Spoilers ahead for Amazon Prime Video's 'Modern Love' episode 2 'When Cupid is a Prying Journalist'
"Have you ever been in love?" Catherine Keener's titular prying journalist Julie asks Joshua (Dev Patel), the CEO of a dating app she is interviewing for a story.
Joshua is flabbergasted. Never before had he been asked a question like this in an interview. Could he tell her though? The story is written all over his face, as Julie points out.
And so begins a rendezvous like no other.
Based on the article by Deborah Copaken and directed by John Carney, 'When Cupid is a Prying Journalist' follows Julie and Joshua as they walk around New York City sharing their stories of a love long gone but not forgotten.
Joshua had happened to meet Emma (Caitlin McGee) in the waiting room for a job they were both interviewing for. But after a brief exchange with Emma, he decides to not sit through the interview because he might miss her by the time he gets out. Emma is equally charmed by Joshua as he is by her. And together they head out, spending the rest of the day together.
Their love is instant, the attraction fiery - the kind of explosion that propels you upwards and outwards. That is pretty much Joshua's theory about relationships - "A relationship is like a rocket," he tells Julie, "You're trying to get out of the Earth's atmosphere" and need just enough energy to get out. The initial explosion is all that matters, Julie concurs.
Although Joshua and Emma have the spark, somewhere down the line, things go awry leading to a separation. Today, as he chats with Julie recounting the love of his life, Emma has been engaged for two years. Joshua had almost let the relationship go, but Julie warns him that "not knowing will mess you up".
And she then tells him the story of her life. 17 years ago, Julie had lost the love of her life. They had almost never known each other - a love untested and unlived. She meets Michael (Andy Garcia), who she was supposed to meet in Paris 17 years ago, at the launch of her latest book. Tales of the unfulfilled promise that was made so many years ago were not forgotten but forgiven. When they go back home, Michael tells his wife he wants to work on their marriage while Julie tells her husband she wants to separate.
'When Cupid is a Prying Journalist' is honest and hopeful. Needless to say, Patel carries his heart on his sleeve and the episode on his shoulders. He is raw in his feelings and earnest in his love for Emma. He is emotional yet clear-headed. At the same time, Catherine is encouraging and wary of someone else repeating the same mistake she did.
It is not a story you haven't heard before. Perhaps your grandmother's long-lost flame or your girlfriend's high school choice. The lesson that regret is lurking around the corner if you don't act now is written all over the story. But it is in Julie's and Joshua's sincerity that the point is driven home. 'When Cupid is a Prying Journalist' is charming, fluttery and true to its cause.
All episodes of 'Modern Love' are currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.