Amazon Prime Video has just released the second installment of the series based on the popular ‘The New York Times’ column
The classic story of boy meets girl, they fall in love and live happily ever after has ceased to be the paradigm of romantic films. In real life, protagonists are far more diverse, have other ambitions, get angry, disappointed, break up and then get back together. Or not. Love is as rich and varied as it is complicated. And that’s what ‘Modern Love’ wants to continue reflecting in the series created, written and directed by John Carey and inspired by anecdotes from real couples shared in the popular ‘The New York Times’ column of the same name. The eight new romantic mini-tales that make up the second installment have just premiered on Amazon Prime Video.
Minnie Driver stars in the season-opening story: the drama of a widow who will have to decide whether to sell the last remaining memory she has of her husband, an old car. From there, “Modern Love” also explores the impossible love of a woman (Zoë Chao) who suffers from a sleeping disorder and finds her other half (Gbenga Akinnagbe); the difference in how two boys (Marquis Rodriguez and Zane Pais) interpret and understand a one-night stand; the confusion of a fifteen-year-old who doesn’t know if she is in love with her friend (Grace Edwards and Lulu Wilson); and a young woman’s (Dominique Fishback) struggle to make her best friend (Isaac Powell) understand that theirs is something much greater than mere friendship.
But not all the protagonists live on memories or are young folk in search of their first love. “Modern Love” also deals with the issue of second chances, such as that of a divorced couple who reunite years after their separation (Sophie Okonedo and Tobias Menzies) or that of a soldier and a housewife (Garrett Hedlund and Anna Paquin) who meet in a psychologist’s waiting room after having separated from their respective partners.
The coronavirus also leaves its mark on one of the episodes. Lucy Boynton (‘Bohemian Rhapsody’) and Kit Harington (‘Game of Thrones’) breathe life into two strangers who fall in love during a train trip through Ireland in March 2020, just before the lockdown, and decide to meet up again in the same place two weeks later. What neither of these two romantics who failed to swap phone numbers could have imagined is that by then, the option of leaving their homes was going to become mission impossible. Despite being set in confinement, this particular episode completely avoids the drama, even allowing for moments of absurd humor and the occasional nod to ‘Game of Thrones’.
In this second installment, “Modern Love” conserves that ideal balance between sweetness and romanticism, encouraging audiences to empathize with the emotions of the protagonists but without going overboard. In addition, this season is even more diverse, with greater racial diversity of characters and members of the LGBTI+ community. Another novelty is that the series abandons the streets of Manhattan, as this season was also shot on location in Albany, Schenectady and Troy (New York) and in Dublin (Ireland). With so much variety, it shouldn’t be hard to find at least one tale that becomes your better half.