Albert Brooks' Modern Romance is Brooks' unique take on the romantic comedy genre. The film begins in a very atypical way, as Robert Cole exchanges harsh words in a diner with his girlfriend, Mary. Robert is certain that the two should not be together and after another somewhat heated argument each of them are sent their separate ways. While subtle, during this break-up it's apparent that this isn't the first time Robert and Mary have had these types of discussions and soon after their breakup, Robert spends countless days torturing himself about letting Mary walk out of his life again. Modern Romance is the quintessential relationship drama because of its ability to capture the rampant emotions which consumes one man through the various stages. We see Robert from being alone in his own sorrow, to his fight to get her back and even his inevitable jealously and mistrust when he does get back together with Mary. It is able to capture the ups and downs of a relationship in an incredibly truthful way that is hysterically funny and impressively insightful. The most telling aspect of Modern Romance is just how cringe inducing the film can be, as I found myself wincing in recognition as I caught glimpses of myself. Robert is an incredibly neurotic character whose jealously and sorrow reaches absurd lengths but in these exaggerations is the principle truth in every relationship. Through Robert the viewer experiences how a relationship can be hurt by nothing more than ones own insecurities with Robert's jealousy and lack of trust leading to this vicious cycle which him and Mary, no question the love of his life, journey on. Modern Romance is a rare film that succeeds at being incredibly funny and sharp while also being quite profound in its dissection of relationships.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.