Modern Romance

Overview

Opening well past the point favored by most romantic comedies, director/co-writer/star Albert Brooks' take on the genre begins with a breakup. After exchanging harsh words in a diner, Brooks and Kathryn Harrold go their separate ways. Brooks then spends the next few days attempting to forget his troubles through work, exercise, drugs, and other women, torturing himself at each step. While it's hinted early on that this isn't the couple's first breakup, it eventually becomes clear that the they have cycled through...
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Overview

Opening well past the point favored by most romantic comedies, director/co-writer/star Albert Brooks' take on the genre begins with a breakup. After exchanging harsh words in a diner, Brooks and Kathryn Harrold go their separate ways. Brooks then spends the next few days attempting to forget his troubles through work, exercise, drugs, and other women, torturing himself at each step. While it's hinted early on that this isn't the couple's first breakup, it eventually becomes clear that the they have cycled through the same events for even longer than expected. Meanwhile, Brooks' character, a film editor assisted by Bruno Kirby, attempts to put the finishing touches on his latest assignment, a none-too-promising space adventure starring George Kennedy and helmed by a details-obsessed director James L. Brooks. ~ Keith Phipps
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Special Features

Closed Caption
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Challenging the notion that film eroticizes whatever's in its frame, Albert Brooks presents a vision of love as a cycle of torture, abnegation, delusion, and denial. Other than a probable heightening of tensions, Brooks and co-writer Monica Johnson offer no suggestion that events transpiring in Modern Romance differ significantly from its protagonists' past breakups and reunions. Seemingly motivated by the need to fill some cavernous void in himself, Brooks destructively obsesses on Harrold at every stage of their romance. Without her, he's miserably unfulfilled. With her, he's a jealous wreck with no shortage of means to sabotage their relationship, which seems to have no substance apart from the endless cycle of breakups and reconciliation. It's such a telling portrait of love chasing its own tail that it's almost a wonder the film can scare up any laughs. As usual, however, Brooks' talent for inventive gags -- verbal, visual, and otherwise -- pervades the film. Brooks even knows how to run with a questionable idea: One early scene finds him alone in his apartment and deep under the influence of Quaaludes. What starts as a pretty familiar piece of drug humor builds, through a series of long takes, to a brilliant comic set piece that at one point finds Brooks conducting a three-way conversation between himself, his record collection, and his pet bird.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/2/2006
  • UPC: 043396132764
  • Original Release: 1981
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:34:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Albert Brooks Robert Cole
Kathryn Harrold Mary Harvard
Bruno Kirby Kay
Jane Hallaren Ellen
James L. Brooks David
George Kennedy Himself/Zeron
Bob Einstein Sporting Goods Salesman
Gene Garvin Sound effects mixer
Meadowlark Lemon Himself
Rick Beckner Zeon
Jerry Belson Jerry
Joe Bratcher Jim
Candy Castillo Drugstore Manager
Cliff Einstein Music Mixer
Virginia Feingold Bank Receptionist
Albert Henderson Head Mixer
Dennis Kort Health Food Salesman
Thelma Leeds Voice Only
Karen Mayo-Chandler Neighbor
Tyann Means Waitress
George Sasaki
Hugh Warden Bank Dick
Technical Credits
Albert Brooks Director, Screenwriter
Cliff Einstein Sound Mixer
David Finfer Editor
Monica Johnson Screenwriter
Ed Richardson Production Designer
Lance Rubin Score Composer
Eric Saarinen Cinematographer
Andrew Scheinman Producer
Martin Shafer Producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Modern Romance
1. Start [9:28]
2. "A Nice Place to Be" [14:16]
3. New Day, Great Start [6:12]
4. Can't Escape Fate [5:33]
5. Too Soon [4:50]
6. A Present for the Future [6:12]
7. Movie Love vs. Real Love [6:22]
8. Footsteps and Bowel Talk [8:26]
9. Everyone's High on Mary [5:08]
10. Treading Suspiciously [7:41]
11. Business of Trust [4:54]
12. A "Perfect" Ending? [14:30]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Modern Romance
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   English Subtitles
   Subtitles Off
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