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Review: ‘Modern Love’ Is Charming but Uneven

来源:纽约时报    2019-10-30 03:35

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        It’s fitting that Amazon’s “Modern Love,” which debuts Friday and draws its stories from the New York Times column of the same name, puts forward the best version of itself in the very beginning. No one who has ever dated needs reminding that first impressions can be misleading, but the solid narrative skills and excellent casting on display in the premiere episode help prop up the wispier aspects of this inconsistent but sometimes charming anthology series.        将于周五首播、故事取材于《纽约时报》同名专栏的亚马逊剧集《摩登情爱》(Modern Love),从一开始就将最好的自己展现了出来。任何曾经约会的人都不需要提醒自己,第一印象可能具有误导性,不过第一集中展现的扎实的叙事技巧和优秀的演员阵容,有助于弥补这部良莠不齐但时显魅力的独立单元剧集的一些弱项。
        In that episode, Cristin Milioti plays a single New Yorker whose relationship with her doorman (the wonderful Laurentiu Possa) becomes the unexpected and occasionally irksome cornerstone of her life. This unlikely duo’s saga — which, like a number of other installments, doesn’t hinge on romantic love — is given lyrical, wise treatment by the writer, director and executive producer John Carney (“Once,” “Sing Street”). Milioti and Possa, who bring very different but ultimately harmonious energies to the tale, are delightful to watch together.        克里斯汀·米利欧缇(Cristin Milioti)在这一集饰演一个单身纽约人,她与门卫(非凡的劳伦提乌·波萨[Laurentiu Possa]饰演)的关系成了她生活中意想不到、偶尔也让人厌烦的基石。这对不符合一般认知的二人组的故事——像许多其他的故事一样,并不依赖浪漫的爱情——得到了编剧、导演兼执行制片约翰·卡尼(John Carney)(《曾经》[Once]、《初恋这首情歌》[Sing Street])诗意、明智的处理。米利欧缇和波萨给故事带来了非常不同,但最终趋于和谐的能量,看两人在一起的戏令人愉悦。
        Milioti’s character lives in a lovely doorman apartment on a freelance book reviewer’s income, a scenario that, even with rent control, is more fanciful than anything that ever transpired on “Game of Thrones.” Similar real-estate porn is on display in a number of other episodes, which mostly revolve around hyper-articulate middle- and upper-middle-class characters. A few days after watching these episodes, décor details of some of the boho-affluent homes were easier to recall than the stories that took place within those dwellings. (For some viewers this will be a feature, not a bug.)        米利欧缇的角色住在一个可爱的有门卫公寓里,靠的是一个自由职业书评人的收入,这样的情境,即使有房租监管,也比《权力的游戏》(Game of Thrones)里发生的任何事情都要离奇。还有几集也存在这种房地产诱惑色彩,主要围绕伶牙俐齿的中、上中产阶级人物展开。看了这些剧集几天后,你更多地会回想起那些波西米亚富人家装细节,而不是发生在这些居住环境中的故事。(对一些观众来说,这是个亮点,而不是漏洞。)
        “Modern Love,” when it works, provides the kind of soothing comfort supplied by an inviting armchair, a warm fire, or a mug of hot tea on a chilly night. It’s the TV equivalent of a hand-knit cardigan or an Instagrammable latte; a mood of transitory wistfulness appears to be the goal, not some chest-thumping artistic statement about Life. And there’s certainly room for this kind of artisanal woolly sweater on the TV scene: The real world and the headlines it generates are not much fun these days, and when the actors in the best-written “Modern Love” installments are on their A-games, it’s hard to resist the appeal of these amiable, slightly world-weary stories of connection in the big city.        好的时候,《摩登情爱》可以提供一种舒适的慰藉,像是一把诱人的扶手椅、一团温暖的炉火,或寒冷夜晚的一杯热茶。它像一件手工编织的开襟羊毛衫或一杯适合拍照分享的拿铁;它的目标似乎是一种短暂的愁绪,而不是拍着胸脯做出某种艺术性的生活宣言。这种手工制作的羊毛衫在电视上当然是有市场的:如今,现实世界和由此产生的新闻标题都不怎么有趣,而当写得最好的那些《摩登情爱》中,演员们都拿出最佳发挥时,这些在大城市里发生的亲切、有点厌世的关系故事让人很难抗拒。
        That said, the most pleasing thing about the show may be its format: Each episode lasts a half-hour. Thus if you don’t understand why, say, the recent Emmy winner Julia Garner and the versatile character actor Shea Whigham — both terrific in many past projects — are stranded in a flat, meandering story that never quite gels (“So He Looked Like Dad. It Was Just Dinner, Right?”), at least you won’t be wondering for long.        尽管如此,这部剧最让人开心的地方可能是它的形式:每集半小时。因此,如果你不明白为什么新科艾美奖得主朱莉娅·加纳(Julia Garner)和变化多端的性格演员希亚·威甘(Shea Whigham)——两人在过去的许多影片中都有出色表现——现在却被困在一个平淡、曲折、似乎永远不会凝固的故事里(“是,他长得像爸。就是吃顿饭,对吧?”),至少你不会困惑太久。
        The fifth episode (“At the Hospital, an Interlude of Clarity”) similarly drops its two lead actors into a getting-to-know-you story meant to showcase the characters’ spiky, halting chemistry. Unfortunately there’s no spark evident between Sofia Boutella and John Gallagher Jr., despite the actors’ game efforts, and that glaring absence makes the thinness of their story and the forced, brittle nature of their dialogue more apparent. All in all, about half of the episodes of “Modern Love” make strange decisions about what to spend time on, a dicey proposition when there’s only 30 minutes to work with.        第五集(“在医院,一段澄清事实的插曲”)同样将两位主角带入了一个互相了解的故事,旨在展示人物之间尖锐而又迟疑的化学反应。遗憾的是,尽管演员索菲娅·布特拉(Sofia Boutella)和小约翰·加拉格尔(John Gallagher Jr.)付出了勇敢的努力,但他们之间并没有明显的火花,这种明显的缺失让故事的单薄和对白的勉强与脆弱变得更加明显。总而言之,《摩登爱情》有一半剧集会在一些奇怪的事情上消耗时间,这可是很危险的,因为只有30分钟的时间。
        Of course, the reasons for some storytelling shortcuts are obvious, if not fully justifiable. Anne Hathaway stars in “Take Me as I Am, Whoever I Am” as a woman whose career and romances go awry because she’s secretive about the challenges that mental illness creates in her life. The episode includes a decent but unnecessary song-and-dance number and other moments of highly dramatic filler, all of which reinforces the notion that the episode was constructed more as a showcase for Hathaway than as an insightful character portrait. She supplies some raw, gripping moments, but they mostly arrive at the end, after a string of repetitive scenes that drain the premise of momentum.        当然,在叙事上抄近道的理由是显而易见的。安妮·海瑟薇(Anne Hathaway)在“接受真实的我,不管我是谁”一集中饰演一个事业和爱情都出了问题的女人,因为她绝口不提精神疾病给她生活带来的挑战。这一集中有一个挺好但不必要的歌舞场面,以及其他一些高度戏剧化的充数桥段,所有这些都令人深深感到,这一集更多是在展示海瑟薇,而不是勾勒一个深刻的人物肖像。她提供了一些原始的、扣人心弦的瞬间,但大多是到了最后,经历了一系列耗尽故事动力的重复场景之后才出现的。
        If you were excited to see Tina Fey and John Slattery play a bickering married couple in an episode written and directed by the “Catastrophe” co-creator Sharon Horgan, the slightly deflating reality is that the result is merely acceptable — no more, no less.        如果你很兴奋地看到蒂娜·菲(Tina Fey)和约翰·斯莱特里(John Slattery)在《大灾难》(Catastrophe)剧创之一莎伦·霍根(Sharon Horgan)编导的一集里扮演一对争吵不休的夫妻,那么稍微令人沮丧的现实是,其结果仅仅是可以接受而已——不多也不少。
        Scenes of couples throwing passive-aggressive darts at each other in a therapist’s office are not rare on TV. The kind of rebuilding attempts that are necessary to bring a dying long-term relationship back to life — moments often brilliantly explored on “Catastrophe” — would have given both actors more to work with. But too often the episode, “Rallying to Keep the Game Alive,” speeds past the juiciest, thorniest, most revelatory moments. Still, it’s not exactly punishment to see Fey and Slattery share their wry camaraderie onscreen.        夫妻在治疗师的办公室里主动或被动攻击对方的场景在电视上并不少见。这种重建的尝试是让一段垂死的长期关系脱离危险境地所必需的——这些时刻在“大灾难”中往往有精彩的探讨——会给两位演员更多发挥的空间。但“共同努力,让游戏继续下去”一集往往频繁跳过最有趣、最痛苦、最具启示性的时刻。尽管如此,看到菲和史莱特利在屏幕上分享他们扭曲的感情,并不算是一种惩罚。
        A flashback-driven episode starring Dev Patel and Catherine Keener, in which the two leads recount stories of love and regret, is ultimately more effective. If the core stories wrap up a bit too neatly, the actors’ empathic skills and natural charisma are more than worth the price of admission.        在由戴夫·帕特尔(Dev Patel)和凯瑟琳·基纳(Catherine Keener)主演的倒叙一集中,两个主角讲述了爱与遗憾的故事,最终效果更好。虽然核心故事的结尾有点过于简单,但演员的移情能力和天生的魅力还是值回票价。
        All in all, the three finest episodes — the first, seventh and eighth — have a bit more heft, depth and clarity than the others.        总而言之,最好的三集——第一集、第七集和第八集——比其他几集更有分量、更有深度,也更清晰。
        The seventh episode tells the story of a married couple’s spiky relationship with the woman having their baby, and in it, Andrew Scott and Brandon Kyle Goodman are both deeply appealing and believably nervous. Scott radiates an intelligent, thoughtful curiosity here, as he did as the Hot Priest in “Fleabag.” As a public service, I must inform you that he never dons a cassock, which may increase or decrease this half-hour’s overall hotness levels, depending on the viewer’s preferences.        第七集讲述了一对已婚夫妇与怀了他们孩子的女人之间的尖锐关系,在其中,安德鲁·斯科特(Andrew Scott) 和布兰登·凯尔·古德曼(Brandon Kyle Goodman)都深具感染力,带有令人信服的神经质。斯科特在这集中散发出一种睿智的、深思熟虑的好奇心,一如他在《伦敦生活》(Fleabag)中扮演的性感神父。为了服务大家,我必须告诉你,他从不穿圣袍,这可能提升或降低这半小时的整体热度——取决于观众的偏好。
        It’d be churlish — and anti-romantic — to give away too much about the season finale of “Modern Love,” which has a closing sequence that is worth watching, even if you skip around before you arrive at the end. It’s not a spoiler to say that Jane Alexander is sensational in this meditation on the risks and rewards of love that arrives late in life. This episode mixes the sweet, the sad and the bittersweet in just the right proportions, and who knows, it may well provide a road map for the show’s future. If Amazon decides “Modern Love” deserves a second date, that is.        透露太多《摩登爱情》(Modern Love)本季最后一集的信息是不对的——也有悖于浪漫,它有个值得一看的结局,即使你在结尾之前跳过了一些片段。简·亚历山大(Jane Alexander)在这段关于爱情的风险和回报的沉思中表现得惊为天人,这么说并不是剧透。这一集将甜蜜、悲伤和苦乐交织在一起,而且比例恰到好处,谁知道呢,这可能会为这部剧的未来提供一个路线图。如果亚马逊认为《摩登爱情》值得第二次约会,那就是了。

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