Sometimes you don’t need violence and even sex to make a good story. “Modern Love” illustrates that short films can satisfy and this anthology of eight stories are tender, joyous and sometimes sad. As a writer, they make me want to explore my city and find its stories.
Episode 1: When the Doorman Is Your Main Man
I’ve never lived in a building that had a doorman, but this short made me want to find one and wish that when I was single and new to the city I had been in a building with a doorman. is dating Mark. Guzmin (Laurentiu Possa) is from Albania; his parents were political activists. He grew up in a labor camp. He judges all of
The first guy we see her with, Mark (Daniel Reese), doesn’t make it past the door and doesn’t call Maggie back. Ted (Charles Warburton) is handsome, but he’s not particularly bright. She reads a book a day; he reads maybe a book a year. Finally, there’s Daniel (Brandon Victor Dixon).
Episode 2: “When Cupid is a Prying Journalist”
The synopsis for this episode reads: “When a journalist asks the CEO of a dating app whether he’s ever been in love, it sparks a conversation that will change the course of both of their lives.” What we get are parallel stories about a journalist (Catherine Keener) who wondered about a lost love (Andy Garcia) for years and encourages the CEO (Dev Patel) to reach out to the woman he left (Caitlin McGee) and see if their relationship can be salvaged.
This isn’t a matter of re-shuffling the cards of fate or love and the answers aren’t easy.
Episode 3: “Take Me as I Am, Whoever I Am”
Have you ever known someone who was bipolar? Life for them can be filled with highs and lows and loneliness. Lexi (Anne Hathaway) is beautiful and gifted. Her lows sink her into the comfort of her bed for days, but her manic mind is able to pull off great grades throughout her school years. Yet caught in the grind of a nine-to-five workday, she can’t control her moods enough to limit her absenteeism.
Lexi also finds romantically, she’s best when she up and a total turn-off when she’s down. She hasn’t found the right treatment, but she might have found a true friend in Sylvia (Quincy Tyler Bernstine) once she lets her guard down. Judd Hirsch appears as a man who appears in Lexi’s life in various roles. This episode features a wonderful theatrical moments.
Episode 4: “Rallying to Keep the Game Alive”
Tina Fey and John Slattery play a married couple with kids who find themselves in therapy (Saritat Choudhury as their therapist), but it doesn’t seem to be helping. They continue, however, to play tennis with each other. As one might expect, their attitude on the courts is affected by how they feel about each other in their home life.
Episode 5: “At the Hospital, an Interlude of Clarity”
A sexy blonde woman, Yasmine (Sofia Boutella), going up on an escalator catches the eyes of men she passes as they go down, but she’s on a date with Rob (John Gallagher Jr.). He’s just moved into a new apartment and he’s still in a state of boxed confusion. She’s his first guest and she’ll end the night with blood on her white dress at the hospital. Yet it’s not such a bad date in the end.
Episode 6: “So He Looked Like Dad. It Was Just Dinner, Right?”
Maddy (Julia Garner) is a girl with serious daddy issues who dates a man, Peter (Shea Whigham), who is not only her father’s age, but actually reminds her of her late father. agrees to date a man who reminds her of her father. Her friend, Tami (Myha’la Herrold), attempts to help her, but Maddy is dealing with a loss that she can’t quite accept. You have to think back to the first episode where the doorman knew how to be fatherly instead of creepily interested in a woman his daughter’s age.
Episode 7: “Hers Was a World of One”
Based on an article by columnist Dan Savage, “Hers Was a World of One,” is about a gay couple ( Andrew Scott and Brandon Kyle Goodman) who decide they want a child and ask a homeless woman (Olivia Cooke) to allow them to adopt her child. Has she wanders in and out of their lives, returning during her final months, the gay couple confront different issues of caring and being cared for and becoming a parent. Some women and men are not meant to be parents; others are, despite their biological limitations.
Episode 8: “The Race Grows Sweeter Near Its Final Lap”
Margot (Jane Alexander) pursues novice runner Kenji (James Saito). They are both older and widowed, but that doesn’t mean that love isn’t possible. Love’s possibilities are there even in one’s twilight years and while love can be different it is still the same. This last episode reveals some additional information about the previous episodes.
In all, “Modern Love” is a thoughtful look at love from a variety of angles. This is a sweet package that values the abstraction of love over the physical aspects that is often lust disguised as love.
“Modern Love“ is streaming now on Amazon Prime