The Heartbreak Kid


Comedy / Drama / Romance

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 92% · 60 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 73% · 1K ratings
IMDb Rating 7.0/10 10 5683 5.7K


Top cast

Cybill Shepherd as Kelly Corcoran
Jeannie Berlin as Lila Kolodny
Doris Roberts as Mrs. Cantrow
Audra Lindley as Mrs. Corcoran
969.04 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 45 min
Seeds 24

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by emmaeus 7 / 10

Jeannie Berlin is the standout

Jeannie Berlin (as Grodin's wife Lila) has been sadly undermentioned in all of the comments. What a wonderful performance. She is so "out there"--watch her eat an egg-salad sandwich and then try to picture one of today's actresses willing to look so natural and vulnerable. (Well, maybe Cameron Diaz with her "hair gel" in "There's Something About Mary.") But Berlin's performance is so believable. I wish she had done more over the years.

And please note the beauty of Cybill Shepherd's figure in the surf scenes. How refreshing to see something other than one of today's stick figures as the objection of desire. She is healthy, lush, and gorgeous.

Reviewed by Horror-yo 8 / 10

A top 70's comedy

There are many things this film does really well.

First of all, the acting is superb throughout. Grodin is brilliant as ever in a very demanding, heavy acting responsibility - had he been average at it, the film easily loses heaps of its ability. Jeannie Berlin (the wife) does really well, as does Eddie Albert (the father) and for a 22 year old beaut youngster Cybill Shepherd is solid also.

Next: this isn't a generic superficial comedy. It's got that peculiar element about it. The humor isn't easy over-the-counter drivel, it's in fact uneasy, almost awkward and difficult to digest. It's about the little annoying details with people, invading personal space, being pathetic without noticing a very real way, all of those things !

Finally, the film holds up very nicely in its one hour forty-five minute frame, with not one moment too many or too few, has a well thought out structure to it that isn't obvious at first, and there's this sort of itchy, awkward anti-morality morality at the end of it that is just as weirdly charming and anti-heroic as its main character.


Reviewed by ElMaruecan82 9 / 10

Help me, I'm married!

Neil Simon has just passed away and *I* am going through a divorce. I was then twice in need of discovering Elaine May's "The Heartbreak Kid".

Indeed, as the 'divorced' one, I know quite a deal about 'heartbreak' and the film was the cathartic experience I needed. I laughed, I thought... I cringed a lot too, that's how the film was: funny, intelligent and yeah, kind of awkward at times.

It starts with a wedding ceremony between Lenny (Charles Grodin) and Lila (Jeanine Berlin, May's daughter). It's a Jewish ceremony that doesn't leave much doubt about Lila's background while Lenny could either be Jew or gentile. What matters is that he's more sophisticated than Lila, and reconsiders his choice when they're en route to their honeymoon. Though the first signal was his empty post-coital stare revealing that one of the reasons he married her was because she saved herself till marriage, and if he knew how lousy it would turn out to be, he might still be single.

The contrast between Lenny and Lila wouldn't have been as flagrant if it wasn't a matter of one-sided love, Lila's gradually annoying habits, her sexual insecurity, playful immaturity and gluttony would all look cute to anyone madly in love. Berlin -who was Oscar nominated for that role- plays with bravura and endearing pathos, a simple, albeit slightly stereotypical, Jewish girl her family threw at the first attractive aspirant. And Lenny realizes a bit late that he can have better when in Miami, he meets the young, wealthy; beautiful Kelly.

Getting the blue-eyed blonde is such an irrational but deeply rooted fantasy in the mind of Mediterranean or Semite guys that the point isn't to understand what Lenny found in Kelly, he just 'found' her. And Kelly is the kind of girl so used to flattery and favors she's hardly surprised by Lenny's courtship, she's not a trophy, she's the one who gets the man (look at the poster). Cybil Shepherd might not the best actress of her generation but she knows exactly how to play Kelly with a sort of impersonal tone that emphasizes her goddess-like quality... while Berlin is Fran Fine without the sexiness.

Now in a lesser movie, Lenny's continuous rendezvous with Kelly while Lila is oblivious to his whereabouts would have been handled like an old-age screwball comedy, but I just love how director Elaine May and writer Neil Simon inject a sharp social commentary and enrich the story with characters who embody our own skepticism. Lenny is obviously an unstoppable force who'd be comically boring if he didn't meet an unmovable object and this is where the best character in the film intervenes: Mr. Corcoran, Karen's rich and protective father, wonderfully played by Eddie Albert.

The father grows an instant and understandable dislike on Lenny, but he still loves his daughter enough to give him the benefit of the doubt, perfectly aware that the more he'd try to stop him, the more it'll get him closer to Kelly. The tension that grows between the two men culminates with one of the film's highlights, when Lenny lays his cards and makes a long and detailed speech about his feelings, I almost admired his nerve for telling he was married... the truth and only the truth indeed.

But while Grodin takes forever to make his 'point'; trying to keep some composure, Eddie Albert provides a master-class of silent acting that probably earned him his Oscar nomination. First, he's severe but fair, listening carefully. The mother smiles but look at her jaw slowly dropping as Lenny digs himself deeper and deeper, and at the word 'marriage' it's like an electric spasm caught the father, boiling from inside, waiting for that whole rhapsody to stop so he can give his answer. I've never felt so bad in a scene and yet so enthralled by acting and I had still had another coming with the infamous breakup and the way poor Lila kept missing the point.

The sad truth of marriage is that there's always a needier one, and when it comes to separation, he or she would never see the signs even if it they hit them in the face. Maybe it's not much love that blinds than the need to be loved, a contained feeling, internal, motherly. It's Lila's vision, certainly the Corcorans', but Lenny is a dream-chaser, a social climber going as far as moving on to Minnesota, stalking his girl, eating a dinner and complimenting vegetables for their sincerity in the most surreal way.

It's funny when he says "there's no deceit in the cauliflowers" but pathetic at the same time in the way he underestimates his future in-laws, thinking they could fall for such toadyism. At that point, with such an unlikable protagonist, I couldn't envision a satisfying ending but this is where the subtle and intelligent talent of May and Simon, like Reiner and Ephron later, worked. The worst thing that could ever happen to a man as determined as Lenny is to find someone who'd call his bluff... Mr. Corcoran won by allowing him the privilege of spending forty and fifty years in that heavenly place without "deceit in cauliflowers".

While regretting the jerk-typecast that followed this role, Grodin said many guys told him they could relate to him. I could personally. Many people are perpetually dissatisfied and realize too late the value of what they've lost, they basically spend the present time idealizing the future or nourishing their minds with past regrets. Either ways, they fail to embrace the present and that's the existential alienation the last shot on Grodin highlights, Lila's postponed victory.

It's interesting that many 1972 movies ended with that "what have I done?" or "now, what?" sense of isolation and life's dead-end, "The Godfather", "Cabaret", "The Candidate", "Sleuth" and "The Heartbreak Kid" is even more haunting for its Karmic bittersweet taste at the end.

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