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Modern Romance (1981)

Albert Brooks , Kathryn Harrold , Albert Brooks  |  R |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Albert Brooks, Kathryn Harrold, Tyann Means, Bruno Kirby, Jane Hallaren
  • Directors: Albert Brooks
  • Writers: Albert Brooks, Monica Mcgowan Johnson
  • Producers: Andrew Scheinman, Martin Shafer
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 2, 2006
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000C20VTQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,515 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Modern Romance" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

A world-class neurotic, Robert Cole (Albert Brooks, Drive) just can's over.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
"Modern Romance" is Albert Brooks's masterpiece, and one of the funniest, most engaging romantic comedies ever made.
Brooks's first three films certified his status as a legend in the minds of comedy fans. Often described as a "jockier version of Woody Allen," Albert cultivated his own cinematic shtick during the late seventies and early early eighties -- a technique which capitalizes on a number of elements that quickly became Brooks trademarks, particularly self-parody; Bob Newhart-style telephone conversations (and man-against-the-odds conversations, where Brooks protagonists get in way over their heads, but make laughable, quixotic attempts to fight their way out); and gags built entirely around the use of a specific (often confined) setting. In "Modern Romance," these elements come to full fruition.
As in "Real Life" (1979) and "Lost in America," (1985) Brooks plays an exaggerated version of himself -- a neurotic, compulsive, self-obsessed opportunist. He's Robert Cole, a film editor for American International Pictures, who breaks up with his girlfriend, bank teller Mary Harvard (Kathryn Harrold), because they can't communicate ("You've heard of a no-win situation, right?... No? You've never heard of one? Vietnam...? This...?") but instinctively regrets his decision and spends a miserable night strung out on quaaludes, stumbling around his house, crashing into walls, and calling friends to talk about deep feelings. When Robert finally launches a successful, obsessive attempt to win Mary back with a porch full of stuffed animals, they can't stay together for more than two days, because he's such a paranoid shmuck that he won't give her enough freedom to function.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every line, every scene, BRILLIANT! May 28, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Albert Brooks is, for some, an acquired taste. His diehard fans love virtually everything he has done, and then there are those who simply don't "get" him. Whichever camp you fall into, this film appeals to everyone. Brooks embodies the typical guy caught in one of those relationships that simply doesn't work but cannot be walked away from. This movie is an insightful comedic tribute to the fact that being obsessed with someone is NOT a healthy basis for a loving relationship.

Spectacular performaces from Mr. Brooks, Kathryn Harold, Bruno Kirby, and terrific cameos from James L. Brooks (no relation), Bob "Super Dave Osborne" Einstein (who IS Brooks' brother....Yes, Albert Brooks real name is....Albert Einstein!), George Kennedy and, believe it or not, Harlem Globetrotter Meadowlark Lemon. If for no other reason, see this movie for "the movie within the movie" that Brooks' and Kirby's characters are editing. "You're acting like little WEASELS!"

Enjoy...very highly recommended!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ALBERT BROOKS AT HIS BEST May 6, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you're at all familiar with Albert Brooks's work, you know exactly what you're getting into here. Another study of neuroses and how they impact (negatively) on relationships between the sexes.

Brooks, as usual, plays the usual and same character, himself. with Kathryn Harrold as the love of his life. Brooks is up to his usual insecurities here wondering whether Harrold is cheating on him, obsessing over every little detail. One of the best scenes in the film is when he's depressed over one of the many breakups and is given Quaaludes to relax him. When they start to kick in he starts a rant on how great his belongings are. Loving everything he owns including his record collection, his bird "Petey", and deciding to go through his rolodex and calling old girlfriends.* (*When doing Quaaludes stay away from the phone.)

Modern Romance has its best moments when it has nothing to do with the Brooks-Harrold story, but rather when Bruno Kirby as Brooks's best friend is on screen. Another highlight is the film that Brooks and Kirby are editing, an absurd, cheesy sci-fi romp starring George Kennedy. It's got nothing whatsoever to do with the main storyline, but is the most memorable part of the movie which makes the repetition and relative tameness of the primary plot seem all the more obvious. If you like Albert Brooks you'll like this movie. If you don't know his work, picture George Costanza in his own show.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely one of his best... August 30, 2004
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
I think I even like it better than "Lost in America".

It had been a while since I watched this movie until I ran across it on cable this weekend. Of course, it is difficult to catch the entire movie that way (I saw parts of it again, twice) so I decided to try to find it on DVD.

Much to my amazement, this is about the only Albert Brooks movie that is not available on DVD! Even "Real Life" is available on DVD -- released over 3 1/2 years ago!

What are they waiting for?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I feel sorry for people out there that apparently don't get or understand or appreciate Albert Brooks' humor. Quite frankly, it boggles the mind that there are actually people who go through their entire life either not even knowing about gems like this film, or see it and don't "get it" or don't think its funny. To be honest, those people should just pack it in because surely going through life that clueless would have to be an empty, worthless, vacuous existence. His run of films from his first film Real Life through Defending Your Life are some of the most hilarious movies ever made.

This film is funny on so many levels that they are almost impossible to completely catalog. As in any Brooks film, the delight and payback is in the details, the nuances, the subtleties. Stanley Kubrick allegedly called Brooks after seeing the movie and thought it was a perfect movie. His Quaalude scene of just solo Brooks doing a lovelorn soliloquy is classic. Talking to his bird Petey ("Petey.... Ellen"), convincing himself that his record collection is great ("I love my albums"), looking at "all his friends" in his rolodex ("Mr Popularity"), calling a woman he barely knows out of the blue for a date but not remembering her name or where she lives, telling some guy who calls wanting his ex girlfriend's phone number that he should live in an "ash can" and him asking for her number is 'incestuous'; telling his film editing assistant Bruno Kirby "he loves him" in the right way (and Kirby says in response "the ludes kicked in").

The "I just broke up with my girlfriend so I am going to start a new life" scene in the sporting goods store with his real life brother Super Dave Osborne is another classic. He wants to be "serious" so Osborne tells him "You want happiness?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars He's improved
Brooks' recent work, notably the brilliantly imaginative "Defending Your Life," and the incomparably insightful "Mother," are outstanding. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Larry Benjamin
5.0 out of 5 stars Another 'Lost' (but not quite buried) Comedy Treasure - from Albert...
There was a time when Albert Brooks seemed like the natural heir to W. Allen. He had a very Literate (and insightful) writing style, coupled with a bitingly sarcastic persona -... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Book & Music thief, from HI
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern is right…
So, I feel rather embarrassed that I actually thought the director of this movie was James L. Brooks and that the star was Albert Brooks, but it turns out that Albert is not only... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Andrew Ellington
5.0 out of 5 stars Albert Brooks - Movies
If you have never seen an Albert Brooks movie now is the time. He writes, directs and stars in his movies. Not the other Brooks, but Albert. Read more
Published 15 months ago by D. Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite comedies!
I love Albert Brooks and this movie is why! He is so funny in it. He plays an insecure boyfriend and even though I've seen it over and over I still laugh every time. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Penny
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Albert's Best Work - - Has Some Funny Parts
Got this based on some recommendations that might be "hidden gem". I don't think so...

There are some funny moments. Albert is himself. Sad and sorry. Read more
Published on June 5, 2012 by Malcolm
5.0 out of 5 stars Painfully Funny
In the very funny MODERN ROMANCE (1981), director and star Albert Brooks reminds us of Larry David in CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM. Read more
Published on October 24, 2008 by Michael B. Druxman
5.0 out of 5 stars Our Mr. Brooks
Writer-director Albert Brooks nearly single-handedly invented the genre of "cringe comedy", paving the way for Ricky Gervais and Larry David. Read more
Published on February 15, 2008 by D. Hartley
5.0 out of 5 stars George Kennedy tells Albert Brooks: "You know nothing!"
Lo and behold, this great Albert Brooks movie is FINALLY on DVD. If you haven't seen this movie, you are really missing something. Read more
Published on August 31, 2007 by Anthony E. Pomes
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Ludes Kicked in...Right?"
I've been a fan of comedian, Albert Brooks since the mid 1970's, when his odd little, comical, short films were included on very early episodes of NBC's 'Saturday Night Live'. Read more
Published on November 3, 2006 by Kenneth M. Gelwasser
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