Modern Problems

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Modern Problems
Modern Problems Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ken Shapiro
Produced by Alan Greisman
Michael Shamberg
Written by Ken Shapiro
Tom Sherohman
Arthur Sellers
Starring Chevy Chase
Patti D'Arbanville
Dabney Coleman
Mary Kay Place
Nell Carter
Music by Dominic Frontiere
Cinematography Edmond L. Koons
Edited by Michael Jablow
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • December 25, 1981 (1981-12-25)
Running time 89 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $8 million[1]
Box office $26,154,211

Modern Problems is a 1981 comedy film written and directed by Ken Shapiro and starring Chevy Chase, Patti D'Arbanville and Dabney Coleman. The film grossed $26,154,211 in the United States. A DVD release of the film was issued in 2005.

Plot[edit]

Max Fiedler (Chevy Chase) is an air traffic controller at New York's Kennedy Intl. Airport whose life is slowly going down the drain. His girlfriend, Darcy (Patti D'Arbanville), has just left him because of his jealousy. Now, everywhere he goes he seems to run into her with another man, driving him nuts. One night while he's driving home from a party at a gay nightclub in Lower Manhattan, a tanker truck spills nuclear waste onto his car and through his open sunroof, covering him with glowing green goo. The next day, he notices that he has developed telekinetic powers. With this newfound discovery, Max decides to put his powers to use by striking back at his tormentors to win back the love of Darcy.

He is asked to spend the weekend at the house of a paraplegic friend (Brian Doyle-Murray), who has also invited some other friends, including Max's ex-wife Lorraine (Mary Kay Place) as well as his ex-girlfriend, plus self-confidence author and womanizer Mark Winslow (Dabney Coleman) who has designs on Darcy. Winslow constantly demeans and derides Max, while trying to seduce Darcy (although his egomanical bragging and unabashed nudity just seems to alienate her).

Max gets his revenge by using his powers to humiliate his rival, meanwhile freaking out the other guests. Finally, he sees himself becoming a monster, and by a fortuitous stroke of lightning his powers are transferred to Dorita, the voodoo-practicing maid (Nell Carter). Max's girlfriend forgives him and he realizes that she truly does love him.

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