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

CHEVY CHASE SUFFERING THROUGH SOME 'MODERN PROBLEMS'

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

Chevy Chase is an Air Traffic Controller (surrounded by incompetents while not on strike like in real life during the Reagan Administration during this time), and he's having serious troubles and/or, um... MODERN PROBLEMS...

First off, his convertible's been keyed. But that's nothing compared to the nuclear waste spilled from a truck, 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 that glib and subtle, conceited sarcasm is nowhere in sight. Which wouldn't fit much anyway, and why PROBLEMS (a plot that'd neon-green morph teenagers in ZAPPED! the following year) isn't a quotable classic like CADDYSHACK, VACATION or FLETCH... In fact it's pretty much forgotten...

Yet the story's more important than strategic laughs: And before he gets those table-turning powers (while making goofy facial expressions straight from an SNL Weekend Update skit, only to move the plot)...

Chevy Chase in MODERN PROBLEMS

Chevy's character is a victim of circumstance connected to everyone including his crippled friend (a completely unnecessary Brian Doyle Murray); a friendly ex-wife (Mary Kay Place); an ex-girlfriend dating a guy who makes Liberace seem like John Wayne; a famous, despicable self-help author played by Dabney Coleman as his usual jerk-guy mode; and a voodoo-spouting maid ala Nell Carter before her big television break on GIMME A BREAK....

Then when the inevitable revenge occurs with irresponsible glee, it's old school, slapstick-inspired entertainment. But act three, at his buddy'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 enjoying them...

Opening for MODERN PROBLEMS

Although what MODERN PROBLEMS is mostly 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, 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, really, to 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
Chevy Chase in MODERN PROBLEMS
Chevy Chase in MODERN PROBLEMS

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