Modern Love is Automatic Film Review
By Kam Williams
Offbeat Comedy Pairs Pollyanna and Perv as Mismatched RoommatesLorraine Schultz (Melodie Sisk) is really in a rut, between being stuck in a bad relationship and being bored to tears at work. She's expressionless as she goes about her duties at the doctor's office, never partaking in any of the mindless chit-chat which so easily animates the other nurses. And things are equally bad in the relationship department since she and her boyfriend no longer make love and barely even speak to each other either.
Lorraine's discontent with her lot in life ostensibly emanates from the fact that her father cardiologist (David Berkenbilt) has a habit of reminding her that she was smart enough to become a physician. Consequently, she's adopted a blasÚ attitude which sends the message that she considers both her job and her lover to be beneath her.
The miserable misanthrope finally decides it's time to make some changes the night she skips a colleague's (Diana Cherkas) bachelorette party and comes home early only to catch her beau in bed with another woman. After kicking him out and placing an ad in the classifieds, she picks a perky roommate with the polar opposite personality from her own.
Adrian (Maggie Ross) is a recent modeling school graduate with an upbeat attitude about everything, despite not being able to land any assignments. "We're going to be the best roommates ever!" she beams, radiating an infectious optimism. But the warm gesture is lost on jaded Lorraine, who isn't inclined to reciprocate. Instead, she endeavors to shake herself out of the doldrums by moonlighting as a dominatrix.
This is the intriguing premise of Modern Love Is Automatic, a droll unlikely-gal pals comedy written and directed by Zach Clark. The film takes its title from the 1982 song of the same name by A Flock of Seagulls, a tune whose lyrics revolved around a love affair between ill-matched mates.
Modern Love, the movie, convincingly juxtaposes the competing world views of a na´ve Pollyanna against that of a closet perv desperate to find the elusive spark she craves. But sadly, not even a satisfied, married client cooing, "You're the only one who understands me" has any effect on this ice princess.
The strained atmosphere turns untenable when Adrian's new boyfriend Mitch (Carlos Bustamente) starts hanging around the apartment only to become increasingly intrigued by emotionally-distant Lorraine. Let the quixotic triangle form! What'll it be? The bubbly, straitlaced, girl next-door or the clinically-depressed, sadomasochistic mistress?
A fascinating character study serving up as sharp a contrast in leading ladies as you're ever likely to encounter onscreen.
Excellent (4 stars)
Running time: 93 Minutes
Studio: S&Z Productions
To see a trailer for Modern Love Is Automatic, visit:
Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Contact him through NewsBlaze.
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