Monica Mcgowan Johnson

Monica Mcgowan Johnson

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Real Life Review


Good
Albert Brooks' directorial debut is at once a glimpse of the odd, uneven work the filmmaker/actor would later produce and a sendup of reality TV, a genre which in 1979 barely even existed. The film is a mockumentary of the making of a mockumentary (whoa, meta), with Brooks deciding to emulate the success of An American Family, the first "reality" program, which tracked, well, an American family over their daily lives. But Brooks messes with the genre from the start, spouting pseudoscience about how the filmmakers found their test subjects (led by a spot-on Charles Grodin), then later fights with the studio who wants to see Paul Newman or James Caan play a housekeeper in the film-within-a-film. Some of these moments work, some are just Brooks hamming it up to the point of self-mockery. If only he'd waited another 25 years to make this movie, he might have had more to work with.

Modern Romance Review


Good
If you're at all familiar with Albert Brooks's work, you know exactly what you're getting into here -- another study of neuroses and how they impact (negatively) relationships between the sexes.

Brooks, as usual, plays a riff on himself, with Kathryn Harrold (perhaps best known as Jenny Loud on MacGruder and Loud) as the apple of his eye. Brooks is up to his usual shenanigans here -- wondering whether Harrold is cheating on him, obsessing over every little detail, slamming Quaaludes, and wondering whether he shouldn't have dumped the girl after all. Eventually they'll come back together, only to be torn apart before the end. The question is whether we'll reach an equilibrium here where both parties are happy,

Continue reading: Modern Romance Review

Lost In America Review


Extraordinary
Albert Brooks at his sarcastic best, Lost in America presents the case of a married L.A. yuppie couple who opt to "drop out" of life -- parroting Easy Rider -- and travel the country in an RV. When the wife loses their "nest egg" a day later in Vegas, things don't quite turn out the way they'd planned. Masterfully funny, Lost in America is one of those movies you can't help but watch when you come across it on TV. Excellent.
Monica Mcgowan Johnson

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