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CHEVY CHASE SUFFERS THROUGH SOME 'MODERN PROBLEMS'

year: 1981 cast: Chevy Chase, Patty D'Arbinville, Dabney Coleman
Chevy Chase is an Air Traffic Controller (not on strike while surrounded by incompetents, a then-timely protesting-satire of Ronald Reagan's refusal to give in to a controversial strike); he's having serious troubles and/or... MODERN PROBLEMS...

First off, his convertible's been keyed. But that's nothing compared to the nuclear waste spilled from a truck...

Thus 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 usual/signature deadpan humor, only more-so than usual: the poor guy's downright depressed...

Modern Problems Rates: ***1/2
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...

Chevy Chase driving home in Modern Problems
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'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....

Patti D'Arbanville and Chevy Chase in Modern Problems
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...

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 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... "IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII LIKE IT!"
Tell you what... Basically, THIS is about how funny MODERN PROBLEMS is...
Perhaps the greatest coolest damn movie font of all time, the glow-green of Modern Problems
What the above title sequence becomes, the glowing nuclear neon... The movie's okay... The Font is Awesome...
Nell Carter and Space Invaders in MODERN PROBLEMS
Chevy Chase in MODERN PROBLEMS
Dabney Coleman in MODERN PROBLEMS
A little bit of what they give back to the audience was a lot of what these guys lived for
Mary Kay Place, Chevy Chase and Patty D'Arbanville in MODERN PROBLEMS
Chevy Chase and Mary Kay Place in MODERN PROBLEMS
Sandy "Work on your Puts" Helberg in MODERN PROBLEMS
Patti D'Arbanville and mannequin from MODERN PROBLEMS
Underrated beauty Mary Kay Place in MODERN PROBLEMS
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