Amazon Prime’s new series, Modern Love, is drawing emotion from viewers with its complex stories inspired by real-life love.
The show, which consists of eight 30-minute standalone episodes, is based on The New York Times‘ weekly column that features personal essays about love penned by New York residents.
The show’s premiere episode, “When the Doorman Is Your Main Man,” features Cristin Milioti as Maggie Mitchell, a woman who finds comfort in her doorman, played by Laurentiu Possa, after she learns she is pregnant. The inspiration for the gripping story came from writer Julie Margaret Hogben in 2015.
Hogben, who is now mom to a 12-year-old girl, told the NYT in a recent interview that her friendship with the doorman, Guzim, has carried over a decade later.
“Whenever I’m in town, I always peek in to see if he’s at the door,” she said.
As the story tells, Guzim and Hogben never entered in a romantic relationship. In fact, she hasn’t been in one since her daughter was born.
“My daughter will occasionally open up an account for me. Three months ago she opened up a Bumble account and uploaded seven of my pictures and wrote me a little profile,” she said.
In the show’s second episode, Deborah Copaken’s 2015 story about her own lost love was adapted with Catherine Keener, Dev Patel and Andy Garcia starring. Years later, Copaken told the NYT that she now only sees her former love’s life from afar on social media.
However, she has successfully found her own happiness. In September 2017, she went on a Bumble date and connected her new love Will, whom she had actually first met back in 2001 when he was a magazine editor and she was a writer.
“That was two years ago,” she said. “We moved in together a year later. And I feel extremely lucky that I get this second chance at love.”
And Patel’s character is modeled after Justin McLeod, the founder of the dating app Hinge. He also got a happy ending: Inspired by his conversation with Cokapen, he flew to Europe to declare his love for college sweetheart Kate, who was engaged to another man. They are now married and expecting their first child.
The third episode, “Take Me As I Am, Whoever I Am,’ stars Anne Hathaway in the gripping story about a woman living with bipolar disorder, originally penned in 2008 by then-entertainment lawyer Terri Cheney.
Over a decade later, Cheney gave up law and pursued writing fulltime. “My book, ‘Manic,’ became a New York Times best seller and an L.A. Times best seller and was translated into eight foreign languages,” she told the NYT.
And as for her love life?
“When I decided to write again after I got out of the hospital, I was much healthier and I dated a lot and had a few long-term relationships,” Cheney said. “Right now I’d say I’m in love and I’m loved back. I don’t know necessarily if I’m in a relationship. I do love. I am in love. So that’s great.”
The NYT also caught up with Ann Leary, who inspired the fourth episode, “Rallying to Keep the Game Alive,” which stars Tina Fey and John Slattery. In her 2013 essay, Ann wrote about her marriage to actor husband Denis Leary that almost didn’t last.
Seven years later, Ann confirmed to the NYT that the couple are still together (and do indeed still play tennis!). Plus, her celebrity husband gave her full permission to display their marital problems to the world.
“I had to run it by him,” she said. “And if he had said, ‘I don’t want that,’ I don’t think I would have published it. He was like, ‘It’s O.K. I think it’s good.’ “
Modern Love is streaming on Amazon Prime now.
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