Written by / 10/09/2022 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , , ,

CHEVY CHASE PHYSICALLY SUFFERING THROUGH 'MODERN PROBLEMS'

year: 1981 cast: Chevy Chase, Patty D'Arbinville, Dabney Coleman Rates: ***1/2

Based on the Front Page News of a then-newly-elected President Ronald Regan-era strike, Chevy Chase is a not very contented Air Traffic Controller, and he's having serious troubles and/or, um... well... MODERN PROBLEMS...

His convertible's been keyed... nothing compared to the nuclear waste spilled from a truck, eventually allowing him to move things at will derived from the frustration of his girlfriend leaving: Herein the orchestrated physical gags are balanced along with Chase's deadpan humor, only more-so than usual: the poor guy's downright depressed...

Chevy Chase in MODERN PROBLEMS

So his glib, semi-conceited sarcasm is nowhere in sight: which wouldn't fit much anyway, and why PROBLEMS isn't a quotable classic like CADDYSHACK, VACATION or FLETCH... in fact it's pretty much forgotten...

Perhaps because the laughs are more plot-strategic than spontaneous... and those eventual table-turning powers (while making goofy expressions straight from SNL Weekend Update) merely serve to move the story forward...

Chevy Chase in MODERN PROBLEMS

As Chevy's character is a victim of circumstance, connected to everyone including his crippled friend dating his friendly ex-wife (Brian Doyle Murry and Mary Kay Place); ex-girlfriend Patti D'Arvanville dating a prissy fella who makes Liberace seem like John Wayne; a despicable self-help author played by Dabney Coleman, wielding his usual jerky-persona; and a voodoo-spouting maid ala Nell Carter before her big break on GIMME A BREAK....

Then the inevitable revenge occurs with irresponsible glee... and it's old school, slapstick-inspired entertainment through and through until act three when... at his friend's summer beach house along with invited guests/all the ensemble side-cast assembled... Chevy's mystical spells go overboard: Leaving the characters, and audience, to deal with those quirky once-sporadic gifts instead of actually enjoying them...

Opening for MODERN PROBLEMS

Although what MODERN is mainly remembered for is (highlighted in the trailers) a snorting of something more powerful than cocaine, and may possibly be a nod to the still-living/still hard-partying John Belushi...

Or perhaps PROBLEMS is just a way of saying farewell to the anything-goes 1970's in which white powder was the rocket fuel for SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE and its related cast-starring movies... leaving one with nothing left to say but... "I LIKE IT!" since there's not enough here, really, to genuinely love. 

Chevy Chase in MODERN PROBLEMS
Chevy Chase in MODERN PROBLEMS
Chevy Chase in MODERN PROBLEMS
Nell Carter in MODERN PROBLEMS
Chevy Chase in MODERN PROBLEMS
Mary Kay Place in MODERN PROBLEMS
Patti D'Arbanville in MODERN PROBLEMS
Chevy Chase in MODERN PROBLEMS
Chevy Chase in MODERN PROBLEMS
Chevy Chase in MODERN PROBLEMS with Brian Doyle Murray
Chevy Chase in MODERN PROBLEMS
Chevy Chase in MODERN PROBLEMS
Chevy Chase in MODERN PROBLEMS
Patti D'Arbanville in MODERN PROBLEMS
Dabney Coleman in MODERN PROBLEMS
Chevy Chase in MODERN PROBLEMS
Chevy Chase in MODERN PROBLEMS
Chevy Chase in MODERN PROBLEMS
Chevy Chase in MODERN PROBLEMS
Chevy Chase in MODERN PROBLEMS
First knew about MODERN PROBLEMS through a magazine ad like this one
Chevy Chase in MODERN PROBLEMS with Patti D'Arvanville

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