especially in detailing the life of a busy film editor. He plays Robert, a Hollywood film editor, who is in a roller-coaster of a relationship with Mary, a bank executive. Brooks' astute observation on men's foibles when obsessed, love~wise, aims high. It could have been better if I hadn't see Albert Brooks without his shirt for what seemed like 10 long continuous minutes because that will forever taint my viewing of this movie.
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. I can appreciate that non-fans of Albert's might not fully appreciate this film - because it is so unashamedly Brooks - but I think most people will find something here to laugh-out-loud to, I know I laughed all the way through, and still do after dozens of replays. The whole Quaalude bit was just lame and not funny although when he puts on the disco record and says it's depressing was funny. Man, Albert Brooks is a trip in this movie. An unsung classic of American cinema and his best work by far. Early effort by writer-director-star Albert Brooks is a slimly-budgeted, tiresomely 'with-it' Hollywood comedy about a movie editor unable to get on with his life after a romance with glamorous but aloof Kathryn Harrold falls apart. The question is whether we'll reach an equilibrium here where both parties are happy, Alas, that's not really in the cards, and Modern Romance has its best moments when it has nothing to do with the Brooks-Harrold story, but rather when -- as Brooks's best friend -- is on screen.
Is he in love with her, or with himself? If you both detest it, likewise. And you've gotta feel bad for Kathryn Harrold for putting up with all of this. Brooks, Kathryn Harold, Bruno Kirby, and terrific cameos from James L. The story then takes a darkly funny turn into intense sexual jealousy and his character's controlling, near-sociopathic behavior. I've always wanted to make a movie about jealousy. I guess the one thing that really stood out for me is that these two people really had nothing in common.
Only in the exchange with Medowlark Lemon does the movie come close to explaining Brooks' neurotic obsession with his girlfriend: she's out of his league. Brooks is up to his usual shenanigans here -- wondering whether Harrold is cheating on him, obsessing over every little detail, slamming Quaaludes, and wondering whether he shouldn't have dumped the girl after all. Modern Romance is an interesting take on the subject of love. 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. Nothing happens in this movie. Virtually every line out of his mouth in this movie is a gem, and a good amount of everyone else's. Who did she call at three in the morning? His girl friend is Kathryn Harrold.
It is both those things, but the boring self centered behaviour is all done tongue in cheek, like no one else can do it, the funny way Albert Brooks does. I cannot stress that enough. As with most of Brooks' works, this isn't laughing out loud funny: it's wry, subtle and makes some great statements on man's utter base incapability of understanding women. But if you dont try, you might miss out on one of the best slowburning comedies of the entire eighties! 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. There are few movies that handle the desperation of love as well or as overtly as Modern Romance, although 1979's Chilly Scenes of Winter comes very close.
I've seen most, if not all of his movies but it was the first time seeing this one. Like he's wearing a black curly fur sweater-hairy. He becomes insanely jealous over her meeting at a restaurant with Japanese businessman. This is perhaps that only movie for which it can be said that every single scene -- nay, every line -- is hilarious. Some people don't want to be happy, it seems.