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The New Modern Love Omnibus Is A Dud

Modern  Love(Amazon Prime)

Directed  by Simon Aitken

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Rating: * ½ 

Why???? Why,  oh why, did we need this  new anthology  of  short films  on modern love as defined by a  director who revels in clichés  of love and  romance and celebrates them in a  language so stale  and stiff  this could easily qualify as the  most  cadaverous  love anthology ever.

 I grabbed it because  I recalled  the  2018 anthology of the same title  which featured a stellar cast in peak form defining  love and its many splendorous  aspects. The new  anthology of Modern  Love  is a crashing bore even at  90 minutes of playing-time. In fact every story seems condensed  cramped  and  , honestly, corny with actors who are  not just unknown but also largely unable to shoulder what is clearly a bad bargain  for  all concerned, including us the audience.

It  beats me how  this  anthology is a celebration  of  love when many of  the stories  are a repudiation  of  love. In one story  a couple is  cheating on its respective spouses , and the man  fails to keep his part of  the bargain  about leaving his  wife, thereby leaving his lover in a lurch. You see, all he wants from his secret  lover-girl is  sex.The story  struck me  as extremely anti-Valentine.

In another story which is shot entirely in freeze shots,  a woman mistakes another woman’s friendly vibes for  lesbian signals and ends  up  bitter raging and  murderous. Yet another story, this one in French, has an English-speaking man catching his French girlfriend on the phone  cheating on him on thinking he can’t follow her French. 

Elsewhere  an elderly couple  sits at the dinner table  without exchanging a word.The story ends  with the wife uttering these famous last words, “I  want a  divorce.”

All these stories last no more then a few minutes barely giving us a chance to  know the characters, skipping  and hopping over issues such as abortion and adultery with the impatience  of a  google search rather than a feature film. 

The  only story that  has some stability sensibleness and  cogency is  the one about  aging man(played  feelingly  by  Keith Eyles) exploring  online dating. And the  only time I smiled in this dreadfully anti-climactic Valentine’s tripe is  when a couple after befriending one  another online  cannot say a word to each other when they meet  until they open their laptops.

This anthology could do  with a lot more warmth and a lot less clichés  like, “Let her know your love her before it’s too late.” The segment containing this apocalyptic  line is in black-and-white . Why?

Love Actually said  it all. There is   nothing more to be said.

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