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Heartburn (1986)

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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 2

audience

48

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 5,078

My Rating

Movie Info

Though she always played coy about the fact in interviews, Nora Ephron's novel Heartburn is a thinly disguised " clef" rehash of her marriage to Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein. Meryl Streep plays Rachel, an influential food critic who marries charismatic columnist Mark (Jack Nicholson) after a whirlwind courtship. Warned that Mark is constitutionally incapable of settling down with any one woman, Rachel gives up her own job to make certain that her marriage works. When Rachel announces

R,

Drama, Romance, Comedy

Nora Ephron

Jul 6, 2004

Paramount Pictures

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All Critics (17) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (7) | DVD (5)

This is the most disappointing film of the year, considering its pedigree -- a Mike Nichols film from a Nora Ephron script, starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson.

January 16, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Decently (but no more) acted by Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson, this marriage on the rocks melodrama, based on Nora Ephron's memoir, is ultimately shallow and verbose.

June 2, 2012 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Grabs you by the heart and doesn't let go

August 17, 2008
Moviehole

Uneven script, but brilliant performances.

June 21, 2005
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies

No chemistry between Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson

June 19, 2005
EmanuelLevy.Com

Depicts a marriage on the rocks.

August 26, 2004 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

it's hard to root for their reconciliation

June 29, 2004 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Audience Reviews for Heartburn

The marriage between a columnist and his wife degrades when she discovers his infidelity.
Nora Ephron makes me hate white people. These two privileges, upper-class, yuppie white people smack of the kind of white sense of entitlement that would make me turn into Malcolm X. Thinking about Ephron's films, I can't remember a single non-white character who isn't carrying a tray or, as is the case in this film, saying, "Meesus Forman" in a caricature of a Hispanic maid; her main complaint about Rachel nemesis in the film is that she's "messy," as though the only way this woman can evaluate one's character is through her work.
Now, I suppose you're saying that since race isn't a concern for Ephron, it's unfair to bring it up, or you're saying that Woody Allen has only one African American character in his entire oeuvre (Cookie from Deconstructing Harry) who merely serves to set up a racist joke. It's true that Ephron isn't writing about race, but it's nonetheless inappropriate to have the only depiction of nonwhites in subservient roles; if race isn't one of Ephron's concerns, then don't include any nonwhites in any role; have a white maid. Eliding nonwhites seems less offensive to me than confining nonwhites. And I admit one of Woody Allen's weaknesses is his single-color pallet, but in his entire film collection, there is only one instance where a nonwhite is confined to a subservient role, and this a non-speaking maid in Hannah and Her Sisters. As racist depictions go, Allen's not good, but Ephron is horrid.
The detestable depiction of race in Heartburn isn't the only thing that bothered me about the film. The conflict literally doesn't start until the film is forty-seven minutes old. For an eternity, we have to watch these yuppies be unpardonably happy with their courtship, their child, and their seemingly insouciant ability to get over their fears of marriage and commitment - serious fears that are glossed over and defeated with some simple spooning. It's so boring in a way that only the overly saccharine Ephron can bore one.
The half-star bonus point is for Jack Nicholson who has some good moments and for one scene with a jewelry salesman that was well-written.
Overall, after Julie and Julia and Bewitched, one would think that I'd learn my lesson.
July 26, 2012
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Bittersweet comic drama that knowing the actual background inspiration is at times uncomfortable to watch. Nicholson is fine but Meryl's is the performance that really stands out. A high quality supporting cast however isn't really put to good enough use.
January 21, 2012
jjnxn
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

I think I would rather cut my ear off than watch this movie ever again. While technically a good film, it has been a long time since I loathed two characters in a movie so much.
The plot is basically smug, whingey, whiney 30 something (who dresses more like 40 something. Sooo frumpy all the way through this) marries womaniser, thinking of course that she is different and can change him. Oddly enough, he is soon cheating again (what a shocker). I found Meryl Streep's Rachel so unpleasant I really felt very little sympathy for her. Ditto Jack Nicholson's Mark - I don't think he was even meant to be likeable. It was just little things like her complete lack of manners anytime she was being served in a shop (right down to final scene with obnoxious child who looks like a female Chucky. Yes, that's just what I would hope to be stuck next to on a plane). Just the most self observed character ever. And this is supposedly a true story. Heaven forbid.
November 17, 2010
romy861

Super Reviewer

Another fantastic film from Mike Nichols. This darker than dark comedy is powered by marvelous performances from Nicholson and Streep and signature directorial flair. Although Ephron's script is slightly lacking in clarity as to what it wants to say, it's a funny and involving story overall. Highly recommended.
August 2, 2007
michaelcorleone

Super Reviewer

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